What is production line integration?

Production line integration involves making the individual parts that make up a production line operate together.  This can be considered technically, looking at machine operation and necessary electronic communication with other equipment, but also includes integrating the equipment to factory systems and also factory resources. Implementing new equipment is only part of the equation as if it isn’t integrated effectively, it is likely to cause issues.

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Production Line Integration

What do you need?

"Our machines are continually stopping and starting but there seems to be no reason."

Successful integration is designing a system that is sympathetic to the characteristics of each machine.

"We need to add new machines into a legacy control system."

We can help with a survey taking into account the impact on safety, cost and alternative solutions.

"We have two different types of PLCs across all the machines in the line, but we still need full line integration."

A common problem that can have a significant impact on cost if not managed correctly.

"We need to make sure our packaging lines communicate effectively with our factory monitoring, information and manufacturing systems."

The control and automation architecture needs to be planned, communicated and agreed by all parties.

Frequently Asked Questions

Effective line or equipment integration needs some experience to recognise what is needed and how to go about it. Normally this involves placing an integrator with the customer, to brainstorm likely impacts that then need to be worked through. We advocate preparing a risk assessment of these elements to quantify their likely impacts. All aspects that will impact performance should be considered, such as: floor space, line control, spare parts and maintenance, people, MES/ERP, packaging components, etc.

A well-prepared line control system allows the equipment owner to maximise output from a series of automatic processes (machines). In a filling and packaging line for example, you may have lots of different equipment e.g., depalletisers, conveyors, vision systems, labellers, printers, filling machines, cappers, etc. Each machine has its own operating prerequisites and characteristics. Successful integration is designing a system that is sympathetic to the characteristics of each machine and makes allowance for these when functioning as a single, cohesive line.

It would be worth referring to the other questions in this section but in summary: identify the likely aspects that will impact equipment performance.

        1. Floor space, access routes, line control, packaging components, staff and training, etc.
        2. Quantify risks for each element
        3. Action key risks – some can effectively be done in house and some you may need external support with.
        4. Manage risks until mitigated.

Poor equipment integration will result in line performance being worse than expected. Poor performance normally means poor quality, poor efficiency and high wastage. When equipment operates in these conditions it often leads to staff frustration and low morale, this will further impact operating performance.

Further Information

Production Line Integration

Many of our team have come from manufacturing backgrounds and therefore have lots of experience of production lines, both the positives and negatives... You could say manufacturing is in our DNA.  

Prime Design is able to bring this depth of experience to bear on the design and integration of your production line. The design element is covered separately (Click Here for our Factory Plant Layout and Design Service) so we will focus here on Production Line Integration.

Production line integration is effectively harmonising the processes and equipment required to produce the right products, of the right quality, at the lowest cost.

On so many occasions we visit sites where line integration has not been done well and customers are left trying to make the best of a bad situation. These investments are often very significant and expected to last for many years. The result of poor integration can therefore last for a long time.

It does not need to be this way!

Our approach involves getting involved early to make sure all the building blocks for successful line integration have been addressed and risks adequately mitigated. This helps us make sure we deliver the facility (and capabilities) that the customer wants.

We also  utilise 3D laser scanning to validate the physical integration, and computer simulation modelling to validate mechanical/control integration.

Click Here to view our 3D Laser Scanning service

Click Here to view our Computer Simulation Modeling Service

Prime Design has a great track record for line integration and would like to help you with your project.

Do not be fooled into thinking your facility will run well because you have invested in some decent equipment…this is a small part of the solution. All elements (equipment, conveyors, control, automation, resources, operations) need to be incorporated fully for the overall facility to run well. A correctly integrated production line should be an example of the whole most definitely being greater than the sum of the parts.
Please call us to discuss further.