Setting up mobile alarm management to minimize incident reaction times

Setting up your alarm triggers on the WORKERBASE platform is a very simple task. Since the system is completely event driven, it does not matter where the alarm/event is coming from. The system follows the principle that you can create filters for all the different types of events occurring in the system. This means that within a project you will have access to all the events and you can also set multiple filters simultaneously. An event will not be consumed when a filter condition is met, it can be used many times. It is important to understand this principle since this is basically reflecting an OR condition. The different types of events for mobile alarms you can use are:

 

  • System internal events
    • Task status changes (i.e. a user starting, using or closing an app)
    • Timers
  • User initiated events
    • Location changes
    • Barcode scan
  • Custom (external) events

 

The custom events are what we will be using for this example since this is the way we get data into the WORKERBASE system form any external source. If you want to connect your machine alarms and you already have an IOT gateway setup, then this becomes a very straightforward exercise. The only thing you will need to do is to create a new custom event like in the example below:

 

This will create a new URL that works as a new REST endpoint.

 

The next thing is you setup your IOT gateway to send data to this endpoint in JSON format. Once this is configured, just send your first event to this URL. After you have done this, just refresh the page and you will see the data that you have just sent. If you are not using an IOT gateway, you can setup a direct connection using protocols like MQTT, OPC-UA, Siemens S7, Rockwell, OpenPLC, Modbus or others. Please scroll down this page for instructions on how to do this.

 

 

If you now go over to the variables tab, you will be able to create a mapping structure between the data format that you have just sent and a freely configurable set of variables that you can then use anywhere in the WORKERBASE system.

 

 

As you can see, a variable is indicated by $ in front of the variable name (please remember that you cannot use any whitespace character in a variable name). You are free to map any data you want in this step, usually this will include some kind of error code and/or description, an id of a machine and potentially some location.

 

Once this event is set up, you can start sending your machine alarms to it. In order to execute any action, you now need to setup an alerts filter that will listen to this event and create an action like sending alarms to maintenance engineers. If you click “Create new” > “Alert” you can now select the event you have just created as a source.

 

 

On the next page, you can now filter for specific conditions of your alarm. In this screen you will be able to select any of the variables you have created and filter for their values. An example here would be to look for certain types of error codes and alert different types of workers depending on them.

 

 

You could for example send all error codes < 100 to maintenance staff in group X and everything greater >100 to engineers in group Y. In our example we will filter for just one code: 47. After you have configured the respective filter condition, you can now select the desired action and group to send the request to in the assignment screen.

 

 

The options allow you to assign a job to people in a certain group and at a specific location. An example would be to only alert engineers in group X that are in the same hall where the event occurred as indicated in the picture above. Typically you will then choose a specific piece of work instructions to send to the engineer (i.e. repair instructions for a certain error code).

 

You also have several other options like not creating a new task but only send a notification for e.g. non critical alarms or send the data to another system or service altogether. This would typically be an option for when the repairs are finished where you may want to send data to other systems for tracking or send emails for management notification purposes.

 

This completes the Mobile Alarm Management setup process and once your machines send alarms now, you will be alerting the right technicians immediately. This allows for new organizational patterns where you are able to keep your workforce in a central location (Star architecture) as opposed to keeping people close by a few machines (at line architecture) or doing inspection rounds (patrol architecture). Depending on the size of your shopfloor, you will be able to achieve response times of 2-3 minutes this way and your workforce scales linerally with the amount of incidents and not with the amount of production lines you run. WORKERBASE will also allow you to collect statistical data and you will be able to extract accurate repair time data which allows you to plan workforce allocation to an optimal level.

 

If you would like to know how to connect you PLCs, we will add instructions in short time.

  • OPC-UA (coming soon…)
  • MQTT (coming soon…)
  • Siemens S7 (coming soon…)
  • Rockwell PLC (coming soon…)
  • Modbus (coming soon…)
  • OpenPLC (coming soon…)

In the meantime, you might want to check out our portfolio of apps for manufacturing.

Please contact us, in case you have questions.