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Newsletter >> November 2014 >> Case Study - PlantConnect RAMS

 PlantConnect RAMS - Case Study


PlantConnect RAMS is a powerful solution for monitoring of performance and health of capital equipment and machines installed with various clients. Data so acquired enables the equipment manufacturers to provide value added inputs well in time, take of preventive maintenance and trouble short problems at early stage. The solution is proven and working with many clients.

A leading OEM of fully automatic exercise book machine, cut size sheeter, reel to sheet ruling, and other machines wanted to strengthen its market position by offering an online monitoring solution that would enable it to provide better maintenance and support services to its customers (continuously increasing) spread across geographies in India and abroad. The company was looking for a suitable and proven solution for their business case.

Business Objectives - planned

The company top management had specified following as the most important deliverables and business objectives for the solution

  1. Offer remote monitoring capability for increasing up time as a USP and increase competitive advantage over competitors
  2. Acquire data in real time from machines installed at customer sites across locations and archive data for analysis and reporting
  3. Enable preventive and proactive maintenance tasks so as to increase uptime and prevent unplanned break downs
  4. Support and enable remote diagnosis of problems when reported and provide inputs and advice to clients with a view to get machines back in operations in shortest possible time
  5. Reduce overall costs for maintenance and support
  6. Analyze data and fault reports as inputs for R & D for improving next generation of machines


The company was using a remote desk top solution to connect to each machine and see the operations. However, the obvious shortages like requirement of one system per machine, lack of aggregation, heavy costs of operations, etc. were becoming a hindrance as the number of machines to be monitored were increasing.

PlantConnect RAMS from Ascent Informatics was seen as the perfect fit solution that had the capability of delivering all the objectives laid down and more. PlantConnect has been implemented in many similar scenarios and clients are using the capabilities to fullest. PlantConnect has required features like acquiring data from machines, and providing intelligence on the collected data through analytics and reporting. Additional capabilities can be added as required by client’s domain knowledge in terms or specific reports, alerts and visualization.

Selection of system by client

Based on the project objectives and technical discussions, the client evaluated and selected PlantConnect RAMS as the most appropriate solution for its requirement. Main reasons for this selection were:

  1. PlantConnect DAS (Data Acquisition System) module can be embedded on the machine, thus eliminating the requirement of separate PC/hardware
  2. PlantConnect has strong analytical and reporting features as required by the client
  3. PlantConnect has strong server component to handle large data load
  4. PlantConnect is customizable to implement the specific requirements of the client

Deployment Schematic

Technical details of project and installation

The machines have an embedded card installed in each machine. This card runs a Windows OS. PlantConnect DAS is installed on this card, and using the Modbus TCP communication driver, data is acquired from each machine. Each machine is connected to a central server in the operations center of the company over internet.

Current status of the project

The client has connected more than fifteen (15) existing customer sites. Every new machine shipped will have PlantConnect pre-installed on it. The management and especially the maintenance team are extremely happy with system performance and features. The system, especially the alarms and reporting features are used extensively.

Business Objectives - achieved

Client has been able to achieve large number of benefits within a month of operationalization if the solution. The following benefits were achieved:

  1. Continuous monitoring: Able to monitor important machine parameters 24 x 7
  2. Alarms: Able to define alarms to monitor situations like motor temperature, paper stuck, lubrication not completed, etc.
  3. Maintenance: Able to schedule maintenance based on machine running hours, and periodic maintenance
  4. Reports: Customized reports like production report, machine on-off report, email summary, etc. These reports greatly improved their support activity and decision making.
  5. Widgets: Machine parameter widgets made crucial information available at a single place enabling quick analysis and action for online support

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