March 22, 2020

User Story – Simple Wireless OEE Solution for Plastic Molding Machines


Some of the Blackbird customers are manufacturing plastic products by injection molding and use the Blackbird system to monitor their production in real time and analyze the data to optimize the process in order to maximize profits. Plastic molding is a very competitive industry and one of the most effective ways to improve the business is to analyze production process and increase OEE across many machines from different suppliers in the factory.

Our customers are getting data from various machines, both old and new ones. They normally utilize an existing 24V signal on the machine to start counting - without adding or modifying the existing system.

For example, by using our Factbird cable with a build-in optical connection, customers connect the Factbird box and any 24V output trigger the signal on the machine, such as a signal that opens a pneumatic valve at the end of each injection cycle, or a robot-trigger signal. The Factbird box gets the signals from the cable and sends it to the secure cloud server. In other words, the Factbird copies the existing signals and sends it to the cloud wirelessly.

Once the data is in the cloud, you can see live cycle data immediately from your smartphone, tablet and PC. If the machines have a stop, the Blackbird display will prompt the operators to select one of the stop causes to link the cause with the stop. This way you can analyze machine uptime and reasons for downtime on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, and see how you can improve the performance.

With the newest feature, a text message or email can even notify you if the machine stops more than a certain number of minutes.

Some of our customers also use a large flat screen to show the machine and factory performance in real time. These flat screens have become affordable, and everybody can now see the live data and share the successes and challenges. Some also use Factbird View: time-stamped video streaming, which gives valuable information especially for unmanned production or not-easy-to-see robot/machine issues, for example to find the root course of a problem. 

The installation is easy and fast. Over many years, our customers have been able to set up Factbird on their production equipment on their own. They receive a parcel from us, and simply install the hardware with a one-page installation guide.

Simplicity is the most important feature of the whole Blackbird family. The Blackbird team focus on making it easy. In fact, the simplicity and easy-to-use are the highest priority for the Blackbird solution, as it means that you can have “your factory in your pocket” - and see the live data from wherever you are.

Reference visit/call at injection molding manufacturers can be arranged upon request. Please contact us. 

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