GreyconMill is a new-generation, industry specific Manufacturing Execution System (MES) ideal for paper, film and metal manufacturers with either single-site or multi-site operations. It is designed to optimise planning, execution and control your production, streamlining internal operations of the mill whilst providing your company with full traceability.

It eliminates paperwork on the shop floor and provides real-time production updates allowing you to avoid issues as well as react instantly and bring your production back under control where defects have been produced.  It improves shop floor communication, offers customisable reports enabling management to assess production status and performance.

GreyconMill will help you achieve maximum efficiency in materials, equipment and labour. It integrates seamlessly with Process Control and ERP systems. It is fully integrated into the Greycon suite of advanced planning and scheduling solutions including opt-Studio and X-Trim, making Greycon a leading one-stop software provider in mill scheduling, slitting and execution services.

Benefits

  • Enables quick reaction and process flexibility if unplanned events occur during execution, minimising the effect on quality
  • Aligns Planning and Production departments communicating the schedule to the mill and tracking against it with real-time production updates
  • Provides tracking and high visibility of production to improve on-time delivery performance to customers
  • Increases asset utilisation and operation efficiency monitoring business performance metrics, such as OEE, and highlighting bottlenecks and idle times
  • Improves daily practices and workforce collaboration providing common screens across the mill
  • Assists in continuous improvement methods evaluating quality against customisable profiles and tracking defects to classify material automatically
  • Provides visibility of the shop floor real-time to other mill or corporate information systems being the “single source of truth”

Features

GreyconMill includes a complete set of integrated modules to address your entire workflow. Designed specifically for the paper, film and metal industries amalgamating Greycon’s long experience on the field, it requires minimal customisation and can be implemented in less than 16 weeks per site. Key features include:

  • Import trim optimisation and schedule from X-Trim or external applications
  • Built-in trim calculator
  • Manage status of patterns
  • Assign permissions per individual on screens and reports
  • Associate quality profiles for laboratory test targets and limits with grades and basis weights
  • Apply test results from parent to child rolls
  • Statistical process control diagrams for quality management
  • Associate Bill of Materials (BoM) with production orders to track raw material consumption real-time
  • Record and monitor machine stoppages including causes to identify pain points and assist in the Maintenance department
  • Displays for handheld devices to give up to date information to operators working away from terminal stations
  • Create or move patterns around at the slitter to cover for defects
  • Print labels for item identification including barcodes and RFIDs
  • Detailed production and quality history per roll
  • Create pick lists and manage loading of trucks and rail cars
  • Forward shipment and invoicing information to the ERP system to assist shipments from the finished goods warehouse
  • Integrate to Process Control to send work instructions and receive real-time production updates
  • Remotely accessible reports to measure OEE as well as the rest of the required KPIs
  • Advanced analytics to correlate quality issues to measured process parameters
  • Detailed tracking of each roll’s location
  • Inherit defects from parent to child rolls and track the full defect genealogy at the end of the line

GreyconMill - production plan for paper machines and film machines

Why Buy GreyconMill

GreyconMill is designed specifically for the Plastics Film, Metal, Nonwovens and Paper industries bringing together Greycon’s long experience for these manufacturers. It requires minimal customisation. Because it is a packaged solution the risk of a failed implementation is less as well as the time to reap the benefits post go live.

It has been engineered for 24x7 reliability. Based on the SQL Server database and the Windows operating system, we have much experience of connecting to most of modern ERPs (SAP, Dynamics & JD Edwards) as well as Process Control systems using OPC server (or link directly to PLCs) and laboratory, quality control and warehouse management systems.

Functionality Overview

GreyconMill functionality includes:

  • Production planning & execution
  • Traceability and genealogy through all stages, including geometry
  • Unlimited customisable label creation and printing
  • Proven integration with SAP and Microsoft Dynamics ERP
  • Integration with process control equipment
  • Quality information capture and automatic action
  • Bill of Materials (BoM) explosion and consumption tracking
  • Transportation planning of orders and dispatching
  • Warehouse Management
  • Performance and costing analysis and reporting

More information:

Production Planning & Execution

GreyconMill users can review the planned schedule in both a graphical and tabular formats:

GreyconMill - planning campaigns and production campaigns for paper and film

GreyconMill enables monitoring production activity at any station in the shop floor, including Paper Machines, Winders and Cutters among others.

GreyconMill traceability, genealogy and item tracking

Traceability and Genealogy Through All Stages, Including Geometry

GreyconMill innovative architecture allows tracking any converting operation and modelling all processes in the mill easily. This functionality provides assistance in case of a customer claim.

GreyconMill traceability, backward routing and change history

GreyconMill tracks every semi finished and finished goods with complete changes history. A very intuitive diagram shows the genealogy and the information of each production stage.

GreyconMill - traceability and genealogy

Unlimited Customisable Label Creation and Printing

GreyconMill prints labels automatically after each operation, with fully customisable information and layout, including barcode and RFID. It has out of the box support for BarTender®, “The World’s Most Trusted Labelling & Barcode Software”.

Proven Integration With SAP and Microsoft Dynamics ERP

Reference sites demonstrate close integration with the following ERP systems:

  • SAP R/3 / ECCGreyconMill 7GreyconMill 6
  • Microsoft Dynamics
  • BPCS
  • JD Edwards

The SAP integration is advanced, leveraging Greycon’s status as a Software Partner and utilises fully the certified interface to the trim sheets.

GreyconMill ERP integration and SAP integration

Integration With Process Control Equipment

GreyconMill has been designed with an extensible architecture to address the great variety of protocols and devices used in the industry.

Manufacturing Execution System software architecture - GreyconMill

Reference sites demonstrate our large collection of interfaces, including:

  • Paper machine
    - Metso paper machine
  • Plastic extruders for automatic reel registration
    - Gloucester
    - Davis Standard
    - Brampton
    - Kiefel
  • Winders, duplex cutters, weigh scales and wrappers through OPC servers

Quality Information Capture And Automatic Action

GreyconMill can collect values for quality characteristics, either from a real-time interface to process automation / data historian or by user entry.

GreyconMill MES Non conformance / MES Quantity profile / MES Quantity control

Similarly GreyconMill records an arbitrary number of location-specific defects:

GreyconMill MES Quality / MES Defects / MES Quantity Assurance

Both defects and the evaluation of quality values against profile-based requirements can trigger automatic actions like marking items for re-work or further inspection by Quality Assurance.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

The OEE module allows users to query historical data for analysis of machine availability and performance, as well as produced items quality. By default, the overview of a workcentre’s OEE performance is traffic-light colour coded, as a clear visual cue.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) - GreyconMill

Quality Statistical Process Control (SPC)

The SPC module contains three elements:

  • Control Charts
  • Logs
  • Pareto Charts

Control Charts

The control charts view is where the user can setup charts for historical or real-time analysis.

Quality Statistical Process Control (SPC) - GreyconMill

Logs

This allows a user to view the messages or events recorded whenever a warning or alert limit has been broken. Logs are added for each of the charts with the Log field checked. Logs can be searched using the standard grid filter functionality. Logs can be purged by selecting rows and clicking delete.

Logs - Quality Statistical Process Control (SPC) - GreyconMill

Pareto Charts

A Pareto chart is a type of chart that contains both bars and a line graph, where individual values are represented in descending order by bars, and the cumulative value is represented by the line.  The purpose of this is to highlight the most important items amongst a set of factors. GreyconMill uses Pareto charts to highlight the most frequent defects and the most frequent defect causes.

Quality Statistical Process Control (SPC) - Pareto Charts

Machine learning

Machine learning occurs where software algorithms provide computers with the ability to “learn” from data and make predictions, i.e., use data to improve performance on a specific task without being explicitly programmed and without rules-based programming.

Machine learning in Greycon is focused on reducing product defects.

 GreyconMill records production. This includes gathering information about process measurements, such as caliper, pressure, energy consumption, etc. Starting with version 3.4 released in July 2018, GreyconMill now includes a lightweight data historian tool that captures and stores such information.

The collection and storage of all this information presents an obvious opportunity to use machine learning for improving the mill’s performance.

Technology:  SQL Server Machine Learning and R Services

Greycon Historian

The Greycon historian is a lightweight, simple-to-use, modern-technology data historian that utilises the power of SQL Server. It stores its data, for performance reasons, in a separate database from the rest of the Greycon application. Greycon provides HTML-based dashboards to present data from the historian – these are viewable inside GreyconMill.

Historian can help with:

  • diagnostics / troubleshooting
  • regulatory reporting
  • identify improvement opportunities
  • downtime tracking
  • production / cost accounting
  • energy consumption

Historian can:

  • connect to any data source
  • add new connections and tags easily
  • store vast quantities of data
  • query data quickly
  • create new charts to monitor signal values easily

Technology:  SQL Server and MiddleTier

Performance

  • Maximum signal throughput 1900 per second
  • At 1000 signals per second, we expect Historian to consume ~7GB of space per day.  2.5TB per year.

Installed in a typical plant, Historian could be expected to use the following amount of disk space:

Machine type No. of signals Rate (ms) Total per day Expected storage
Board machines 60 1000 5,184,000 500 MB
Winders 20 1000 1,728,000 167 MB
Sheeters 20 1000 1,728,000 167 MB
Wrappers / Weight scales 0 0 0 0

 

The Machine Learning profile configuration screen within the Historian Web GUI

The machine-learning Profile configuration screen within the Historian Web GUI.  Here you can set

  • the type of machine learning algorithm to use
  • which production machine to monitor
  • what machine learning will monitor
  • the date the algorithm was last trained
  • how often the machine learning algorithm will analyse the incoming signals
  • how often the machine learning algorithm will be retrained
  • how much of the data the algorithm will use for training and validation
  • the threshold probability the machine learning algorithm will use for raising alarms to the operators
  • the signals used by the machine learning algorithm and the relevance the machine learning algorithm thinks each has to the output value

Production screen within GreyconMill showing an alarm being raised by the Machine Learning algorithm

The production screen within GreyconMill.  This shows an alarm raised by the machine-learning algorithm.

Dashboard opened within GreyconMill showing the signals being monitored by the Machine Learning algorithm.

Dashboard opened within GreyconMill showing the signals monitored by the machine-learning algorithm.  This should give the operator an idea of what is wrong.

BoM Explosion And Consumption Tracking

GreyconMill can download the bills of material from the scheduling system. Each operation may have multiple bills of material (e.g. one can be used for the pulp mix and another for the colour):

GreyconMill Bill of Materials and material consumption

Material consumption is recorded as each task is executed.

Transportation Planning of Orders and Despatching

GreyconMill plans the transportation of orders based on preset routes.

The functionality includes:

  • Different loading, transportation and delivery calendars can be assigned to each route.
  • Users can check the calculated plan is correct and let GreyconMill do the planning according to set rules.
  • Alerts when orders are late compared with their planned dispatch date.
  • Document creation for the transportation of each order (e.g. pick lists)

Warehouse Management

All material is track and the position recorded to allow operators (for example, fork lift drivers) to know what material to pick up and where to leave it, regardless of its location, for example: in front of a converting operation, in a warehouse or on a vehicle leaving the plant.

GreyconMill supports a hierarchy of site, warehouse and sub locations. In presence of third-party warehouse managing solutions or automated warehouses, GreyconMill can interface with them.

GreyconMill supports the grouping of items, e.g. a pallet on which different items are placed. A container can be moved as a single entity rather than as individual items.

Performance, Costing Analysis And Reporting

  • All machines have events recorded (input, output, shuts, breaks, start-ups, etc).
  • Reason codes and comments can be left by the operators/shift foreman before leaving the shift.
  • Production and efficiency reporting per machine, shift, product, substance among others.
  • Production is compared to ideal production for machine reporting.
  • GreyconMill recipes are used to calculate production costs.

GreyconMill users can easily create reports using Crystal Reports or Microsoft Reporting Services. There are a number of standard reports and these can be changed to address specific needs.

Shift Management

  • Shift management includes:
  • A Shift Calendar which allows for the input of the planned teams for the foreseeable future and records the actual teams per shift, including the personnel involved in production activities
  • Allows for the setup of teams, consisting of a supervisor and operators
  • Records Operator skills, and allows assignment to machines based on skills
  • Allows operators to enter notes to the shift report and has a specific area for leaving instructions for the next shift.  These are easily accessible from the production screens
  • It will be possible to search on, read and print shift reports

This functionality enables operators to electronically document activity records to streamline shift changes, drive operator action, and accelerate decision-making.

Shift management - GreyconMill

 

GreyconMill - Greycon