Domino Printing Sciences is shaping new areas of coding and marking with the introduction of Industry 4.0 concepts and innovations to its range of products. The company is using the Domino Cloud service tool and the i-Techx platform to provide remote access and monitoring, as well as error-free coding and system integration. This will result in a smart, interconnected network of machines and processes that centralise and simplify coding procedures.
“Coding requirements are becoming increasingly more complex in a number of industries around the world, which means system integration and the improved automation of the production line are key to simplifying the coding process,” says James Murtagh, Industry 4.0 Lead at Domino Printing Sciences. “There’s no better way of achieving this than through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).”
He continues: “Domino is actively collaborating with organisations to develop industry communication standard protocols for coding and marking. We are members of the OPC foundation, OMAC (Organisation for Machine Automation and Control), ODVA (Open DeviceNet Vendor Association) and the WS (Weihenstephan Standards) industrial working group. Domino believes in an interoperable world, which is why we are proud of our membership with these bodies.”
James highlights a recent example of Domino’s Industry 4.0 technology: “The newly launched Ax-Series Continuous Ink Jet (CIJ) printers use an array of integrated sensors to automate system monitoring, allowing for proactive and predictive diagnostics and remote service support through IIoT and connection to the Domino Cloud. We are providing the building blocks of Industry 4.0 in coding and marking.”
Domino Cloud embeds IIoT intelligence into Domino’s SafeGuard service plan packages to provide the highest level of aftercare for the company’s printers, and total peace of mind for customers. The cloud computing platform connects the company’s support network to customer printers to monitor their operation and performance. Cloud-hosted dashboards provide 24/7 access to up-to-date printer information. This enables the customer to be alerted to any issues, retrieve data for Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) calculations, compare printer performance across plants, as well as forecast ahead for refilling and reordering inks and consumables.
This level of access is also available to Domino’s support team and engineers. Errors and potential issues are recorded automatically and alerts sent to the customer to inform of any preventable problems that may result in unplanned downtime. If a fix is needed, remote diagnostics enable an immediate resolution by the Domino helpdesk or ensure a member of the service support team arrives prepared with the correct replacements.
“Thanks to Domino Cloud, we have effectively substituted reactive fixing with proactive servicing,” explains James. “By combining this online tool with our i-Techx coding and automation software, Domino is able to provide a comprehensive Industry 4.0 solution.”
The i-Techx software integrates Domino printers into factory automation systems such as MES (Manufacturing Execution System) and ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) via industry communication standard protocols.
Remote connectivity is one of the key features of i-Techx. The central management of label design and customisation of operator screens means that human intervention is significantly reduced, which in turn removes the incidence of coding and marking errors. The data collected by i-Techx on printer operation – from running performance to ink and makeup levels, as well as wear and tear on components – can be accessed through the Domino Cloud dashboard by the customer at any time, regardless of the location.
“For coding and marking, Industry 4.0 means that inaccurate codes and unplanned downtime caused by equipment will be a thing of the past,” concludes James. “Our machines will become virtually invisible on our customer lines – seamlessly applying codes to packaging, as part of one intelligent factory operation. With Domino Cloud and i-Techx, we are empowering and enabling our customers.”