We've been hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT) for a long time. And now it has become a part of our job. In our cars, on our doors and even in the fridge. IoT aims to provide more connectivity and automation to facilitate our daily routine. The same thing happens in the manufacturing industry. We are currently in Industry 4.0 (4th Industrial Revolution era). An integral part of this era is Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
One of the components of IIoT that continues to gain traction in the food manufacturing industry is industrial automation. Automation reduces the physical intervention from operators resulting in a more automated control performance in the production line. It offers a platform for manufacturers to analyse data at every phase of production. With increased automation and machine-to-machine communication, the lack of interconnectivity of physical devices in the food manufacturing process that leads to increased risk of production faults and unexpected downtime is diminished.
Access to real-time data
There is the Cloud, which is the connective tissue of Industry 4.0. Now manufacturers can access information any time of the day anywhere on the globe. With the information accessible in the cloud, it provides a door of opportunity for manufacturers to improve their production process, minimise failures and proactively confront possible downtime.
Downtime is one of the issues that plague manufacturing companies in any industry. Every second that goes by is a second of lost revenue. However, through IIot this disaster can be avoided by regularly monitoring and recording the actual operational conditions of the equipment and its system performance. This data is analyzed over a period of time allowing companies to predict machine failure and identify parts that need replacement avoiding costly unexpected downtime.
When a machine experiences errors such as temperature fluctuation, nozzle blocking, etc. a notification is rendered to an email immediately to address the issue. With the advent of the Internet of Things, Engineers can access the machine virtually in times of this defective system behaviour. Instead of requesting a visit, manufacturing companies can allow Engineers to access their system remotely and recover the issue. With the current worldwide crisis on coronavirus, manufacturing companies could safeguard their factories and personnel from the risk of virus entry since physical interaction with outside Engineers can be avoided. This is where IoT provides a greater advantage through promoting social distancing.
Abant Machinery strives to provide the best IIoT enabled printer to its constituents world wide. With Hx Nitro, one of its industrial inkjet printers from its Hx range of printers, Abant Machinery found an opportunity to integrate IoT in the machine. At the moment, the printer uses an IP-based application to monitor and design messages. It can be controlled using any device that is Wi Fi enabled such as smartphone, tablet or computer.
The operators can monitor the status of their production line on daily bases through the Hx Manager’s dashboard, where other important information such as the printer status and the ink status are also visible. Hx Manager can be accessed via Direct IP or through an Access Point.
The final phase of Abant Machinery ’s adoption to IoT will be the Abant Machinery Cloud. Albeit, this feature is disabled by default and will only be activated when the company enrolls their printer to the Cloud. Once activated in their production line, it will provide the company access to information that can help them reassess their production line, improve the quality of coding experience and provide automated assistance to avoid unwanted downtime. One of these will be the real-time notifications and alerts on the system behaviors of the printers in the production line. Once the printer detects a warning that may lead to possible downtime, Abant Machinery Engineers will be able to assess the problem remotely and provide remote recovery without the need of being physically present at the factory. Abant Machinery Cloud is set to be launched in the coming months.