Mike Bevan
My name is Mike Bevan. Bevan Engineering was founded in 2004 to provide highly specialized controls and software solutions for manufacturing facilities and OEMs. Many clients - including Fortune 500 companies -  have been using Bevan Engineering  products and services world-wide. I  have been providing controls and software engineering solutions throughout the Miami Valley, Ohio area for over 30 years. 
mike@bevanengineering.com
937-974-0335
Quality Systems
To achieve a state of "zero defect", controls must be put in place to reduce variability and prevent product from being shipped with less than perfect quality. This concept is known as a "poka-yoke" - a Japanese terms for mistake proofing. 

Today's standards have no room for defective products being shipped. This means variability must be reduced as much as possible. This also means any quality problems should be caught immediately and poor quality product should be removed from the manufacturing process until resolved. 

To achieve this, a facility needs to manage production through a database. Instead of an operator setting up a machine for changing product, this should be done automatically through a hand/fixed head scanner.  When a part is scanned, setup variables and associated parameters should be retrieved from a database and transmitted to the machine control PLC. When the machine cycle is complete, this information - along with result values (snapshot values, pass/fail codes, etc) - are saved to the database. If a part does not pass through a process successfully, these systems will not allow the part to be processed any longer. Processes downstream simply will not run because that part has been rejected until repaired or discarded. More importantly, traceability is provided for your customer and/or quality department. The quality department can analyse the data. You customer can view the entire manufacturing chain of the product they purchase from you. 

The cost savings gained from this technology is staggering. Rejected parts cannot be processed further until repaired or discarded, saving many hours of production costs. Warranty issues become easier to manage when you can physically see how the part was manufactured. 

I have been called to factories that were in serious jeapordy of losing customers due to quality issues. By implementing a zero-defect program, any less than optimal parts were rejected and not able to ship. It is physically impossible to ship these parts because a shipping label could not be printed due to all requirements not being met.

There are several ways to implement a zero-defect/poka-yoke process. Each method has varying degrees of costs an d maintainability.

  • Standalone systems
  • Rockwell Systems (FTTM)
  • Server systems
  • WIP controller
  • RFID

Click on the links above to learn more about each method. It is important to know that all source code and resources required to develop these systems belong to you. There is no "black art" in this technology. This means that any competent technical person can maintain these systems. The reason Bevan Engineering is the best choice for you is that I bring many years of practical experience to your projects. Moreover, you do not have to deal with multiple people because of multiple skillsets. Lastly, I've worked in factories all my life starting as a janitor, through maintenance, and advancing through engineering. This was not learned in books. This was learned by getting my hands dirty and generating results.




Database integration takes decision making out of your process. All setup variables and associated parameters are stored in a database and transmitted to the machine control PLC. This method typically includes a hand/fixed head scanner and a database server. Moreover, when using this method, controls can be put in place to achieve a zero-defect state.

is a fast, affordable, and very flexible design to exchange data between your PLC equipment and database server systems.

Database information is stored on one to many database servers. An application program called an "interface" is created that will facilitate communication between the database server and PLC. Using some unique identifier (usually, a bar code scan), a database transaction is requested. Data from the database server is transferred to the PLC. Once operation is complete, information is written back to the database server (if required).

PC (Personal Computer)
The computers normally used with this design are usually more robust industrial computers that use a touchscreen and typically run Windows Embedded Standard 7 . Usually, these types of computers are panel mount devices that reside on the face of an enclosure.. There are many desktop computers that can run WES7. The embedded operating system contains a feature called an overlay. When this overlay is activated, the hard drive is protected and works just like any Allen-Bradley HMI (as an example). These units can be powered on and off at will without any special shutdown prcedures. Because solid state drives are used, these devices are far more robust than what many people are aware of.

In some cases, one PC and application interface can accommodate more than one PLC. The ability to use this design is determined on a case by case basis. However, this is normally not recommended due to performance and serviceability issues, but in some cases, this may be an adequate design.

Database
A SQL server database is required for storing data. Bevan Engineering can design this database and all it's associated tables for you. Once it's time to implement your project, your IT department can receive a copy of this database in it's detached form and attach it to your existing system. Alternately, scripts can be provided to add on to an existing datbase.

If data from your existing server system is required, a stored procedure can be provided that will allow that access. This type of support is typically found in-house and minimizes the amount of access required from your administrators.

Database Interface Application
A software application is written (usually in one of the  Visual StudioNET languages that communicates with both the database server and PLC. All connections require an ethernet connection. If the PLC is not network capable, a NET-ENI device can convert the PLC's serial port to an ethernet port. In some instances, a PLC's serial port can be used directly, but this method is not recommended.

The design of an interface application is almost the same (from a structural standpoint) for any application. First, a unique identifier is required for any production process. Usually, this is a bar code label. This bar code label can contain serial numbers, models numbers, or any other type of information that would allow information to be found in the database.

Once data is received from the database system, it is transferred to the PLC. The application interface will wait for the the process to be complete (pass, fail, abort, etc). Once the process is complete, information is written back to the database server. The amount of data received or transmitted is virtually unlimited. Once this information is in the database, the data can be used for a multitude of reasons - production statistics, error proofing, etc.
PLC
Bevan Engineering can modify any existing PLC logic to accommodate information received from your database systems. Conversely, if you choose to have your internal resources perform this portion of the project, they will be provided with a very detailed design spec stating specifically what needs to happen. "Hooks" will be provided (areas in memory data will be written to and read from) so development and debug activities can be performed in parallel.

If this is a new process or you choose to replace an older PLC to something more robust and modern, a new PLC program can be provided to you.
Overview
PC based PLC database integration is a fast, affordable, and very flexible design to exchange data between your PLC equipment and database server systems.

Database information is stored on one to many database servers. An application program called an "interface" is created that will facilitate communication between the database server and PLC. Using some unique identifier (usually, a bar code scan), a database transaction is requested. Data from the database server is transferred to the PLC. Once operation is complete, information is written back to the database server (if required).
PC (Personal Computer)
The computers normally used with this design are usually more robust industrial computers that use a touchscreen. Typically, these types of computers are panel mount devices that reside on the face of an enclosure. However, any computer can be used that fulfills any hardware minimum requirements.

In some cases, one PC and application interface can accommodate more than one PLC. The ability to use this design is determined on a case by case basis. However, this is normally not recommended due to performance and serviceability issues, but in some cases, this may be an adequate design.
Database
A SQL server database is required for storing data. Bevan Engineering can design this database and all it's associated tables for you. Once it's time to implement your project, your IT department can receive a copy of this database in it's detached form and attach it to your existing system.

If data from your existing server system is required, a stored procedure can be provided that will allow that access. This type of support is typically found in-house and minimizes the amount of access required from your administrators.
Database Interface Application
A software application is written (usually in VB.NET) that communicates with both the database server and PLC. All connections require an ethernet connection. If the PLC is not network capable, a NET-ENI device can convert the PLC's serial port to an ethernet port. In some instances, a PLC's serial port can be used directly, but this method is not recommended.

The design of an interface application is almost the same (from a structural standpoint) for any application. First, a unique identifier is required for any production process. Usually, this is a bar code label. This bar code label can contain serial numbers, models numbers, or any other type of information that would allow information to be found in the database.

Once data is received from the database system, it is transferred to the PLC. The application interface will wait for the the process to be complete (pass, fail, abort, etc). Once the process is complete, information is written back to the database server. The amount of data received or transmitted is virtually unlimited. Once this information is in the database, the data can be used for a multitude of reasons - production statistics, error proofing, etc.
PLC
Bevan Engineering can modify any existing PLC logic to accommodate information received from your database systems. Conversely, if you choose to have your internal resources perform this portion of the project, they will be provided with a very detailed design spec stating specifically what needs to happen. "Hooks" will be provided (areas in memory data will be written to and read from) so development and debug activities can be performed in parallel.

If this is a new process or you choose to replace an older PLC to something more robust and modern, a new PLC program can be provided to you.