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Can an Industry 4.0 enabled printer really benefit FMCG manufacturing sites?

  • By Charles Bryan
  • February 19, 2019
  • Cleaning Products
  • Beverage
  • Beauty & Grooming
  • Food
  • Life Sciences
  • Industrial

In bustling sectors like food, beverage and household goods, life on the production floor can be stressful. Seconds of downtime means lost revenue. Consequently, streamlining operations has become an absolute necessity. This is where Industry 4.0 can have a transformative impact. The fourth industrial revolution is built on connected systems, automated manufacturing operations and performance metrics that are monitored remotely and available from anywhere.

In FMCG sectors where the throughput is unrelenting (and will continue to increase), the impact of unpredictable downtime, unexpected stoppages and maintenance costs is business critical. Industry 4.0 will  (and is) changing that forever. The clarity of component-level insight will lead to valuable gains in efficiency, productivity and OEE, while reducing downtime and TCO.

Here are six benefits to deploying industry 4.0 enabled coding and marking technology.

1. Monitor printer metrics remotely

With Industry 4.0, individual manufacturing components are connected to the cloud. That enables you, for example,  to monitor a slew of inkjet printer metrics remotely – from ink and makeup levels, to wear and tear on components such as motor bearings or optical sensors. It brings huge benefits compared to the traditional binary on/off indications. No more beacon blindness, just clear insight on each component of your entire printer hardware estate.

Being able to collate and present data remotely from printers to handheld devices also brings the benefit of being able to share this information. To be able to demonstrate confident control of factory operations to - for instance - the site leadership team or the head office.

2. Prevent faults from occurring

When your coding and marking machines are connected to the cloud, maintaining peak performance is less dependent on physical intervention from an engineer. Thanks to remote diagnostics, minor faults can be identified and resolved by off-site service teams - before they become major faults that cause downtime.

For example, here at Domino our service teams are aware of the specific criteria necessary for the efficient operation of continuous inkjet (CIJ) printers. Through the cloud we can monitor ambient temperature, ink temperature and electrical temperature and suggest preventative action if we spot something incongruous. For instance a rise in electrical temperature could suggest a blocked air filter. In this way maintenance becomes less about reactive resolution, and more about proactive maintenance.

It gets better. Our latest CIJ printers automatically monitor ink and makeup levels, adjusting them depending on ambient humidity and temperature on your site to ensure ink is optimised for the print head. That ensures a focus on high-quality coding, reducing the likelihood of coding errors and recalls.

3. Stay a step ahead with automated email reports

Sometimes as a production manager or chief engineer, it feels as if you are always waiting for the next thing to go wrong with your manufacturing equipment. You are constantly trying to anticipate the next fire to fight - and that can be highly stressful.

With Domino’s connected printers, you can generate automated emails that flag when errors have occurred or certain events have taken place. That could be something as serious as a printer going offline, or as simple as an emerging operational need - like ink shortage.

Let’s imagine that you work in a busy food production environment where the use and storage of ink is strictly controlled. You can set a trigger that will fire an automated email alert when it’s almost time to address an ink shortage on one of your printers - ensuring timely consumable changeovers, reducing downtime, streamlining your operations, and ensuring higher team morale through the success achieved.

You select the triggers that make it easier to manage your production environment. This ensures the process of anticipating production faults is outsourced to the cloud. Just set and forget. You can even control who receives the email alerts that you have implemented for increased collaboration and transparency. It gives you the ultimate peace of mind on the efficiency of your coding and marking operations - 24/7/365.

4. Review performance anywhere, anytime

Imagine having around-the-clock access to a web-based view of the current status of every printer on your network. No matter whether you are at home, on the train or on the other side of the world, all you need is your laptop, tablet or smartphone. And it’s not just printer status that you can monitor, but top-line data on metrics like service history, uptime and downtime, throughput, consumables levels and more.

Drill down to the level of an individual printer in your network to monitor efficiency following a repair. Or get a broad view of how your entire printer estate is performing - not just on your site, but across every production facility and every region in your entire global group. The ability to assimilate global performance data all on one screen can have a truly game-changing impact on your business, empowering intelligent production and procurement decisions based on real-world data.

5. Robust security and insight from day one

When it comes to connected infrastructure, internal IT departments can get twitchy. Rightly so, given the global security issues facing modern society. Domino Cloud technology is designed with this in mind. That’s because our cloud infrastructure sits on a GSM network that’s independent from your business network. And because Domino Cloud is hosted by Amazon Web Services, it relies on the same robust security and redundancy standards used by the financial services sector. This simplicity ensures you get a smooth installation and meaningful performance insight on your printing network from get-go.

6. Gather crucial OEE information for continual line improvement

The OEE of manufacturing equipment is crucial for any FMCG business. The battle to ensure your printing operations are cost-effective used to require scheduling an engineer visit, uplifting each printer’s support log and manually crunching the numbers. With Industry 4.0, that same process is automated - saving time and money, while providing a new depth of insight.

The Domino Cloud setup automatically enables you to generate OEE calculations and printer usage charges, and even provides insights for line improvement and lean manufacturing initiatives. It’s like having an expert consultant on your team, on-demand whenever you need them. All available on the dashboard.

 

What does 4.0 mean for your business?

The arrival of Industry 4.0 doesn’t have to be a dramatic sea change for your business that will take a century to establish. We can guide you through the new concepts our Ax-series printer innovations offer and help you make changes to your production sites in manageable programmes. This ensures the processes are set up correctly to help you derive the most benefit from your transition to an Industry 4.0 production environment.

It’s natural to feel cautious and uncertain. It’s the same with any big technological leap. But over time the move to a 4.0 facility is a major catalyst to reduced operational costs, improved uptime, enhanced throughput and transformative OEE. What’s more, this level of automation allows for the redeployment of human resources, freeing up both your team and yourself to work on proactive, value-add workloads instead of short-termist firefighting.

What could that do for your business?

What next?

If you would like to discuss the future of your manufacturing operations, please schedule an informal conversation with one of our Industry 4.0 and Ax-Series continuous inkjet printing experts.

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