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How you model a production line in the Production Model will be dependent upon the following factors:

  • Type of Line (single machine, simple contiguous process, parallel processes, shared cells across lines, complex sub-lines, primary cells, cell groups within cell groups)
  • Line Downtime Determination (When is the line considered to be down? All cells, any cells, particular cell)
  • How production is scheduled (if parts of a line are scheduled separately from each other, then they may be considered two separate lines)
  • Interface to cell (if a cell has no real-time accessible interface, its state and output may be combined with an adjacent cell)

The importance of modelling the line correctly based on the above factors will drive the usability and usefulness of any production data or metrics generated. If a production line of many cells is modeled simply as a single cell, then features provided by the OEE module such as downtime detection methods, cell cycle time, aggregation of machine states by cell, and visual aspects of the OEE components such as the OEE Time chart will all be diminished. Forcing management to schedule production runs on multiple lines that they did not do prior to the OEE implementation, as well as only allowing a single scheduled run on a a set of cells where traditionally multiple schedules existed are signs that the model may not be correct.

In modelling the Line, you will create a Production Model in the Designer that:

  • Defines your Enterprises Sites, Areas, Lines and Cells
  • Sets up Line Downtime Detection Method to define how line downtime is determined
  • Connects states and counts from the equipment PLC interface to the production model

What Is The Production Model?

When any of the core MES modules (OEE, SPC, Recipe, T&T) are installed, the Production Model is added to the Global project resources in the Project Browser window of the Ignition Designer. The Production Model allows you to define your manufacturing process in a tree view form and provides an organized way to configure, control, and analyze your manufacturing activities. It provides the foundation on which the MES modules are built.

The Production Model is a hierarchy of Sites, Areas, Lines, Cell Groups, Cells, Locations, Storage Zones and Storage Units. Typically, Lines and Cells are used to represent machinery or equipment where a process occurs transforming raw materials into sub-assemblies or finished goods. Storage Zones and Storage Units are typically used to define where to get or store material.

Lines and Cells defined in the production model should be considered to be equipment that is bolted to the floor and has conduit running to it. Mobile equipment such as pallets, bins, dies used for pressing, etc. are not defined in the production model, but configured in the MES Management screen as Supplemental Equipment (Track & Trace only).

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In this section

Below are the different types of Production Items that can be added to the production model.

IconProduction ItemDescriptionModule
MainProduction model can be enabled and disabled here. Sites can be set licensed in the OEE Downtime 2.0 tab.All
EnterpriseThe enterprise is the highest level of the production model and typically represents a manufacturing company. You can rename the Enterprise production item to your company's name. You can only have one Enterprise item in the Production Model.All
SiteA site is a fixed geographical production location that is part of an enterprise. Separating your enterprise into multiple production sites allows for comparing OEE, downtime and production information between them.All
AreaAn area is a physical or logical grouping of production lines.All
LineA line represents a stand-alone machine or a collection of multiple cells and/or cell groups that work together to perform a sequence of process steps. Typically, the product flows from one cell or cell group to the next in sequence until the product, or sub assembly, being produced is complete. Understanding how production execution is managed will help in determining whether cells should be grouped into a line or be considered stand-alone equipment as lines themselves.All
LocationA location item is the place where a sample is collected. This can be placed under an area or a line.SPC
Cell GroupA cell group contains two or more cells. Typically, these cells occur at the same time in the sequence of the line instead of one after another, causing the cell group to act as a single sub process or step within the production.All
CellThe cell is a single machine, sub process or step required in the manufacture of a product. The product may be a hard product such as used in packaging, adding liquid or powder, etc. Packaging machines are a common example, but a cell applies to processes also.All
Storage ZoneA storage area such as a warehouse.T&T
Storage UnitA storage unit located inside of a storage zone. For example, you may have a warehouse with bay 1 to 5.T&T

Configuring the Production Model

The production model is configured within the Ignition designer and is accessed by selecting the Production node under Global in the project browser. From here your enterprise, site, area(s), line(s) and line cell(s), line cell group(s), storage zone(s) and storage unit(s) can be added, renamed and deleted.

It is extremely important to understand production OPC values have an OPC item path that matches the layout of the production model and that renaming production items can cause Ignition tags associated with a production item to stop being updated.

Database Disconnection

  • Prior to module start-up, the software checks to see if the connection to the selected MES database is valid. If not valid, the software will wait until the connection becomes valid before beginning module startup.
  • If the database connection becomes invalid during normal operation, the system will handle the disconnection and re-connection events gracefully (without causing an error).

Adding a New Production Item

To add a new Production item, right-click on the Production model and select the New Production Item > NewProduction xxxx menu item. 


When you add a cell to a line that had already run in the past, you will either get a popup and/or an error in the Ignition designer console that says: "Cannot start OEE run on the equipment (Enterprise\Site\Area\Line 2) because production settings for cell group or cell (New Pal) do not exist."

To configure production settings for the new cell:

  1. Open the Material Manager
  2. Select the Material Definition you are attempting to run and press edit
  3. Optional: Navigate to the new cell you have created, and adjust any settings as necessary.
  4. Press save
  5. Repeat 1-4 for all materials that run on that line

Naming Characters Allowed

Names must begin with a letter, digit or underscore. Subsequent characters may also include spaces and dashes. The following characters are not allowed in any MES Object Name:
. ? ! # % ^ * ~ [ ] { } + = ` \
Also not allowed for Production Equipment Names:
, @ & ( ) < >
Also not allowed for MES Person Objects:
/ " $ | < >
Also not allowed for other MES Objects:
/ " $ | ,

Renaming a Production Item

To rename a production item, right-click on it and select Rename (or press F2), then enter the new name.

Please note that when you rename a production item, it actually creates a new instance of a production item and disables the old production item. This is important to note as data captured against that production item will not be accessible to the newly renamed production item. Spend the time to get the Production Item named correctly at the beginning of the project.

DO NOT rename a production Line item in run-time while an OEE Operation is in progress. An error will occur that that will require assistance from Sepasoft Support.

Deleting a Production Item

To remove an existing production item, right-click on the item and select the Delete menu item. A window will appear confirming that you permanently want to delete the production item.

Please note that any line(s), cell(s), cell group(s) and location(s) underneath the production item will also be permanently removed.

Adding a new Cell Group to the Production Model

Renaming the Enterprise

Delete a Cell

Copying a Production Item

Right Click mouse button and select Copy on any production item to copy that production item.

Right Click mouse button and select Paste to make a copy of that production item in the production model.

If you are copying a line, select the line before copying it. When you paste it, select the area in which to the create a copy of that line.

Good Practice

It is recommended that you make a gateway backup prior to copying and pasting Production items. It is not recommended that you make changes to the production model on the production server without scheduling with Operations and having the system backed up.

Copying a Production Item

Production Item General Settings

The general settings are accessed by selecting the desired production item and selecting the General tab. 


By default, the production item is enabled. It can be disabled by un-checking the Enabled setting and saving the project. This will stop the track and trace, OEE, downtime, SPC, recipe and scheduling modules from using the area and any other production items that are underneath it.

DescriptionThis is an optional description and is just for your reference.

OPC Production Tags

As production items are added to the production model, run time access into configuration settings and current state of those production items is available through the Production OPC Server. It is added automatically when MES Modules are installed. When the production items are added, removed or modified, the changes will be reflected in the Production OPC Server when the project is saved in the designer.

Please refer to the OPC Production Server Tag Reference in the Appendix for more help.

Demo OPC Values

Using OPC Production Tags in Your Project

Before Production OPC Server tags can be used in your project windows, transaction groups etc., they must be added to the Ignition SQLTags. This is done in the designer by selecting the SQLTag Browser and clicking on the OPC icon. This will cause the OPC Browser to appear. Next, drill down in the Production node within the OPC Browser. Drag the desired Production OPC Values over to the SQLTag Browser as shown.


When writing to OPC values that are related to production model settings, the new value is not retained upon restarting. This is because production model settings are saved in the Ignition project and is only saved when done so in the designer.

Add Production OPC Server Values to SQLTags

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