Alerts & Reports

Check to make sure each recipient email/phone number is separated by a comma.

For text recipients, make sure you have included the recipient’s country code prefix before their phone number – no spaces or non-numerical characters.
If you wanted to add a number in Switzerland, for example, you would need to pre-pend the country code for Switzerland (+41), so if a Swiss cell phone was 79-xxx-xx-xx, you would enter that as 4179xxxxxxx.
Note: Text messaging charges may apply.

See Viewing, Sharing, & Saving Reports for more details on report sharing.

You can configure the system to send out an Email or Text message when a connection has been off for more than X number of minutes.

In the Remote Service Platform, navigate to the Admin -> Networks page, and select the bell icon  under the Configure column to open the Alerts page.

On the Alerts page you can configure when the first alerts gets sent, if/when additional alerts are sent, max number of alerts to send (up to 60), and if a resolution email get sent.

For more information on alerts and alert setup, click here.

Ei3 provides various alerts in the Remote Service Platform, and in the Customer Portal. Alerts are available in the Customer Portal for Remote Monitoring, Downtime Tracking (if said products are active on the selected machine), and in the Remote Service Platform for network and machine connectivity. Each alert page has an Options field which lets you specify the alert conditions such as frequency, duration between, and max number of alerts. The fields are shown and explained below:

First alert after: Whether the alert is for an Amphion coming online or going offline, for remote monitoring data, or for downtime tracking, an alert can be configured to be sent out after a certain duration from the initial time of occurrence.
The number in this text field matches exactly how many minutes after the alert condition is met that the alert will be sent to the recipients. If this field is set to zero, the alert will be sent out immediately (at the time of alert condition occurrence). If set to 10, for example, the alert will be sent 10 minutes from the initial alert occurrence, and will only be sent if the alert condition remains in that state for the complete 10 minutes.

Next alert every: The number in this field will set the alert to be re-sent after a certain amount of time. If the number here is 15, for instance, another alert will be sent after 15 minutes from the first one, if the alert conditions are still met.

Note: The number in this field must be set to a number greater than zero. If this field is set to zero, you will not get alerts.

Max number of alerts: This field allows you to limit the number of alerts which are sent out, after the first, assuming alert conditions are still met. For example, if this field was set to 1, and an alert was sent out, another alert would be sent to the recipients later (based on the time period set in the Next alert every field). If the condition remained for additional time, the alert would not be sent because of the specified max number of alerts being set to 1.

You can think of this field as being titled Max number of additional alerts as it is only counting the alerts being sent out after the first alert.

You can read more about setting up alerts in these articles:

Downtime Alerts

Remote Monitoring Alerts

How to set up an alert to notify you when your machine data is missing

Amphion

Yes, it is possible to assign your own IP to a black box. Doing so can cause issues with data collection however, and we may need to assist you in this process. Contact us for guidance with this process in order to ensure that data collection continues unhindered.

If you’re using OPCUA the reset process can be done easily through the Customer Portal, from Admin Tools > Machines. Please see this guide for details on restarting a data collection job.

There are a few places where you can find your Amphion’s current firmware version:

  • From either the Customer Portal under the Remote Service tab (requires active Remote Service product), or from the Remote Service Platform:1. Go to the Machines tab, and search for the machine or network you’re looking for.
    2. Start a remote service session and click the Preview Machine icon .
    3. Navigate to the Settings tab.
    The Amphion model and firmware information is displayed on this page.
  • In the Remote Service platform, go to Network or Machines, and click Edit  (in the Action column).

The model and software version of the Amphion will be displayed.

It is mandatory that you configure the FTP server of any device in Passive mode and with the dedicated TCP port 3001 to 3004.  Any device on a machine that runs an FTP server needs to be reachable using the Remote Service application and has to be configured to use passive mode FTP with the dedicated TCP ports 3001-3004 used for passive FTP data transfer.
This is also the case for any machine device that runs an FTP server that needs to be reached from the SFLAN or the customer’s LAN.

API Access

If API Access is enabled for your machine, the API call information can be found in Tools > API Access. Click on the desired function you’d like to obtain an API key for, and check the Example Usage area for sample usage of API calls.

A complete list of API calls available in ei3 can be found here.

You can find a user’s API key under Admin Tools -> Users. Click the edit  icon  in front of a user account. You can find the associated API Key# at the bottom of the user edit page.
Similarly, when creating a new user account, you can find the new account’s unique API Key# at the bottom of the user creation page.

API keys are also listed under Tools > API Access. Here, sample API usage for specific API calls are also listed. Read more about it here.

In short, an application programming interface (API) is a particular set of rules and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other. It serves as an interface between different software programs and facilitates their interaction, similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers.

Practically speaking, this allows for customers to create customized data dashboards and andon displays as needed using ei3’s secure API calling system. Using the ei3’s Customer Portal as an example, a user can create API calls to request specific data (machine speed for example) from ei3’s data collection servers. When the correct ‘key’ is provided (as per a user’s unique API access key) the server ‘unlocks’ the requested information and sends it along to the end user as requested.

A coded  API ‘key’ can open a virtual door for the ei3 API to provide allowed information to the end user.  It’s actually a long set of numbers and letters that keeps information secure.  But anyone with valid ei3 API key can retrieve the information they have permissions for.  For convenience, all users can create their own API keys for permitted machines.

Users who create API keys should be aware that their keys will only work as long as their user account is enabled.  For a more permanent key, it is possible to create a system key, something that can only be done by administrators.

For more information on API keys and access, see this article.

API (application programming interface) allows websites to grab data from databases and display it in another place, such as another website or an ERP/MES system. This can be used in several ways, publicly or privately. With the right setup, ei3’s API tools allow you to easily display machine information onto displays across your factory floor.

Public-facing API calls are like open doors: an information request comes in, and the requested information goes straight out.

Examples of public-facing API include:

  • Map information on websites to display location or directions. ei3 uses Google Maps API to show office locations.
  • Microsoft Windows API allows users to develop desktop and server applications that run successfully on all versions of Windows.

APIs can also be set up privately and securely. Instead of providing an open door like in the examples above, an API request may require a ‘key’ in order to obtain access to the requested information. If the key does not match, the API call is denied, and the information does not go through.

ei3 uses a private API to create secure user-specific access for your machine data. ei3 provides its customers unique API keys to use.  When a query is made using that specific API key, then that key opens the door.

Any good API has a documentation to provide users information on how to use it, and what functions it can perform. You can see ei3’s documentation on the API page, under the Tools tab. See more information here.

To understand more about API, where to find API keys, and how it can be used on the factory floor to display important machine information, see this article.

Some of ei3’s API calls refer to certain machine productivity status numbers.

The status code numbers refer to the following machine states:

Status code

If the most recent process data in ei3 is current (up to 5 minutes old or less), and the machine’s linespeed is greater than the machine’s set minimum production speed, the API call will set the status value equal to 2 . This signifies that the machine is running / up (at production speed).


If the most recent process data in ei3 is current (up to 5 minutes old or less), and the machine’s linespeed is less than the machine’s set minimum production speed, the API call will set the status value equal to 1. This signifies that the machine is running / up (not at production speed).

In all other cases, the value for this call will set the machine status value equal to 0, signifying that the machine is not running / down.

Data Collection

You will need to reset data collection in order to reconfigure/add datapoints or variables to a data collection job. (This includes changing data points, a read address, tags, etc).

Changing a tag description will not require a data collection restart.

In most cases, you will need to contact us in order to successfully reconfigure/reset a data collection job.

 

If you’re using OPCUA, it is possible to reset your previous data collection job and restart again with the new data points or tags.

Please refer to this guide for details on restarting a data collection job.

 

If you’re using a non-OPCUA configuration, please contact us for assistance with reconfiguring or restarting data collection.

From the Customer Portal, go to Remote Monitoring > Snapshot (page should load upon selection).

Here a complete list of machine data points is provided, along with the last collected values for each.

At the top of the list a timestamp is displayed showing the last time data was collected successfully.

This is a good way to check if machine data has been collecting successfully, and can be refreshed using the  icon.

 

If you’re having issues with data collection, please contact us for assistance.

A gap in data can occur when a machine cannot connect to the Internet, so its data cannot get to ei3.

Causes of data loss

Data loss can occur for a variety of reasons. These can be, but are not limited to:

  • Machine or other connected devices are powered off.
  • A loss of internet connection or disruption in internet service.
  • A firewall prevents connection to ei3.
  • A faulty Ethernet cable or switch.
  • Wrong red box on machine, unmatched green and red box project #s, or swapped red boxes.
  • Wrong IP address or network information put in green or red box.

Checking for Data Loss

There are a few ways to check if you have a gap in data for a machine.

  • Go to the Remote Monitoring page and check the machine’s Snapshot. This displays the last time data was successfully collected from the machine.
  • Generate a report. From the Reports menu, generate a Data Collection and Connectivity Status Report based on your preferences to check for missing data on your machine(s).
  • Go to the Remote Monitoring > Admin page for Alerts and set up a Missing Data Alert. For information on configuring such an alert, see here.
For further help with data gaps and connectivity issues, refer to the data gap diagnostic flowchart or contact e-services@ei3.com

 

 

 

Data Points

To change the data you’re getting from your machine, you will need to configure the data points you’re gathering data from. Some users may have the ability to change these points themselves. See this article for information on changing data points.

If you can’t access these functions or are not sure how to proceed, contact us for assistance with changes to your machine data points.

Downtime Tracking

Your machine may have the Downtime Tracking application enabled, but you may be struggling to get the page to load.

If you’re seeing this error page, try the following steps:

 

  1. Log out and log back in again.Sometimes, especially if the page has been open for a long time with no user activity, there may be a session timeout where the user is automatically logged out. Try opening/closing your browser and logging out, then logging back in, or refreshing the web page.
  2. Set up a shift schedule
    Without a shift schedule defined, the Downtime Tracking application will not be able to determine a ‘previous shift’ or ‘current shift’ – crucial aspects of the Downtime Tracking process. If a shift schedule is not defined the page will not be able to properly display its contents. Once a shift schedule has been created and applied to the machine, the Downtime Tracking application should work normally.For details on setting up and applying a shift schedule to a machine, see:
    Creating a shift schedule
    Applying a shift schedule to a machine
  3. Sometimes a user may have access to machines at multiple locations – some machines with downtime tracking and some without.  The user will see Downtime Tracking as a menu item, but if they click on it while accessing a machine without downtime enabled it will produce an error message.  To fix this, the user must go to the Dashboard tab and select a machine with downtime tracking configured, then navigate back to the Downtime Tracking application in order to view it normally.

General

Several search results list tables in the system, including the Users/User Groups, or Machine Data Points, will load a page with an empty table of search results displayed by default.

Most tables with a list of search results can be searched by any column (i.e. Name, Location, Description, Enabled, etc) to display those items.

To show all search results, enter * in the search bar.

If you’re still having issues seeing data, contact us.

A manufacturing execution system (MES) is any computerized system used to track the process of raw materials to a final product. These systems range in variety, purpose, and functionality, and can be used to track anything from product waste, OEE, scheduling and resource management, product life cycles, and more.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to any business management software which are used to collect, store, share, or otherwise better understand data from business-related activities. In many cases, ERP systems will display optimal and relevant information for machines, efficiency, and job information.

The most important function of an ERP or MES system is how it enables visual data analysis in real time, and provides effective diagnostics, which can lead to process improvement over time.

Across ei3’s web applications and products, the red  and green  status icons are used to indicate the current status of various items.

In general, these status symbols follow the following rules:

  • A red  status symbol means off, disabled, or inactive.
  • A green  status symbol means on, enabled, or active.
  • In some cases, a grey status icon  may appear – this can either mean inactive, invalid, or null.

Status icons are important on web pages such as the Remote Service page, which displays a list of your factory’s machines and their current status.

The status indicator lights in the various columns have slightly different meanings.

Remote Service – Contract Status

 – Remote Service is active on this machine.

 – Remote Service is not active.

 – The machine’s Remote Service contract is expiring in the next 90 days.

Note: You may notice that ei3 only processes machine deactivations once per day.  A machine expired on January 15 would be included in the product deactivation job for January 16 which has not run yet. This is done so as to ensure that access to the machine is not removed too early.

 – Remote Service has never been active on this machine.

Mousing over an icon will show the expiration date of the Remote Service application. If it has already expired, the hover text will show the date it expired.

Network Status

 – The network is online and connected. The green box is accessible (pingable) and currently transmitting data to ei3.

 – The network is offline and not accessible. This means that all red boxes on the network are also not accessible at this time.

Mousing over an icon will show how long the network connection status has been in its current state (Connection OK or Connection Failed).

Machine Status

 – The red box on the machine is online and accessible.

 – The red box on the machine is not accessible at this time. Common causes for this include an offline green box, or a faulty cable connection to the box.

Mousing over an icon will show how long the connection status to the red box has been in its current state (Connection OK or Connection Failed).

Devices

Clicking in to Preview Machine using the  icon allows a user to view the individual machine devices (from the Devices page).

The top of the page displays whether the network or machine are accessible (matches the statuses shown from the main Remote Service page).

Each device on the machine is listed, with a status icon  or  to indicate if the device is accessible.

The minimum recommended browser versions for using ei3  are:
  • Google Chrome v40 and up
  • Mozilla Firefox v44 and up
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer v11 and up
  • Microsoft Edge v12 and up
  • Opera v43 and up

If you are trying to use some other browser, contact e-services to check your browser compatibility with our web applications.

See also: Minimum system requirements for ei3

Using the Customer Portal and other web applications on ei3 requires that the client computer have at least the following characteristics:

  • Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows Vista, Windows 7 or higher
  • Attached graphics display capable of 1024 by 768 or higher resolution
  • 300 MB free disk space
  • 512 MB of memory, minimum, though 1 GB is preferred
  • 1 Ghz CPU
  • Internet connection (Cable, DSL or better)

See also: Web browsers supported by ei3

Machines

You may need to create or assign downtime codes. Typically, you will need to start by creating downtime categories and codes, then managing and assigning codes to individual machines.
You can change specific machine information from the Admin Tools page. Click here for more information.
You can change specific machine information from the Admin Tools page. Click here for more information.
Any machine stop will normally trigger a downtime event. Those downtime events that are not either manually or automatically assigned to a downtime code will be considered an unassigned downtime event and will negatively impact the machine’s availability.
A machine is considered Stopped (or down) when its speed falls below its set Minimum Production Speed. This terminology is irrespective of downtime tracking or downtime events.
Caution: Change of machine maximum or minimum speed will impact OEE values from this time forward

You can change specific machine information from the Admin Tools page. Click here for more information.

You can check your machine connection status from the  Remote Service > Machines page in the Customer Portal, or from the Machines page in the Remote Service Platform.

The status box indicators will show whether the machine is currently on or offline, and mousing over a box will display the duration of the current status.

 

When setting up a machine shift schedule, an option provided is the Day Start Offset. This is used in cases where a shift might start the day before on the first day of the week (in a shift schedule configured to start on Mondays, a 6-hour shift starting at 23:00 on Sunday night and stretching to 05:00 of the next day would use the day start offset).

Day offset = 0 is the standard and used for most schedules.   Its used when the first shift of the day is the same day as the first day of the week.   An example would be first shift starting at 7:00 on Monday.

Day offset = -1 when the first shift of the week falls outside of the first day of the week.   This is used for schedules where the customer works Monday to Friday, but the first shift of the week occurs at 23:00 Sunday night.   This tells the system to look back at the previous day to grab the first shift of the week.

Networks

There are a couple ways to find your network information:

  • From either the Customer Portal under the Remote Service tab (requires active Remote Service product), or from the Remote Service Platform:1. Go to the Machines tab, and search for the machine or network you’re looking for.
    2. Start a remote service session and click the Preview Machine icon .
    3. Navigate to the Settings tab.
    Network information is displayed on this page.
  • From the Remote Service platform:1. Go to Admin > Networks.
    2. Search for the desired network, and click Edit  (in the Actions column).
    3. The shop floor network information will be displayed.
    This includes details such as the Shop Floor LAN (Gateway, Subnet Mask, and Subnet IDs), Proxy/DNS information, and Tunnel IPs for Asia, Europe, and US.

Modern firewalls are capable of doing inspection of the packet contents for portions of https traffic flow. This ability falls into the category of Intrusion Detection or Intrusion Prevention (IDS/IPS) services. This can be important when a Green or Black box Amphion fails to make a connection with its VPN servers and is an unintended consequence of these advanced firewall capabilities. Following is a brief explanation of what happens and how to make a change to the firewall rules to allow the connection.

Our devices use the well known open-VPN protocol over https/SSL (secure web-browsing) to connect to our servers. Since the connection set up for an SSL connection exchanges cipher suite and SSL certificate information in clear-text, an advanced firewall can examine this stream of data. Depending on the content in the firewall IDS/IPS ruleset, the firewall might erroneously decide that the traffic between the Amphion and its VPN servers is flawed and thus interrupts the connection. By doing so, the Remote Service VPN is never established.

The fix for this is simple. The address of the Amphion needs to be added to the firewall’s white-list of exceptions for IDS/IPS inspection. By doing this, the traffic from the Amphion to its VPN servers will not be blocked and the VPNs can be established.

Performance & Downtime

A Performance value above 100% occurs when the calculated average speed of the machine is above the maximum speed entered in the machine data page.

If the maximum speed is correct,  check to make sure that the average speed being calculated by the system is correct.  The average speed is computed by dividing the total units of production by the Machine Operating Time (MO) of the machine.
(Average Speed = Total Units/MO)

Whenever the machine is in a down state, a downtime event is automatically created in the system.  Further, if a downtime code is assigned to the period, whether manually or automatically, the “type” of downtime code that is assigned can influence the calculation of OEE for that period of time.

  • If the resulting downtime period is not assigned, it is categorized as “Unassigned”, it is treated as Unplanned Downtime, and the Machine Operating Time is reduced, causing Availability to be reduced.
Note: When the Downtime Tracking application is not active for the machine, then this is the only type of downtime possible.
  • If the resulting downtime period is assigned with a downtime type of “Scheduled”, then it is defined as Scheduled Downtime, and both the Machine Operating Time and Plant Operating Time are reduced by the amount of time of the downtime period. This is consistent with OEE industry standards, in which Scheduled Downtime is not considered in the evaluation of OEE. If the downtime type is changed to “Scheduled” by manual re-assignment from any other type, then OEE components are affected accordingly.  Please refer to the Downtime Transition Matrix below.
  • If the resulting downtime period is assigned with a downtime type of “Planned”, it is defined as Planned Downtime, and both the Machine Operating Time and Planned Production Time are reduced by the amount of time of the downtime period. In the cases when the downtime type for this period was previously either unassigned or assigned as the “Unplanned” type, then Machine Operating Time and Availability remain unchanged because the downtime is still considered an Availability Loss. If the downtime type is changed to “Planned” by manual re-assignment from either “Scheduled” or “Performance”, then OEE components are affected accordingly.  Please refer to the Downtime Transition Matrix below.
  • If the resulting downtime period is categorized with a downtime type of “Performance”, then it is defined as Performance Loss, and the machine’s Average Speed is reduced causing the Performance component of OEE to be reduced.  If this assignment was for a period that was previously assigned to a different type, or unassigned, then the Machine Operating Time would be increased by the same amount of time, and OEE components are affected according accordingly. .  Please refer to the Downtime Transition Matrix below.
  • If the resulting downtime period is assigned with a downtime type of “Unplanned”, then it is defined as Unplanned Downtime, and the Machine Operating Time is reduced causing Availability to be reduced. In the cases when the downtime type for this period was either previously unassigned or assigned as the “Planned” downtime type, then the Machine Operating Time and Availability remain unchanged because the downtime period is still considered an Availability Loss. If the Downtime Type is changed to “Unplanned” by manual re-assignment from either “Scheduled” or “Performance”, then OEE components are affected accordingly.
The maximum duration of a continuous downtime event is 30 days. ei3 will automatically end a downtime event when its duration reaches 30 days, and then begin a new downtime event.
Machine downtimes are evaluated by the ei3 servers once every five (5) minutes. During each evaluation, the state of the machine is determined for each of the preceding data collection intervals.

  • A machine is determined to be down whenever its speed falls below Minimum Production Speed. A machine is determined to be running whenever its speed is at or above Minimum Production Speed.
  • A new downtime event is created whenever one of the following transitional states is detected:
    • A machine transitions from running to down without a machine downtime code observed. The downtime event created will be of type “Unplanned”.
    • A machine transitions from running to down with a machine downtime code observed. The downtime event created will be defined by the downtime code observed.
    • A machine remains down but with a different downtime code observed. The downtime event created will be defined by the new code observed.
    • A machine remains down and enters a No Production Shift or a machine transitions from running to down during a No Production Shift. The downtime event created will be of type “Scheduled”.  Note: Any observed machine downtime code will be disregarded and the machine schedule will override the machine’s downtime code.
    • A machine remains down and exits a No Production Shift. The downtime event created will be of type “Unplanned”.
  • Any downtime event is ended whenever one of the following transitional states is detected:
    • A machine transitions from down to running.
    • A machine remains down but provides a different downtime code.
    • A machine remains down and either enters or exits a No Production Shift.

Note: If a downtime event starts as type “Unassigned” for some period of time, and then a specific machine downtime code (i.e. “XYZ”) is observed, then the prior period of the “Unassigned” downtime will be assigned the code “XYZ”. In addition, if a downtime code is assigned by a user during the period the machine is down, that assignment will be applied to the entire downtime event.

Machine waste is calculated by three main factors: Good Material, Bad Material, and Total Material.

Total Material is a measure of all (total) material entering the machine from its input side.

Good Material is calculated by taking the machine’s total material output.

Bad Material is determined by taking machine Total Material and subtracting from the number the machine Good Material (produced). Whatever is left is equal to the amount of waste (Bad) material that has been produced by the machine.

In order to best calculate these values, we must rely on sensors placed strategically along the machine feed to count both machine input and output. Using the sensor data, we can easily determine the amount of in-feed, out-feed, and waste material for a given machine.

A machine with well-placed material count sensors allows for the best computation of OEE and waste material produced by a machine.

Waste = input – output

In order to collect the data, we need only two of the three measurements: the third can be derived from the other two.

Here are three common scenarios:

  1. Only total material is counted – there is no Good/Bad Material count.
  2. Both Total & Good Material are counted – Bad Material equals Total – Good Material.
  3. Total & Bad Material are counted – Good Material is equal to Total – Bad Material.
We highly recommend counting good material, as this measures the total output of your machine.
Also note that not having either Good or Bad material means the OEE values will not be able to compute or include any Quality components for your machine, as this requires at least one of the two points to be known.

 

By definition, OEE is based around total material output from a given machine. While OEE calculations can be set up to be unique per machine, anything which is not set to the standard for OEE calculations can cause trouble – ei3 does not recommend doing so.

Doing so can create rare occurrences where the good material value can be higher than total material value when examining the minute by minute raw data from the machine using the data export tool. This usually occurs with the data at the beginning of a shift/day, job run, or after a downtime event where material from the previous event hasn’t fully made its way through the equipment. When this happens, the system uses the OEE standard of machine output on all calculations used in ei3.

 

Minimum Production Speed is the minimum speed at which the machine is considered to be running in production operation; for most machines it should be set to 1 unit rate of production. This parameter is defined to provide some customers with a method to represent actual machine status for specific machines in a way that is customary to them. For example, it is used for certain types of machines where warm up / start up or cool down / shut down times are significant and not considered to be making production quality material. It is also used for certain types of machines that frequently experience micro-stops, to define when the downtime condition instantaneously measured during a micro-stop should be considered as Uptime.

A Minimum Production Speed is needed to evaluate the machine’s performance in a consistent way in all circumstances, especially with regard to calculations concerning production. It is necessary to insure that in order for the machine to be considered running / producing, a reasonable amount of material is produced per unit of time. The Minimum Production Speed is also used in verification of machine status during rare instances when there is missing data during the period the machine is in operation.

Example: If a machine is capable of producing 300 units per minute, yet only produces 1 unit in a given minute, then it may be appropriate to consider the machine as not “actually producing” during the entire minute because the quantity produced is not a meaningful indicator of normal or abnormal production.  See the following for explanation of the logic here.

Some continuous-fed machines require a slower starting process before reaching a true “production speed”.  This can include “threading” or other similar preparation / make-ready activities which, although they can result in some small number of units being produced, may be inappropriate to be included in productivity calculations.  Setting the Minimum Production Speed higher allows this time and production to be ignored.

See more information here: How does Minimum Production Speed impact OEE calculations?

How does Minimum Production Speed impact OEE calculations?

Minimum Production Speed can impact the Availability component of OEE.

  • When the machine speed is equal to or above the Minimum Production Speed, and making production material, the machine is determined to be running and the time is considered Machine Operating Time.
  • When the machine speed is below the Minimum Production Speed, then the machine is determined to be down. By default, this time is treated as Unplanned Downtime even if it is producing material.
Note: because the material produced during this period of downtime is still included in the OEE calculations, it is feasible in a rare case of extreme conditions, that the Average Speed could exceed the maximum. This condition can only occur when the Minimum Production Speed is set to a number greater than 1.

 

  • What is the impact of setting Minimum Production Speed = 1

When the Minimum Production Speed is set to 1, then any material (whatsoever) produced per unit of time, will cause the machine to be considered running during that time.  This is the most common condition for typical machines, and it is consistent with the most common interpretation of Machine Operating Time, in which the machine is considered to be running if it is making any production quality material.

 

 

  • What is the impact of setting Minimum Production Speed > 1

In most cases, the Minimum Production Speed should be set to 1 unit rate of production.  In special cases where there are more frequent micro-stops or a machine has very slow start-up speeds, it could be set greater than 1 such that, during those periods, the machines are not considered to be both running and making production material.  However, if this parameter is set too high, then what may be considered a normal amount of micro-stops within a single unit of monitoring time can theoretically result in the machine being considered down for that entire period of time. It is better to set this parameter to a low enough value so that only an excessive amount of Micro-Stops that occur during typical machine use will be treated as downtime.

Note: The optimum value for this setting depends largely upon the machine’s unique characteristics and usage.
Micro-stops are minor stoppage losses that occur when a machine stops for a short time as a result of a temporary problem. As soon as someone such as an operator resolves the problem, the machine quickly returns to normal operation. When a minor stoppage can be dealt with quickly, i.e., as soon as it is noticed, it is often considered a “micro-stop”. Since micro-stops can still interrupt workflow and temporarily cease the production of material, they may be categorized as downtime. However, in some cases, and in accordance with OEE standards, it may be more accurate to represent an “expected” amount of micro-stops as Uptime with a reduction in average speed over the time period measured.  In the remote monitoring platform, to do this on a specific machine, the Minimum Production Speed is set to a value greater than 1 unit rate of production.

Monitoring the Instantaneous Speed of the machine alone can produce inaccurate results depending on the exact time of data sampling.  If, over the course of a sampling interval (i.e. a minute), the Instantaneous Speed is sampled and found to be zero, then an assumption could easily be made that the machine was stopped over the entire sampling interval.  However, this may not be the case because the machine may have actually been stopped for only a few seconds. It is not helpful to accumulate large numbers of “false stops” in these cases as each stop would result in a downtime event being created.

To detect and eliminate the creation of false stops, the Average Speed of the machine is examined over the period of time that is being measured.  If the number of units produced during the sampling interval remains above the Minimum Production Speed, then the determination is made that the machine did not stop and no downtime event is created.  This method is described in more detail as follows.

Consider the diagram below:

  1.  At minute 16:54, the machine is producing normally at maximum speed.  The Average Speed is above Minimum Production Speed, the Instantaneous Speed is above Minimum Production Speed, and the machine is determined to be running.
  2.  At minute 16:55, the machine appears to be micro-stopping and is no longer producing at maximum speed.  The Average Speed is still above Minimum Production Speed; however the Instantaneous Speed is zero because of when exactly the data was sampled within the minute.  Overall, the machine is determined to still be running.
  3.  At minute 16:56, the machine is now increasing back to maximum speed.  The Average Speed is still above Minimum Production Speed, and the Instantaneous Speed is increasing.  Overall, the machine is determined to still be running.
  4.  At minute 16:57, the machine is back to producing normally at maximum speed.  The Average Speed is above Minimum Production Speed, the Instantaneous Speed is above Minimum Production Speed, and the machine is determined to be running.

This example shows how the occurrence of the Micro Stop did not affect the reported state of the machine, but it did appropriately reduce the average speed reported.

You won’t see the OEE data displayed for a job until the next time a new job is started. For some situations (such as right after setting up a machine with job management or data collection) this may result in job details including OEE values not updating until a new job is started.

The system will not evaluate OEE for a job that is currently running when job management is turned on, because the job management system does not know what happened during the time the job was running before it started collecting data on the job being monitored.
A term used in some areas of industry for downtime tracking, Makeready (or make-ready) is a term used for the time during which machine preparation occurs prior to run time. It is particularly used by continuous printing machines, and is similar to setup
You can read an explanation of each downtime assignment color here.

Recipe Management

In Recipe Management, there are some alarm triggers which will set off audible alarms if the right conditions are met.

When a recipe is currently running on the machine and alarms are in an active state, ei3 will sound an audible alarm for the system to alert users that a recipe set point has triggered an alarm.

To resolve the alarm, a user can click the check mark symbol to acknowledge the alarm. (Clicking the check mark symbol in the top of the Status column acknowledges all active alarms).

An alarm will remain in the alarmed state until the point is back in range of the set point or the recipe is changed. After an alarm has been acknowledged it will not sound any further audible alarms. (Another alarm trigger will cause the audible alarm to sound again).

Remote Monitoring

Some charts such as the Remote Monitoring Productivity chart include the acronyms MO and PO.

 

MO stands for Machine Operating Time, which represents the total operation time of the machine. This duration is calculated based on the number of minutes of collected machine production time.

PO stands for Plant Operating Time, which is measured by the machine’s configured shift schedule. If a machine has a shift schedule of 3 8-hour shifts per day, the PO of the day should be 24. (PO of each shift would remain at 8).

Additionally, PO also relies on any downtime code defined as a Scheduled downtime type. Reasons for scheduled downtime include shutdowns, holidays, and other times. This type of scheduled downtime is assigned to a machine through the Downtime Tracking application. Read more about downtime types here.

Even if your machine badge is showing data for your machine, or the Remote Monitoring Snapshot is displaying up-to-date values, you may not see data displayed on your machine charts under Remote Monitoring – Productivity.

Some possible reasons for this are listed below. If the issue is not listed or the answers below do not correct the issue, contact us at e-services@ei3.com for support.

 

Chart “Summarize By” options are set incorrectly

Try changing the “Summarize By” options on the Productivity chart.

If the machine has not been running for a long time, Summarize By for the quarter, month, or even week may not display values. Try switching to chart view to summarize by day or by shift.

In some cases, often if the machine has just recently started collecting data, the Summarize By Job will not display information. Try switching to chart view to summarize by day or by shift.

Machine OEE data is incorrect

Try changing your machine max speed.

Try reallocating your machine’s shift schedule.

 

Remote Service

There are certain rules regarding the ability to revoke remote service authorizations.

  • Customer users cannot revoke a remote service authorizations.
  • e-Services users cannot revoke Customer remote service authorizations.
  • Any Customer user can revoke remote service authorizations which they themselves created.
  • Only customer Administrator users can revoke Customer remote service authorizations, and even then, only at or below their administrative level.
  • Customer Company Administrator Users can revoke any Customer remote service authorizations.
The Remote Service product allows service technicians to remotely access machines and their devices instantaneously across the globe through a secure VPN tunnel.

For more details on Remote Service, see this article.

It is mandatory that you configure the FTP server of any device in Passive mode and with the dedicated TCP port 3001 to 3004.  Any device on a machine that runs an FTP server needs to be reachable using the Remote Service application and has to be configured to use passive mode FTP with the dedicated TCP ports 3001-3004 used for passive FTP data transfer.
This is also the case for any machine device that runs an FTP server that needs to be reached from the SFLAN or the customer’s LAN.

Smart Headset

In order to qualify as a Smart Headset session, the following conditions need to be met:

  1. The machine must be headset equipped.
    A headset equipped machine will be marked with a visible headset icon  shown next to it. (A non-equipped machine will display a greyed out icon  displayed next to it).
  2. The user must be using the VPN Service in making the remote service session.  (i.e. other leased line methods are not eligible)
  3. During the remote service session, at least 1 full second of TCP/IP traffic must be observed by the VPN Service between the end-user and the glasses as reported by the VPN Service and the ei3 web service upon the closure of the service session.

If these conditions are not met, the session will not be counted as a Smart Headset session.

Tools

To download Tracker, go to the Tools menu, and select Tracker. See the Tracker article for more details.
You can find a user’s API key under Admin Tools -> Users. Click the edit  icon  in front of a user account. You can find the associated API Key# at the bottom of the user edit page.
Similarly, when creating a new user account, you can find the new account’s unique API Key# at the bottom of the user creation page.

API keys are also listed under Tools > API Access. Here, sample API usage for specific API calls are also listed. Read more about it here.

In short, an application programming interface (API) is a particular set of rules and specifications that software programs can follow to communicate with each other. It serves as an interface between different software programs and facilitates their interaction, similar to the way the user interface facilitates interaction between humans and computers.

Practically speaking, this allows for customers to create customized data dashboards and andon displays as needed using ei3’s secure API calling system. Using the ei3’s Customer Portal as an example, a user can create API calls to request specific data (machine speed for example) from ei3’s data collection servers. When the correct ‘key’ is provided (as per a user’s unique API access key) the server ‘unlocks’ the requested information and sends it along to the end user as requested.

A coded  API ‘key’ can open a virtual door for the ei3 API to provide allowed information to the end user.  It’s actually a long set of numbers and letters that keeps information secure.  But anyone with valid ei3 API key can retrieve the information they have permissions for.  For convenience, all users can create their own API keys for permitted machines.

Users who create API keys should be aware that their keys will only work as long as their user account is enabled.  For a more permanent key, it is possible to create a system key, something that can only be done by administrators.

For more information on API keys and access, see this article.

In Job Management, steps can be assigned to specific jobs based on the state in which the job is in. This can be tracked through ei3 or fed in by MES or ERP systems at your facility.

Some jobs use steps, especially in conjunction with other applications such as quality or recipe management. If the same job name shows up on two different machines, ei3 will mark these steps as “Step 1” and “Step 2” even if they both are the first step on their respective machines. To prevent this occurrence, make sure that you use different job names or isolate your machines to different operations.

From the Tools page in the Customer Portal, go to Job Management > Operations

Click the Edit icon  to open the Edit Operations page.

Deselect all but one machine in order to isolate it from the others. This will prevent job steps from jobs of the same name from being tracked across several machines.

Click Save  to record your changes.

To track jobs on the deselected machines, click the New icon  to create a new operation for each of the other machines you deselected earlier.

Provide a name and description, select the machine from the provided checkboxes, and click Save  .

Your jobs will be tracked across all active machines independently, and will not share steps across one another.

OEE metrics for calculating machine productivity rely on machine max speed settings. For machines with Job Management enabled, this number can change based on the currently running job.

Job productivity data is no different from shift or day productivity data. Once the job run is the completed the data summarized and stored as a record in a table.

Once a speed is set, it is locked in for that job run – further changes to the product’s target speed will not impact the current job run. The new target will take effect the next time the product is run on the machine.

Users

See User Creation for information regarding users.
Warning: Disabling a user blocks their account from all access to the system.

When you want to remove or delete a user,  remember that for long-term audit purposes we don’t completely eliminate the record of that person having once been allowed in.  Instead, we disable the user, which blocks their account from all access to the system. Additionally, for security purposes, it’s impossible to disable a user who has admin rights equal to or higher than your own.

To disable a user:

  • Log in to the Remote Services platform.
  • From the menu bar, select Admin Tools > Users.
  • Use the search bar to search for a user, or search using the * symbol to display a list of all users.
  • Click the edit icon   to select a user to edit from the list.
  • Uncheck the User Enabled box.

For more information on users, see Category: Users

From My Profile, click the Change Password menu item on the left side of the page.

  • In the Old Password field, type in your old password.
  • In the New Password field, type in the password you would like to change to.
  • In the Confirm field, re-type the password you would like to change to.

The New Password field and the Confirm field must match. Click the save  icon to save changes.

Clicking the back button in your browser will cause you to lose any unsaved changes.

The User Groups function makes it easy to set up several user permissions for several machines with far less clicks.

If you’re setting up several users with the same permissions, rather than clicking through several times on each user to set up their individual permissions, you can make a user group with the set permissions and assign the user to that group. This can be done during user creation or by clicking Edit  next to a user, then checking the desired User Group box at the bottom of the Edit page.

Once complete, click Save . The user group permissions will be assigned to that user.

For more information on using this function, see User Groups.

There are two types of user permissions:

A user’s Admin Access Level (found on the New User or Edit User page) allows users the following permissions:

  • None – No special access all permissions must be granted explicitly. Regular users have no visibility to the “Admin Tools” menu.
  • Location Admin – User has implicit permissions to all products & machines in their location. Location Admins can create or update any user within their Location.
  • Division Admin – User has implicit permissions to all products & machines in their Division. Division Admins can create or update any user within their Division.
  • Company Admin – User has implicit permissions to all products & machines in their Company.  Company Admins can create or update any user within their Company.

A user’s Permissions (found on the User Permissions page) allow the following permissions levels:

  • None – User has no permission whatsoever to the product on the machine.
  • Read Only – User has read only permission to the product on the machine.
  • Read Write – User has read & write permission to the product on the machine.
  • Administrator – User has Administrator permission to the product on the machine.

For information on specific user permissions and what they allow, see the User Permissions Chart.

For more information on users, see this article.

Unlike other products in the Customer Portal, the Remote Service product only have two user permission levels: None and Administrator.

While anyone can access Remote Service through a secure access key, only administrators can create them.

A user with access level of None may not create keys, but can still access a machine with a valid key created by an Administrator level user.

See also: User Permissions Chart

Our system stores user names from across all  companies and customers to one single database. This means if a user has already taken a username, it will not be available for your use even if it does not show up on your list of users.

 

If you have tried to create a user but had trouble saving the user, you may have seen a message: “Item with the same name already exists. Please change name and try again.

In such cases, the username you’ve tried to enter is already in use. Try the following changes to your username in order to have it saved correctly:

  • Add numbers. jsmith may be taken, but jsmith739 is likely to be still available.
  • Add an underscore. j_smith_02 for example.
  • Use your company name or acronym. abc_co_smith will be a unique username and likely not in use.

 

A password reset is only a few clicks away. Follow the steps below to get yourself set up with a new password.

From the Login page (Remote Service OR Customer Portal), click the Forgot Password link.

Fill out the text fields provided on the Reset Password page. You will need to provide your user name and the email address associated with your user account.

Check your email. Within a few minutes, you should receive an email with a temporary password to log you in.

If you don’t see an email within a few minutes, check your spam folder.

Once logged in, you’ll be required to change your password.

If you no longer have access to the email address associated with your account, contact us for assistance at e-services@ei3.com.

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