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How we created OEE data from a Beckhoff PLC

Running a production line optimally is vital for production companies and optimizing it can create a significant difference. It is necessary to know what/where the weak links are since this information will be important to optimize the production (OEE). This post shows an example of a machine manufacturer and how the important data from the PLC can be utilized.

A One Packaging is a machine manufacturer for the food industries. They have clients all over the world and were looking for an easy way to monitor and access performance information from their machines. This information is vital for analyzing the performance of the machines and whether or not they are performing as planned. Interruptions can be costly and the information will help identify problem areas such as "bottleneck-areas" or extra capacity on the production line. For the customers, it is important that the production lines are running and producing optimally. It can therefore be useful to offer them the possibility to monitor the performance of the factory production line.

The video above shows an A One Packaging machine in use. 

The information that is monitored on the A One Packaging machines is: Run time, Stop time, Error time (when the emergency switch is activated or by fault) measured in minutes per hour. It also monitors the number of units produced per hour and other diagnostic information like drop of air pressure. This information is collected in the PLC.

How to get the information from the PLC
The machine in question is controlled by a Beckhoff PLC CX8050. The Beckhoff PLC supports many protocols like ADS, ModbusTCP, HTTP (GET, POST, PUT) and so on. The CX8050 has built in support for ModbusTCP which, in this project, is used for communicating with the Schneider Electric display (Magelis HMI STU 855).

The Data Forwarder (TDF) is installed and set up to read the values from the Beckhoff CX8050 via the ModbusTCP protocol, one of the many supported protocols of the TDF. (The setup of the TDF will follow in a post coming soon, so stay tuned.). The TDF has a web interface which makes it very easy to set up the communication between the PLC and the TDF. The ModbusTCP protocol is selected and the IP address and Modbus port of the PLC are assigned.

The collected values in the PLC are of the type REAL and are arranged in an array, which makes it straight forward to set up the array memory address and data length in the TDF.

Products mentioned:

Beckhoff CX8050, TDF Data Forwarder and the cloud solution

The values are logged every hour and sent to the Cloud server. Here the information is processed and organized into Trendboards ( dashboards). These trendboards can be accessed through a web browser on a computer, a tablet, a smartphone or even displayed on an infoscreen - anywhere with an internet connection.


We encourage you to sign up to our platform as you can get a closer look at some examples of the way we visualize data from various places and units. You can sign up on the front page and it's completely FREE! 


- The team