Blog : How to integrate your production line.

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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 CEO, 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 your equipment is networked through the IIoT and can provide useful, translatable information.

Under Control

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 investing in IIoT capability. It’s a great arrangement where Foodmach benefits from working with some of the pioneers in the Industry 4.0 space and witnesses the great outcomes these customers enjoy.

And it means that we have the experience behind us to know what works.

We’ve developed a large team of expert programmers breaking new ground in this field, which enables us to integrate entire production lines and bring our customers closer to Industry 4.0.

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