The specific objective of the OMI Cell Controller System is the development of a generic shopfloor information and control system providing an integrated approach to information management at all levels of manufacturing from machine through to Material and Resources Planning. The starting point of the project is an existing system based on proprietary hardware software and in use in discrete manufacturing processes. The project introduces open and standardised hardware/software based on OMI technologies, thereby creating an open system, and extends the system's applicability to continuous manufacturing processes. Focus hereby is upon development of a low-cost intelligent controller device for use in industrial environments.
At the heart of the controller device is a high-performance, low-power, single board computer with an Ethernet interface, serial interfaces, A/D and D/A converters and DIO interfaces. This computer couples a standard ARM processor with an OMI macrocell based ASIC for management of the interfaces. A realtime UNIX-based OMI embedded operating system runs on the ARM processor. The computer, installed in a sealed and ruggedised box, is well suited to a wide range of industrial environments.
The application scenario at the heart of the project is the use of the controller device for near-infra-red analysis of foodstuffs. The device, coupled with an appropriate probe, provides a solution costing at most 25% of that for comparable current day devices.
The outputs of the controller device are inline measurements of process parameters such as fat and protein levels in inputs, outputs and intermediate products. These measurements are inputs to the data and information handling where they are utilised to reduce the time and resources required for production runs, as tuning factors in production scheduling and for post-production analyses. For the end-user this results in increased productivity, reduced resource utilisation, and improved quality of end-product.
The initial target market for the OMICELL development is food and beverage manufacturers, in particular manufacturers of intermediate milk based products. Ongoing rationalisation, accompanied by ever more rigorous regulations for providing traceability from finished product to the utilised raw materials and production processes, make shopfloor information management ever more important to these sectors. Beyond this initial market the potential extends to all manner of food and beverage manufacturer, to the petrochemical industry and to the pharmaceutical industry.
Start date: December 1995
End date: December 1997
PdV Unternehmensberatung (Germany)
Kerry Ingredients (Ireland)