Home / What’s new in AutoPilot4Feed Version 8

What’s new in AutoPilot4Feed Version 8

RFID tags for user log-in


DSL Systems has developed a method to automatically log users in to a workstation using wearable RFID tags, typically on the wrist. Each workstation is installed with a RFID reader plugged in to the USB port which can have a range of about 1m. Software on each workstation continuously scans for tags in range and will automatically log-in a user with a recognised tag. The user will be automatically logged out when the tag has been out of range for a short time. User log-in provides system security by restricting access to the menu system. It also provides accountability by auditing all changes and operations by the user.

On-line equipment documentation
Poke point with view documents

A facility to view documentation regarding items of equipment has been developed in the version 8 of AutoPilot4Feed. This is useful to provide quick and simple access to health & safety information, work instructions or manuals from the item on the graphics. The facility is completely user configurable allowing up to 10 pdf documents to be attached to any item. A “View documents” option now appears on the item drop-down menu which will display the documents available and allow them to be viewed.

View Document

Monthly production summary and graph

Production Summary

AutoPilot4Feed version 8 has a monthly production summary facility. This can show the production volume for up to 4 types of product and per shift.

Production bar chart

On-line pellet tester

TekPro NHP300

AutoPilot4Feed version 8 incorporates a communication driver for the TekPro NHP300 on-line pellet tester. Through the link AutoPilot4Feed can supervise the unit to take samples from several pellet press lines depending on which are active. The captured values can be used to display the current and average Holmen values on the graphics. The average value is automatically recorded with the pellet press run record for future reference and OEE mill performance calculations.

Change batch destination easily
Change batch destination The ease of changing the destination bin or plant of a batch while it is moving through a blending plant has been improved. By right clicking on the batch detail box on the graphics, a new change destination option will appear which allows the destination to be very quickly changed from a drop down menu.
Cost optimisation
Cost optimisation

The new cost optimisation facility enables the the replacement of high cost bulk materials with other cheaper materials within configurable tolerances settings. The system will adjust inclusions using the minimum value of the percentage and kg limits. All adjustments are recorded in the batch record.

New production and usage reporting

Production by products new

Production and usage reporting is an essential feature of AutoPilot4Feed. This has been improved in Version 8 to allow reporting in any period rather than set periods (daily, weekly, monthly etc.). The new facility also allows the production to be filtered by product, mixing line, batching line and press line.

Pop up manual control
Manual control

A new method has been devised for manually setting variable motor speeds and valve positions for the purpose of maintenance and calibration. Originally these could be manually overridden using a box on the graphics. The new method provides manual control by just clicking on the "Auto" button on the graphics to bring up a temporary pop-up box as above and change the "Auto" button colour from red to green. The manual control box can be pinned so that it isn't lost behind other windows. The nature of the pop-up means the graphics are less cluttered and become clearer. This facility has well sized buttons to allow operation from a touch screen.

Bin history feature
FP Bin history

Raw material and finished product bin edit facilities now have a history button which provide a historical summary of operations to fill or discharge material or product from the bin.

  RM BIn history
Audits viewing improved

Audit new

The audit facility of AutoPilot4Feed records every event, alarm and operator action on the system. The option to view and find audits is useful to investigate problems to see what happened and the cause. This option had been completely revised for AutoPilot4Feed version 8. It now has the following facilities:-

  • Colour coding for different types of audits
  • Improved filters to help find the required audits
  • Multiple tabs for different searches
  • Display of user name and PC name associated with each audit
  • Right click to show all audits within a time range of the selected searched audit
Network monitoring

DSL have developed a new network monitoring facility for the version 8 of AutoPilot4Feed. This facility can be configured to monitor all network devices to ensure they are live and communicating correctly. The system is particularly useful for detecting errors and IP address conflicts thus saving a lot of time tracking down problems. It also serves as an asset register of all network equipment.

Automatic email reports and notifications
Email notifications

The automatic email facility is available in AutoPilot4Feed Version 8 upwards. Standard and custom production reports can be scheduled to be sent to a number of email addresses. The reports can be sent in pdf, word or excel formats and is all user configurable.

The email facility can also be set up to automatically send emails to one or more users for the following events:-

  • Substitution activation
  • Batch override
  • Declaration / Formula import
  • Formulation changes
  • Cross contamination override
  • Bin barring