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WHY CHOOSE A VFE REMOTE MONITORING SYSTEM

Improve maintenance reliability and increase equipment effectiveness with remote access to equipment performance and production status.

To optimise the cost of monitoring vs. the benefit of increased uptime, industrial operations must monitor their equipment as efficiently as possible.

This is the challenge the VFE Remote Monitoring System solves. The system gives remote operators the ability to receive SMS/email alerts if alarms are triggered and enables VFE engineers to connect remotely to the machine control network, delivering remote support functionalities to the customer.

With a VFE Remote Monitoring System in place, businesses can monitor their equipment remotely, reducing the need for large teams of maintenance staff to cover every shift and eventuality. Operators can pause/step/abort cures from their devices, freeing up technicians to move away from the control panel and carry out other duties. Process oversight  can be maintained, wherever the engineer is, while the ability to record and download key process data keeps the analytics accessible.

CUSTOMER BENEFITS

HIGHER UTILISATION OF STAFF

When running production cycles, it is not uncommon for operations to require a team of operators/staff to sit next to the equipment (or very close by) and listen out for alarms, etc. This inefficiency can lead to costly overheads and is not a productive use of individual operators’ time. A remote monitoring system alleviates these costs by reducing the number of staff needed to monitor the operations and freeing up operators to work on other tasks without losing sight of the production cycles. 

LESS WASTAGE

Failure to act swiftly in the event of an alarm runs the risk of permanently damaging the load/cure or even losing it altogether. A remote monitoring system that triggers a text message or email in the event of a problem would enable a remote operator to pause or even abort the cycle, potentially saving tens of thousands of pounds' worth of product.

REDUCE STAFF LEVELS

If operators/staff don’t have to physically monitor equipment whilst it is running then companies can better utilise staff and therefore free up resource. This is particularly relevant in a facility operating 24/7, as the equipment can be continuously monitored without the need to fully staff the night shift, for example.

HIGHER PRODUCT OUTPUT

Removing the requirement for machines to be monitored physically by an operator means that more pieces of equipment can be run simultaneously, thereby enabling a higher output of products.

SECURITY

Whilst undoubtedly exciting, the potential for remote access can raise new questions around security, data sensitivity and data protection. Our solutions provide secure remote access, keeping our customers’ data safe (and their IT teams happy).

WHAT WE CAN DO FOR YOU

We offer four levels of remote monitoring solutions for you to choose from, depending on your business requirements.

The remote monitoring solutions are per machine and are fully featured as described when installed to FMCS/AMCS-controlled machines. Non-FMCS/AMCS machines can also incorporate some of these features — please ask for further information as additional investigation may be required to confirm what is possible.

VFE will supply, install, configure and test an FMCS/AMCS to SMS gateway device to monitor alarm status direct from the control system PLC and send an instant text message/email alert if an alarm is triggered.


The message includes specific text for the nature of the alarm and the machine that triggered it. The system is completely independent of the PC, so is still able to send an alert if the PC should fail.

The hardware supplied for Level 1.1 is capable of being configured to provide a secure connection route from VFE to the machine without exposing the computer network to the internet. A VPN tunnel is created between VFE and the gateway device allowing us to connect remotely to the machine control network, not the Corporate network. As a result of this connection, we are able to see what the operator sees and quickly diagnose the problem without needing to visit the site.

VFE has a new, upgraded model of HMI for installation, which provides additional data recording of key process data to enable verification of cure progress even if the control PC was to fail during a cure. This HMI provides further functionality by enabling us to display machine status on a smartphone (Android/iOS) or tablet to users within the included wireless network range initially.

VFE provides a 49” LED monitor for wall mounting, for example in the clean room, with an HMI processor unit to display the current status of each FMCS/AMCS controlled furnace, autoclave or oven. This unit is ‘display’ only and designed to provide at-a-glance information about the status of the machine (running/idle, temperature, pressure, etc.), alarms and running duration.

REDUCING COSTS AND MEETING COMPLIANCE

There are several key cost benefits to customers by installing the VFE Remote

Monitoring System:

  • No loss of product due to missed alarms or issues
  • No loss of production due to lack of staffing support
  • Non-conforming product minimised
  • Reduced downtime due to running more equipment at once
  • Low-cost solution compared with the value of the product, especially for existing AMCS / FMCS customers
  • Happy customers — recurring business and higher revenue

The VFE Remote Monitoring System is designed to not affect the compliance of any of the equipment it is installed on. We will, of course, install all new hardware and software in line with the governing country’s/company’s legislation and safety requirements, and we will work with our customers’ own IT teams on a case-by-case basis to set up the system in a way that conforms with their internal policies.

Contact us today to request your remote monitoring system. We’ll do the rest. Or download our product sheet for more information.

Download remote monitoring product sheet

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BENEFITS OF THE VFE REMOTE MONITORING SYSTEM

  • Approved supplier — You already know us and our capabilities
  • Higher utilisation of staff — Operators don’t have to sit next to machines
  • Less wastage — Customers can save important cures/cycles
  • Reduce staff levels — Fewer operators/maintenance staff required
  • Security — Provides a secure remote connection to please IT teams
  • Higher product output — More machines can run at once