The most effective system for monitoring production rates and downtime​

0 %
stoppages reduction
according to our client

What are microstops and why are so important?

Microstops are unplanned machine stoppages that, depending on the individual plant approach, last up to 1 minute, 2 minutes, – 5 minutes, above this time such a stoppage qualifies as an unplanned stoppage. These are short-lived incidents, but if you count them over a shift, a week, or a month, you realize that they account for a large proportion of our production. These stoppages are playing a key role in hight volume industry such as FMCG where speed of production is a crucial factor accounting for a final result. 

Pareto chart

Is this improvement necessary to me?

  • You know your OEE but you haven`t good root causes analysis
  • You have identified production lines with the unknown and high number of stoppages
  • You work in a factory with implemented OEE but with no specialised software to analyse upcoming data

Why ANT Microstops monitoring?

We give you the numbers

0 %
stoppages reduction according to our client
0 %
increase in machine time
0 %
up to, OEE increase

Read an article:

ANT Microstops (production monitoring, performance) system on SMD (FMC), FMD, THP, and OTP in Tobacco factory

Proven AI
helps to deliver

ANT’s AI detects responsible machine in the line.

  • Registering each, even the shortest stop of the machine with its reason from PLC
  • Reading alarms from PLC
  • Algorithm assigns responsible machine if in the line
  • Real machine data for lean actions to stop the stops
  • Less time to manually report machine states by Operator
  • Deep analyses why machine looses its availability

How do we work?

In order to mitigate the number of microstops, the ANT team goes through 3 steps.


Identifying and naming microstops

  • to define microstops by machine.
  • to define the time between microstops and failures
  • to create a list of all possible microstops that can occur on a machine.


How to collect data?

The quickest way is to connect directly to a PLC driver – such a connection allows the ANT team to access data such as machine states, state times, failure codes, production, waste counters, and more. If the machine is older or not equipped with a PLC driver, our team can add an I/O communication module to fetch the information about machine states and times.


Without the possibility to identify alarm codes the operator will have a greater share of the process, as he or she will have to describe the condition from a list of the most common microsteps by hand, choosing premade code from the dictionary. The bottom line is that all this data is real, as it is collected directly from the machines.


The collected data from the PLC will bring a lot of alarm codes, which have to be grouped and assigned to specific microswitches which allow for
doing more precise analysis.


Analysis of the collected data:

Analyzing the operation of the line for a selected period of time – the range is arbitrary (shift/day/week/year), the manager can select the state of interest and, using the “drill down” method, get information about:

  • what was the cause of the microstop
  • how many microstops there were during a given order (number of occurrences)
  • what was their total time
  • what was the share of this condition in the entire production

In summary, with the right tools line manager can identify the dark area that causes microstops. By connecting directly to the machines, the system has real data about the times and causes of downtime. The operator can easily describe undescribed downtimes, and management has a lot of properly grouped data with which it can reduce or completely eliminate microstops. This is how we deal with the problem of microdowntime at our clients.

report failure from operator panel screen mes
ROI in 0 Months
Get in touch with ANT today and get Return of Investments in 6 months after implementation

ANT Solution is a proud member of the OPC UA Foundation

In most tobacco factories, the secondary machine communication landscape is highly fragmented, both for machine-to-machine and machine-to-higher systems data streams. The fragmentation is evident on many levels: physical media, protocols, data formats, sometimes proprietary, have added up over time with the machines. Unnecessarily high integration efforts result. Moreover, extracting manufacturing insights from the machine data is a valuable opportunity that is severely limited by the fragmentation.

OPC UA is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space and in other industries. It is platform-independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors. The commitment to streamlined communication and efficient manufacturing is shared by ANT Solution, a proud member of the OPC UA Foundation.

A joint working group of the OPC Foundation and the TMC (Tobacco Machine Communication) working group created this companion specification. It aims at harmonizing data exchange and interoperability requirements for the common benefit of both cigarette manufacturers and OEMs. ANT Solution’s participation in this endeavor demonstrates their active role in enhancing the standardization and functionality within the tobacco industry.

Related articles

Microstops are small interruptions that happen in a production line which result in downtime for machines or other production equipment. They can be caused by either machine malfunction or human error, making it hard to identify where exactly these microstops are happening. 

The machine connectivity data is then used to identify where these microstops are happening and take corrective measures so that they don’t happen again in future production cycles. 

Microstops can be detrimental to the production process and should be monitored closely. They are often overlooked by supervisors because they don’t have an immediate impact on production output and can go unnoticed for hours, leading to significant OEE drops and missing deadlines.  

Indentyfiing microstops helps to increase OEE and boost overall production efficiency.   

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