Teel Plastics, Inc. is utilizing the Kepware IoT Gateway for the KEPServerEX® platform as its Internet of Things (IoT) solution. KEPServerEX provides Teel Plastics with a single source for industrial data—enabling increased productivity and product quality, reduced human errors and downtime, and a scalable IoT strategy.
Teel Plastics’ facility in Baraboo, Wisconsin has ten manufacturing lines that produce a range of products, each requiring customized recipes deployed at different times throughout the day. These recipes include different material inputs, equipment, heating components, and other variables—all of which represent opportunities for human error, downtime, and product flaws. Teel Plastics wanted a solution that would enable operators to monitor and manage all essential production components through a single secure, seamless, and reliable web interface.
After evaluating several IoT offerings and their in-house development capabilities, Teel Plastics found that KEPServerEX was the only solution that could fully address all business aspects, protocols, and standards while also supporting connectivity to a wide range of PLCs (including Allen-Bradley and Siemens).
Since implementing Kepware’s solutions, a Teel Plastics line operator can send a pre-saved recipe with more than 20 parameters from a web interface to the IoT Gateway, which then translates and distributes the instructions to the machines on the line. This enabled Teel Plastics to drastically reduce the risk of human error and decrease setup times by 30 percent.
“By leveraging the power of the IoT on our shop floor, we’ve been able to take something that previously required memorization and 30 to 40 clicks and bring it down to a single click of a button,” said Owen Gwynne, Senior Programmer, Teel Plastics. “Working with the IoT Gateway is seamless. We are also confident that as our recipes evolve, KEPServerEX will be able to take on anything and everything that we throw at it.”
With KEPServerEX, Teel Plastics has also gained greater visibility into the granular details of its manufacturing process. Engineers can now test different variables and make more informed adjustments, which empowers them to increase both output and quality. For example, prior to the IoT Gateway implementation, one line was completing 18 units a minute. That same line is now producing 35 units a minute—nearly doubling its capacity.