Industrial 4.0, IoT
The fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, is affecting almost every industry worldwide. It is rapidly transforming how businesses operate. Industry 4.0 uses transformative technologies to connect the physical world with the digital world.
Current trends include advanced automation and robotics (including collaborative robots or ‘cobots’), machine-to-machine and human-to-machine communication, artificial intelligence and machine learning and sensor technology and data analytics. Industry 4.0 technologies have potential to provide a major boost to Australia’s economic competitiveness. They can substantially offset our traditional challenges such as high labour costs and distance to markets.
Digital Ink Technology Pty Ltd - Australia and Kortho Coding & Marking - Netherlands have now signed a global strategic agreement. The new innovative printer technologies will be based on Thermal and Piezo printers using the world leading Industrial 4.0, ioT platform that already has been extremely successful with Kortho Coding & Marking’s existing range of printers.
Digital Ink Technologies Pty Ltd has partnered with Kortho Coding & Marking -Netherlands to offer the new SLIMLINE Concept.
A product design philosophy that stands for Smart Less Is More: Machines built to achieve less coding related costs through smart, non-conventional (and thus new) methods.
Our printers will not just save costs on classic topics like consumables, downtime and maintenance, but will also have unique features that avoid product recalls and (human) errors.
We can implement any customer specific solution without needing to write expensive tailor made software anymore. So now it’s time for the third story on saving costs. This time on… the equipment itself!
Good equipment has a certain manufacturing cost for a reason. There’s only that much you can shave down before the quality of the machines will be effected (for example by using cheaper materials). And even though we naturally also aim for low manufacturing costs we’ll never make concessions on product quality. Ever!
SLIMLINE is all about bringing additional and different arguments to the table than everybody else does. So what is this smart and unique way of saving on equipment then? Well, simply by needing less of it.
The idea is simple: Why having to sell touchscreens, housings and other expensive parts while they are already widely available in the form of laptops, PC’s, tablets and many other devices? Use that existing infrastructure! Just download our free POLYtij Control Center app onto any Windows system and control an unlimited number of coding units from there! Saving money on controllers at each production line!
Naturally we will also have a touchscreen controller available, but it will be optional. So what if you still need a touchscreen next to each printer? Or maybe one every two printers? Or ten? Or forty? No problem! The difference is that with SLIMLINE hardware follows function, and not the other way around.
How to code the Industry 4.0 way - Centralized Control
Let’s face it: Humans are a liability…. So the less they have to do, the better.
Enter Centralized control: All printers can be instantly and simultaneously configured for the next printjob with one single action on a central terminal. So no more walking up to each printer individually. And even better yet: no more fiddling through numerous parameters and functions on touchscreens in between each printjob.
It really is one click and all go. The most recognizable example of this is when an operator scans a barcode on a production sheet and instantly all printers, from lot coder to pallet labeler, load the new corresponding label.
Why is this a good thing? Well, ERP systems and PC’s simply don’t do typo’s or select wrong labels due to Monday morning blues. If all the pre-set parameters and source data are correct (which they should!) then the prints will also be. Secondly, what’s faster than “instantly”? So reducing the operator’s tasks to just replenishing the ink/ribbon is indeed what we want.
And also EXACTLY what centralized control is all about.
But how to implement this cheap and easy? Well, like always it all comes down to having the right mentality and equipment. Here’s a roadmap to Centralized control dominance:
1. Change your business model: Accept not making money on licenses of in-house made sofware and custom programming hours anymore. Period. Taking the customer hostage is 2019 is something that only companies like Apple can still get away with (sorry Steve).
2. Be objective: Since you are not making money on this anymore you are now free to objectively pick the best central control software, method or platform for the job! There’s lots of better software platforms out there than anything a printer manufacturer can build.
3. Don’t worry: You will recuperate that money on projects you win from companies who still try to push their own central control software in combination with long, expensive, unstable and never ending custom scripting and integration.
4. Have omnicompatible equipment: Having direct access to all those wonderful third party central control possibilities only applies if your equipment is designed to make it so. So if you find that you still need to tie a lot together, or that your supplier is pushing you down a certain path, you have the wrong equipment.
5. Know the facts and call them out: And this is the tricky one! After all, a protocol with just 2 functions is still allowed to be called a protocol. So what might look like an omnicompatible, multi-communicative, Industry 4.0 plug & print beast on the outside could still turn out to be a custom work-needing, never ending development nightmare in disguise! A good indication could be the amount of commands a certain printers protocol has. But still this is no guarantee that the one your specific project needs will be in there! So quantity does not tell the whole story at all. So be sure to have enough in-depth knowledge to be able to take the fight to the level of specific functions more than ever before!