In 2007 Leon Coetzee and Dale Whitfield joined forces to pioneer the
development of a commercial solution to PUFT. Free Time being defined as the amount
of time a production machine operator can stop his machine for minor
maintenance interventions whilst the line is in full production, without
impacting on production line efficiency.
The product specification called for a level one operator HMI located at
each major machine on the production line that would serve two purposes:
display "Free Time" to the operator and allow the operator to enter
On the surface, not too complex a task. Off-the-shelf HMI's are readily
available. Connectivity via industrial Ethernet exists. Add a few process
algorithms. Job done! Then came the
- Most packaging lines (especially high speed beverage) cover a large
area of real estate. Routing industrial Ethernet cables on existing lines
is not practical....solution wireless.
- After testing all the off-the-shelf wireless technologies we could find,
we concluded that none provided the level of up-time required for the
application. Most were not suited for high noise packaging environments.
- Lack of Ethernet and wireless rendered all off-the-shelf HMI's useless for
During the research, development and field trials, many unique
opportunities presented themselves. Capitalizing on these opportunities
would see the invention of a global first product that could redefine
not only data acquisition but introduce a totally new perspective on
production line management and control.
Being technology freaks, both Coetzee and Whitfield took the decision to
push the boundaries in all aspects of development. To invent, pioneer
and create a solution to this challenge. Together they would invent or
- Wireless technology adapted for high noise industrial environments.
- I/O interface that captures raw production data from host machines
regardless of manufacturer, age, protocols, etc.
- Level one intuitive operator interface that requires limited/no data input.
- Production line analysis algorithms, capitalizing on industry
standard line design calculations utilized by global packaging line
manufactures. Our goal is to analyze and report on, a high resolution
production line capability study every second, 24/7, 365 days of
- Management interface (software) that presents production data in
real time and in an intuitive graphical format.
- Pioneer new reporting techniques that reduce or eliminate the time
burden currently placed on key plant personal, in both production and
- Reduce or eliminate communication delays between operators,
supervisors and management.
- Design out as many inefficiencies plaguing current "wired", software
based, data acquisition (SCADA) systems.
Utilizing his 26 years experience in the packaging industry
(encompassing product development, global sales and marketing),
Coetzee's contact base provided an infinite amount of data on all
aspects of packaging. From packaging line design, controls, production
techniques and an ever increasing "wish list", there was no shortage of
data in every aspect.
Whitfield, with his 28 years global software and platform design experience,
(developing for major USA corporations like IBM and Intel), put together
a powerhouse R&D team. With their in-depth knowledge of electronics and
software, focusing on architecture and design, real time embedded
systems and advanced (military) telemetry, no challenge was too great.
2007-2012 Introducing Global Firsts
- Proprietary wireless technology specifically developed for high noise industrial environment.
- Stand alone data acquisition platform, all connectivity issues associated with typical SCADA type system eliminated.
- Radically simplified data acquisition techniques, all real time production data available via one RJ45 Ethernet connection.
- Production line capability study algorithms provide real time data on all production activities, resolution - one second.
- GlobeLive software, intuitive graphical management interface. Provides a real time visual on all aspects of production including, flow dynamics, constraints, bottlenecks, productive downtime opportunities, etc.
- Free software
- No cost text messaging capability between operators, supervisors and management.
- Hard copy reporting for Engineering and Production, no data input required. Includes components of OEE and TPM.
- High value, low cost turnkey productive intelligence solution, with no cost of ownership!
The enhancement of the product continues. R&D never stops says
Whitfield. Born out of the development of the current product, is a
vast array of concepts and ideas. This we believe will radically change
the future not only around production management, but the entire
production line design and control philosophy.