Monarch, a UK supplier of high-end circular knitting machines, has joined forces with Belgium-based BMSvision to develop and install a new monitoring system for real-time analysis of all production data.

The Manufacturing Execution System (MES) for the circular knitting industry is based on the BMSvision KnitMaster architecture, and marketed as MMS – Monarch Monitoring System.

Using the LAN interface board of the Monarch machine, all production data is automatically collected and sent to the MMS server for real-time analysis and reporting. An additional interface has been developed with the LGL feeders on the machine providing real-time information of yarn tension and yarn consumption in the MMS monitoring application.

Older machines or machines from any other brand can be connected by means of one of BMSvision touch screen-based data collection terminals, the companies say.

Analysis tools allow quick identification of bottlenecks resulting in optimal usage of production capacities. And if a problem is detected on a certain machine, such as high stop level or deviation in yarn feed, automatic alarm messages are sent to the supervisors.

In addition, managers can build their own personalised dashboards for a quick and transparent analysis and evaluation of their KPIs.

The integrated job scheduling module automatically calculates the time needed for every single job and updates it based on real-time information such as actual speed, efficiency and stop level of the machine. By means of simple "drag and drop" functions, the planner easily assigns jobs to machines.

MMS is available in three versions: MMS Basic for machine monitoring; MMS Plus, which includes also a complete scheduling software module; and MMS Advanced as the full option MES system.

Monarch says the collaboration will help customers move to digital, paperless production as well as increase their overall equipment effectiveness (OEE).