PROFINET in the Chinese car industry
One of PROCENTEC’s important customers in the car industry was experiencing problems with the diagnostics of its network when strange curves and notifications appeared on the Netilities Dashboard. Two of our experts went to China to offer support.
Surely that couldn’t be right? In the meanwhile, the production line with cars in various stages of assembly continued to operate; for them, downtime is not an option.
Dirk Daniëls, R&D engineer and Support manager Elmer Vis were approached for advice. During the preparations for their visit, the Netilities software was closely analyzed and improved where necessary, after which they set off for the Korean car factory in China. Or rather, to the latest factory in the group of three enormous factories located there, for a visit to the paintshop and the bodyshop.
In Yan Cheng there are two styles of construction: high-rise and non-high-rise. In the latter case, the buildings occupy a vast surface area. An enormous factory complex could be seen rising up from somewhere on one of these open spaces, and that was where our engineers needed to be. Fortunately Mr Choi and Mr Park were at hand to lead them through the complex to the right business units. They knew the men already from an earlier visit to Korea and also because they have been satisfied customers for years.
On many other production lines at other locations spread over different countries, they use PROFIBUS with ComBricks monitoring all the lines 24/7. Any malfunction is directly passed on to the control room by the ComBricks network condition indicator (simple traffic lights). This brand new factory operates on PROFINET, so other diagnostic tools had to be used.
While in the factory, it looks fantastic: the cars passing by in neat configurations, assisted by an advanced conveyor. During every phase of the process, something is attached to the car by human hands or a robot arm. You really have to watch your step.
The problem and the remarkable solution
Dirk carries out an initial test on the first production line using Netilities and an excellent report comes rolling out. On to the next test at another production line; nothing wrong here, either. Then a test on the customer’s laptop: strange signals and malfunctions appear. Dirk is busy all afternoon eliminating every possible cause and finally the conclusion is reached: the PROFINET network is generating so much data that the controller (CPU) and the Ethernet port on the customer’s outdated laptop are unable to handle it. The simple solution in this case is to acquire a new laptop with Intel 7 and a good Ethernet port, so that all the capabilities of Netilities can be used to their full potential.
There was one remaining problem: every line was measured separately. In such a large factory that’s a significant amount of manual work. Moreover, the status of your network is not quickly and conveniently available, and that would be ideal when prompt intervention is called for. So customized Netilities is certainly worth considering.
Can we help you?
In this situation, the cause turned out to be an outdated laptop. Are you wondering now if your computers or laptops are still up-to-date, or do you have other questions about the compatibility of PROCENTEC products? Please feel free to contact us. We know our products through and through and we are very happy to help you out.