manufacturingtechnologyinsights

RTS Consulting-Automation: Shop Floor to Top Floor MES for the Digital Manufacturing Enterprise

CIO VendorVic Briccardi, President and CEO
“It’s all about the ‘Digital Enterprise’ these days,” says Vic Briccardi, President and CEO, RTS Consulting- Automation. “Founded in 1992, we started our journey providing shop floor electrical control system engineering services to automate discrete and process manufacturing applications.” In 2007, RTS became an SAP Partner (and Co-Innovation Partner) specializing in manufacturing execution systems (MES).

The “Digital Enterprise” transformation today is fostered by various technologies bridging the IT/OT landscape from IOT, Big Data, and Analytics along with Digital Twining. In a truly digital manufacturing world, a typical shop floor is inundated with the influx of data, in a myriad of formats, generated by multifarious devices and equipment. For these manufacturing enterprises, there is significant value in unlocking hidden functionality from the data. The lack of an MES system to provide immediate and accurate prescriptive actionable intelligence can take a huge toll on productivity, pushing shop floors into operational instability. “This is where our ability to collect shop floor data directly from PLCs, SCADA systems, historians, and all shop floor assets is making a breakthrough for manufacturers,” notes Briccardi. To that end, RTS has developed eZconnect—a patent-pending software solution innovation that delivers a standardized, easily supportable data messaging format for all shop floor assets.

“The eZconnect solution provides a one-time asset deployment feature that enables access to all production data parameters,” explains Briccardi. With eZconnect, RTS’s customers gain unlimited access to production data enabling minimal, or no operator data entry requirements. In the golden age of the digital universe, RTS’s eZconnect allows full play of technologies such as big data, analytics, and digital twining that are making their steadfast presence felt across the industry.

eZconnect is a patent pending software solution innovation that delivers a standardized data messaging format for all shop floor assets


“IoT is also making shop-floor monitoring less expensive with easy access to data,” states Briccardi. In a similar vein, storage costs are also continuously falling, facilitating inexpensive storage of large amounts of data. “The insights derived from such datasets can be a gold mine of operational and manufacturing process improvements bound to minimize downtime and enhance productivity. Finally, digital twining, which replaces physical manufacturing models with virtual structures will be the winning wager for higher reliability and optimum performance,” affirms Briccardi.

In times of such rapid transformation, RTS’s approach toward MES for the most part, begins with aligning business goals with shop floor actionable intelligence. “We start with the executive question of ‘what determines if a plant is successful or not?’” points out Briccardi. From there, the crucial overall plant performance KPIs are broken down to area/ department specific metrics and targets which are presented in real time to the shop floor.

RTS has also developed Andon display software for plant or manufacturing area performance visualization, which provides an intelligent and dynamic annunciation tool with multiple layers of prioritized announcements, depending on production impact. “With the visibility of granular production data, only when needed, our client had increased yields and optimized operator engagement with their production cells,” adds Briccardi. To top it off, RTS has deployed an Andon dashboard that provides management with visibility to plant performance and shop floors across the globe.

“From refining uranium to making cookies, the RTS team has covered the ground of industry experience in the manufacturing sector,” delineates Briccardi. With vested interest in current, game-changing technologies such as IOT, Big Data/Analytics and Digital Twinning, RTS is well positioned to help manufacturers embrace the Digital Enterprise, through its robust manufacturing solutions and services.