Blog : How digitisation can give your production line eyes and a brain.

Win with a Smart Factory

There are many drivers behind the move towards ‘smart’ factories in Australia.

Plant floor automation with Industry 4.0 connectivity can help with:

the growing need for flexible manufacturing

product consistency

reducing operating costs

increased use of collaborative robots

increased product demand

lack of skilled labour and shortage of labour

increased adherence to safety standards.

Flexible lines have always been important in the Australian market due to our smaller production runs. 

However, the market trend toward increasingly tailored products is taking the need for flexibility to the next level. 

In addition, as lines become more automated, there are fewer operators, and those operators are responsible for multiple machines, or entire lines.

More changeovers and fewer operators, in turn, creates more opportunities for mix-ups of packaging materials, labelling and coding, so manufacturers are demanding robust solutions to remove the risk of human error. 

Lines are under even more pressure to produce at high efficiencies, and to the best of safety standards.

Industry 4.0 is the key.

How a smart factory solution can help you

We effectively provide your production line with ‘eyes’ and a ‘brain’, as well as the conveying infrastructure and a full range of automation.

A ‘smart’ factory puts you in the driver's seat.

You may have heard of ‘digital twinning’, or the mapping of a physical asset to a digital platform using sensors. The data from these sensors can analyse the machine’s efficiency, condition and real-time status. Digital twinning can predict upcoming maintenance requirements, reducing the risk of downtime.

Product and packaging changeovers become recipe-driven, allowing each machine to pass information to the next on set-up and packaging requirements.

An extension of this allows multiple checks of packaging materials, codes and labels to ensure product is correctly identified and validated as changeovers are made. 

Multiple SKUs are able to be run sequentially on the line with small gaps in between, rather than having to wait until a run is completely finished to start the next one. 

Control everything

We can install some great visualisation tools over the top of the line management system to report on OEE and other performance metrics, collating reasons for downtime and even assisting in identifying performance trends across shifts or maintenance regimes. This is an area where advances in artificial intelligence will really transform manufacturing productivity.

On a line running Foodmach IIoT systems, operators are presented with consistent HMI layouts and functionality across all equipment, making it easy for operators to move from machine to machine.

We can help you digitise your entire supply chain, ensuring greater quality control and reducing costs. Our unique expertise means we’re better placed to upgrade legacy equipment and implement line management execution systems across old and new machines.

Read a case study on Industry 4.0 in action at Dulux.

If you'd like to know how Foodmach can help you smarten up your factory—

Just ask us