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Manufacturing Automation

manufacturing automation

Automation has kept manufacturers competitive in a global marketplace, but it can be difficult to achieve reliable communication amongst the specialized devices and protocols. With the help of Moxa products, manufacturers all over the world have been able to connect legacy equipment to modern control systems, monitor harsh environmental conditions at production facilities in real-time, and seamlessly convert between proprietary and open device protocols.

1. Networking Solution for CNC Control Systems
2. Optimized Manufacturing with Networked DCS System at Naphtha Cracking Plant

Networking Solution for CNC Control Systems

The initial solution was for the engineers to use CNC (Computer Numerical Control) to run a new manufacturing program. This solution requires off-line development in the design room, and then manual transfer of the program to the factory floor PC using a floppy disk or USB Storage. The factory floor PC will implement the program by sending instructions to various manufacturing machines over an RS-232 interface connection. However, the environment of the factory floor is not suitable for PCs (due to high humidity, oily and dusty surroundings, and extreme temperatures); it is highly probably that PCs in such environments will crash frequently.
Moxa's NPort® 5110 and NPort® W2150 Plus device servers were chosen since they meet all of the requirements. The NPort® is perfectly suited for rugged environments and is much smaller than a PC.
The control center sends instructions to the CNC in TCP/IP packet format through an Ethernet/Wireless connection to the NPort®. It is no longer necessary for personnel to physically transport the program to the site, and multiple CNC machines can receive the data simultaneously.
Advantages of implementing this solution: 
• System costs are reduced by lower equipment expenses (the cost of NPort® is much lower than a PC) and by the time and human resources saved. 
• Changing the CNC layout when expanding is quick and easy. 
• Moxa's driver technology reroutes COM data through the computer's Ethernet card; users do not need to spend time to make changes to their existing manufacturing programs. 
• Centralized feedback of the CNC's status ensures organized and simplified maintenance. 
• Wireless NPort® save on cabling costs and time.



1-port RS-232 serial device servers
1 and 2-port RS-232/422/485 IEEE 802.11a/b/g wireless device servers

Optimized Manufacturing with Networked DCS System at Naphtha Cracking Plant

FPCC (Formosa Petrochemical Corporation), which is one of the largest petrochemical groups in Taiwan, has developed several commercial petroleum-related plants that require heavy industrial development. The "No. 6 Naphtha Cracking Project" in Mailiao on the west coast of Taiwan involved reclaiming land from the sea, designing a sophisticated foundation, and constructing of an oil refi nery plant with annual capacity of 21 million tons of crude oil, naphtha cracking plants that produce 1.735 million tons of ethylene per year, a thermal power plant that can output 3 million kilowatts of energy, and other petrochemical plants.
A naphtha cracker is a plant that uses a "cracking process" to produce ethylene from naphtha. The major control problem associated with naphtha crackers is to regulate the conditions in the cracking process to control the ethylene output. One of the many challenges faced by the designers of FPCC's"No. 6 Naphtha Cracker" in Taiwan was creating an extra-reliable Ethernet network for transmitting signifi cant control and device management signals. The network serves as the main communications medium for the plant's DCS (distributed control system). 
MOXA Solution
The DCS used for controlling the main processes at the No. 6 Naphtha Cracker is made up of several subsystems for handling different parts of the operation. The central IT room, for example, containing LCD monitors for displaying the HMI/SCADA system, has a number of work stations for data processing, plus a data server for controlling and monitoring I/O controllers located at a remote site. 
In order to optimize the manufacturing output from the Naphtha Cracker, the conditions in the cracking process need to be monitored and controlled. Remote I/Os are typically used to connect DI/DOs or AI/AOs, temperature modules, and motors to detect temperature, pressure, humidity, and other operation-realted information. In addition, controllers are connected to remote I/Os and motor servers to maintain better control of the process. In order to set and adjust parameters on-site, control panels are located in the fi eld to allow engineers to access or check information directly. 
As is the case with most sophisticated industrial control systems, the DCS at the No. 6 Naptha Cracker must maintain normal operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep production running smoothly. The system designer adopted Ethernet as the main communication network for the entire DCS. Eight sets of Moxa EDS-726 modular Ethernet switches were applied to form a doubly redundant fi ber network backbone with dual-tree topology for better reliability. The EDS-308- MM-SC 8-port unmanaged Ethernet switches were used to form the communication network between the system backbone and operation stations. 
There are two parallel but independent Ethernet networks, with each network device connected to both networks (e.g., each workstation has two network cards). In addition, the entire array of workstations and devices is duplicated; at any given time, one set is "active" and the other set is "stand-by." When a device in the "active" set fails, the "stand-by" set springs into action, taking over operation until the other set is repaired. 
Moxa's EDS switches are available with a variety of fiber and copper port combinations, and the reliable industrial-grade quality of the switches helps users maintain a reliable gigabit backbone and communication network for synchronizing data exchange and optimizing the manufacturing output. DCS systems networked with Moxa's EDS switches improves manufacturing productivity and helps users achieve a competitive advantage. 


5 and 8-port unmanaged Ethernet switches
24+4G-port Gigabit modular managed Ethernet switch


Designed by Alipix Creative Design Studio