Page 14 - Food & Drink Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
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True success with Industry 4.0 is about more than dollar spend. It’s not possible to simply ‘buy’ a company-wide i4.0 adoption. It requires a complete change in corporate culture. Manufacturers can still certainly ‘smarten’ up their production line, but enjoying the full benefits of i4.0 requires everyone in the organisation to be on board.
This is where smaller businesses can strike an advantage. Smaller manufacturers can be more agile, and much faster at integrating new ways of thinking into their DNA. Their greatest challenge is usually capital.
However, digitising your line, especially a smaller production line, does not have to mean all-new and expensive equipment. Using an integrator with OMAC/PackML expertise can open up legacy machines (old machines locked into original equipment manufacturer IP) to a line management system with i4.0 capability.
Clever thinking around lean manufacturing processes and the possibilities for personalised production can mean the smaller producers can step into this brave new world faster than larger corporates. With a smaller supply chain, the opportunities for collaboration across the chain are greater.
So no matter what your size, it’s worth pursuing your vision for your production line.
Get smart
Industry 4.0 is a facility-wide endeavour, but when it comes to implementing it on the production line, manufacturers often wonder where to begin. This is where line integration skills and the use of programming standards come in, writes Foodmach's Earle Roberts.
WE’RE often asked: ‘Can you make our existing factory Industry 4.0 compliant?’
The answer is - it depends.
You may have found that your existing equipment does not easily integrate, and that having each individual OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) supplier on your production line upgrade their control systems to suit Industry 4.0 is expensive.
In addition to this expense, the result is often clunky and fails to deliver the full benefits of a ‘smart’ line.
To address this issue, Foodmach has developed specialisation in adding functionality to existing individual machines, regardless of their make, through the creation of a Line Management Execution System (LMES) which can deliver high- performance connectivity.
Using high-level control architecture (OMAC) and open-source packaging machinery language (PackML), we work through original equipment manufacturers’ proprietary platforms so that all equipment is networked through the IIoT and can provide useful, translatable information.
Foodmach started using the OMAC and PackML programming standards a decade ago. This long history now means we’re at the forefront of OMAC and PackML programming in Australia.
Our specialist team of programmers use OMAC and PackML to get all the machines on a packaging line talking to each other and providing
consistent, useful data. This is an important step towards Industry 4.0 – open communication standards that simplify system designs.
In our experience, OMAC compliance for new equipment needs to be carefully investigated when looking to buy equipment. The standards to claim ‘OMAC compliance’ are very minimal for OEMs so the real test is what effort is required to integrate the equipment and communicate with it.
In contrast, Foodmach equipment is designed to easily integrate into ‘smart’ lines, giving customers both speed and control.
Our IIoT-expert customers see us as part of their development team. These customers have a clear strategy, capital budget and history in
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