Pennsylvania Steel Manufacturer Improves Nationwide Operations With IQinVision Cameras
IQinVision | Date:
IQinVision announced that the Ellwood Group is deploying over 250 IQeye HD megapixel cameras and growing, in order to monitor and improve manufacturing processes, in addition to meeting security needs. Compass Network Services is the integrator for this on-going project.
Headquartered in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania, EGI produces engineered, heavy metal sections for capital specialty equipment manufacturers in the United States and around the world. The company's nine operating business units—encompassing multiple plants in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Texas and Canada—are dedicated to solving customers' needs for specially engineered forging steels, iron castings, forgings, and other alloy parts.
“We have moved from a test environment over five years ago to now having megapixel cameras deployed at about 20 different locations in our various plants,” said Eugene Spadafore, Senior Network Administrator, EGI. “We started out asking, ‘How can we improve quality for process X?' Rather quickly we saw the value of closely monitoring manufacturing with the IQeye cameras and now it's a standard in our environment, we use the cameras at every facility.”
Spadafore's division has developed a de facto standard, scope of work, and set of specifications for how to successfully deploy the IQeye cameras in each new location. “All the cameras are riding on our network, so in order to maintain consistency and best practices, we elected to be the overall project manager for camera deployment. As one location or division discovered the benefits of this kind of manufacturing process monitoring—both live and post-event—they, too, would request cameras. We wanted to be able to control the roll-out in an organized, efficient way.”
“When making a single product that can cost tens of thousands of dollars, it is critical that we have the capability to record the manufacturing process and if we experience an issue downstream, we're able to go back and find the root cause,” Spadafore explained. “If we can quickly solve manufacturing problems, the system pays for itself in short order.”
In addition to the 10 manufacturing facilities that now use IQeye HD megapixel cameras for process monitoring, additional cameras at those locations are also used for monitoring overall security as well. “I estimate we use our cameras 75 percent for process monitoring and 25 percent for general security,” said Spadafore.
EGI stores video at each location anywhere from three days to three months, depending on the manufacturing process being recorded. The majority of the cameras are 2.1 MP IQeye Sentinel and 700-series cameras, the newest utilizing H.264 compression.
“Our growth is typically through acquisition,” Spadafore continued, “once a new company is acquired, the next question is, ‘When can we get cameras installed?' We are quite satisfied with how the IQeye cameras have performed in meeting our sophisticated needs. As a result of using megapixel technology for process control, we have seen improvements in efficiency and productivity and that translates into real money.”