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Düsseldorf, June 06, 2019

Smart Alarm in operation at Bharat Forge - A real-world example

BHARAT FORGE CDP is the leading supplier of forged chassis and engine components as well as non-automotive systems. As a digital solution for improving processes, Smart Alarm – supplied by SMS digital – is used to assist with maintenance at Bharat Forge at its plant in Ennepetal in North Rhine-Westphalia.

The background

Press operators are shown all the alarms sent by the programmable logic controller (PLC) on their operator panels, yet many of these messages are lost in the flood of incoming alarms or are not reported to the maintenance team.

The problem: Alarms generated by the PLC are very short-lived, and often only the most current alarms are displayed. As a result, relevant alarms may be overlooked and, in the worst case scenario, cause the machine to shut down. The automation system database continuously saves alarms, however the data are overwritten after a certain period of time. Consequently, alarm messages and machine shutdowns cannot be reproduced or tracked later on.

As every shutdown of a plant is associated with higher costs and lost revenue, this must be avoided. Therefore, the alarm messages need to be better evaluated and clearly and effectively displayed in real time as part of a system of predictive maintenance. Besides this, another important factor is the forward planning of servicing activities.

The solution: The Smart Alarm application from SMS digital
Dirk Brozio, Head of Maintenance, Bharat Forge

Smart Alarm is a web-based application designed for a variety of users, including operators, shift managers, maintenance engineers, and works managers.

Smart Alarm provides a clearer overview and better control over the vast number of alarms that are triggered in plants every day. Thanks to intelligent prioritization, various analysis capabilities, and options for linking pointers to solutions and setting automated notifications, complicated and time-consuming fault analyses have been made simpler. Smart Alarm displays a clear overview of all the relevant alarms and provides details of the plant tree on a dashboard.

The appropriate persons can then be notified in good time via the automated text message and e-mail service.Each unit team can also create its own customized view. The long-term storage of historical alarm data allows trends to be identified that can point out potential shutdowns.

The web-based application was developed by SMS digital GmbH, a subsidiary of SMS group. The company creates new digital concepts and products and works continuously on the enhancement of existing applications. Agile working and a customer-oriented approach play a major role within the workforce.

By contrast with other alarm management systems, Smart Alarm allows you to view plants from other manufacturers on its dashboard, and even on your iPad when you need to be mobile. Thanks to the detailed alarm display, the sources of alarms can be identified and recommendations for action extrapolated from it. At Bharat Forge, for example, too much grease was occasionally used when servicing the machine. This was detected by Smart Alarm, and the more sparing use of grease resulted in cost savings. We chose Smart Alarm because it offers us huge added value as a post-analysis tool. We can use Smart Alarm in our day-to-day work to analyze fault messages quickly and respond immediately, even when we are not actually on site. It also offers us great added value when it comes to organizing the alarms in our local automation system, because the alarm visualization allows us to identify and correct any erroneous limit values or alarm messages. Dirk Brozio, Head of Maintenance, on the benefits of Smart Alarm
The cooperation
Bharat Forge team

Both companies enjoy significant advantages from their cooperation. Bharat Forge has an application that is tailored to its maintenance requirements and makes its day-to-day work easier. Machine shutdowns can be detected more quickly and the cause tracked in an instant. What SMS digital gets from this cooperative partnership is an important insight into the needs of customers.

Feedback from our customers is a central component of the way we work. We can see not only what we’ve done really well but also those areas where there’s room for improvement. For example, as a result of qualified customer feedback we installed a function where the status of the machinery is captured automatically and taken into consideration in the analysis. This increases the usefulness and effectiveness of the data tremendously. Feedback from customers is also very helpful in terms of future trends and requirements. Tommy Goslicki, Product Manager at SMS digital, on the importance of customer feedback
SMS digital responds faster than other software service providers, whether it’s to do with faults, suggestions for improvement, or requests for support. Dirk Brozio on the cooperation with SMS digital
Further plans

The link-up to the forging press was just the first step. Plans to connect other plant areas are now being considered. This means configuring new plant areas and alarm messages.

Smart Alarm will continue to help us improve our production processes and move another step closer towards digitalization. Dirk Brozio is confident