Ascend created “Visual Factory”
by combining Wonderware Intelligence and Wonderware Workflow, along with Wonderware IntelaTrac to leverage key information data from multiple sources
Pensacola, Florida – What does carpet, tennis balls and radiators have in common? They are all manufactured using Nylon 6-6, a type of nylon which is used in the production of textiles, carpet and molded plastics, with worldwide production of this material growing every year. With four integrated manufacturing facilities located throughout the southeast region of the U.S., Ascend Performance materials is the global leader in the production of Nylon 6-6.
Visual Factory and Wonderware
While maintaining its leadership position in production, Ascend was behind the times in the implementation and use of modern technology to optimize its operations.
“I was brought on board to help Ascend transform from a ‘1950s’ era plant, into a modern manufacturing facility with the implementation of advanced technology to more effectively run the business,” said S. Melissa Scheppele, CIO and vice president of IT at Ascend. “We looked at a number of companies and solution from both hardware and software perspectives, and found the Wonderware solution was the best match for our operation.”
“Visual Factory keeps tabs on the ‘big picture,’” said John Johannemann, Ascend plant manager for the Pensacola facility. “It basically tells us whether or not were straying from the middle of the road and getting close to a ditch. We are able to see the warning signs.”
Turning Operations Data into Actionable Information
Ascend operations must access multiple software systems to manage day-to-day operations in an effective and secure manner. These systems generate large sets of data which contain critical information pertaining to management systems, planning and cost information in business systems and energy consumption. As a result, Ascend management was challenged with creating relevant reports reflecting performance measures in overall context of their operational process.
The company’s previous process entailed collecting and analyzing data manually which was not effective, since the information collected was generated after the fact, and was too complex for collaborative use across the organization.
Wonderware Intelligence software addresses the challenges faced by Ascend to leverage the hidden insights in industrial data.
The software automates the transformation of time series and transactional data across multiple sources and turns large amounts of Industrial “Big Data” into actionable metrics and Key Performance Indicator (KPI) information. Metrics and context data is kept in an open information model, providing a single version of the current data. This is stored in data warehouses and enterprise business intelligence tools enabling Ascend management to make strategic sense out of the production data.
“Prior to implementing Wonderware software, the data was collected manually on pieces of paper that stayed on a clipboard until the clipboard was full,” said Bert Penegar, maintenance coordinator at Ascend. “Now that data is recorded and we can see who did the round and track down what they posted in the system.”