In bustling industries such as food, beverages, and household goods, the production floor can be a high-stress environment. Every second of downtime equates to lost revenue. Consequently, the imperative to streamline operations has become crucial. This is where Industry 4.0 can bring about a transformative impact. The fourth industrial revolution is based on interconnected systems, automated manufacturing operations, and performance metrics that can be monitored remotely and accessed from any location.

In Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sectors, where the pace of production is relentless (and is expected to continue increasing), the repercussions of unpredictable downtime, unforeseen stoppages, and maintenance costs are of utmost importance for business survival. Industry 4.0 is poised to change this scenario permanently. The transparency provided by component-level insight will result in significant improvements in efficiency, productivity, and Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), simultaneously reducing downtime and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Here are six advantages of implementing Industry 4.0-enabled coding and marking technology.

  1. Remote Monitoring of Printer Metrics

Under Industry 4.0, individual manufacturing components are linked to the cloud. This capability allows you, for instance, to remotely track various metrics of inkjet printers, including ink and makeup levels, as well as the wear and tear on components like motor bearings or optical sensors. This represents a significant improvement over traditional binary on/off indicators. There is no longer a lack of awareness, only a clear understanding of each component across your entire printer hardware infrastructure.

The ability to gather and display data remotely from printers to handheld devices also provides the advantage of sharing this information. It allows for confidently showcasing control over factory operations to, for example, the site leadership team or the head office.

  1. Proactively Avoid Faults

With your coding and marking machines linked to the cloud, sustaining optimal performance relies less on physical intervention from an engineer. Utilising remote diagnostics, minor issues can be detected and addressed by service teams off-site—preventing them from escalating into major faults that lead to downtime.

For instance, at Codico, we comprehend the optimal data range required to ensure the effective functioning of your inkjet coder. Cloud-connected continuous inkjet (CIJ) and Thermal Inkjet (TIJ) printers enable the monitoring of external variables. Examining the correlation between ambient temperature, ink, and electrical cabinet temperatures provides crucial insights into potential causes of degraded printer performance. This information guides our technical support colleagues in suggesting appropriate remedial and preventative measures.

Elevated internal temperatures may indicate a blocked air filter, adversely affecting printer performance and escalating running costs for the end user. A comprehensive understanding of performance data helps minimize the need for reactive interventions and directs proactive maintenance.

Through cloud-connected dashboards, Domino’s latest CIJ and TIJ printers can monitor fluid levels and remotely alert designated operatives when these levels reach pre-determined intervention points. Similarly, alerts can be triggered if conditions deviate from the optimal operational specifications for the technology.

The foundation of criteria examination lies in coding quality, consistency, and efficiency, thereby reducing the likelihood of costly coding errors and product rework.

  1. Keep Ahead Through Automated Email Reports

As a production manager or chief engineer, there are instances where it seems like you are continually anticipating the next issue with your manufacturing equipment. The constant effort to predict the next problem to address can be incredibly stressful.

With Domino’s interconnected printers, you have the ability to generate automated emails that notify when errors have occurred or specific events have transpired. This could range from a critical issue like a printer going offline to a more straightforward operational requirement, such as an impending ink shortage.

Let’s envision that you are employed in a bustling food production setting where the use and storage of ink are strictly regulated. You have the option to establish a trigger that will activate an automated email alert when it’s nearing the time to address an ink shortage on one of your printers. This ensures a timely changeover of consumables, minimizes downtime, streamlines operations, and boosts team morale through achieved success.

You can choose the triggers that simplify the management of your production environment. This means the task of anticipating production issues is delegated to the cloud. Just set it and forget it. You can also manage who receives the email alerts you’ve implemented, promoting enhanced collaboration and transparency. It provides you with the utmost peace of mind regarding the efficiency of your coding and marking operations – around the clock, every day of the year.

  1. Assess Performance Anywhere, Anytime

Picture having 24/7 access to a web-based overview of the current status of every printer within your network. Whether you’re at home, on the train, or on the other side of the world, all you require is your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. And it’s not solely the printer status that you can observe; you can also access high-level data on metrics like service history, uptime and downtime, throughput, consumables levels, and more.

Delve into the specifics of an individual printer in your network to monitor efficiency post-repair or gain a comprehensive perspective on how your entire printer infrastructure is performing — not solely on your site but across every production facility and every region within your entire global group. The capability to consolidate global performance data onto a single screen can genuinely revolutionize your business, facilitating informed production and procurement decisions based on real-world data.

  1. Strong Security and Insight From the Beginning

Concerns often arise within internal IT departments when it comes to connected infrastructure, and understandably so, considering the global security challenges in today’s society. Domino Cloud technology is crafted with this awareness. This is because Domino’s cloud infrastructure operates on a GSM network that is separate from your business network. Additionally, since Domino Cloud is hosted by Amazon Web Services, it adheres to the same stringent security and redundancy standards employed by the financial services sector. This straightforwardness guarantees a seamless installation and valuable performance insight into your printing network right from the outset.

  1. Collect Vital OEE Information for Continuous Line Enhancement

The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) of manufacturing equipment holds significant importance for any Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) business. The effort to ensure the cost-effectiveness of your printing operations used to involve scheduling an engineer visit, retrieving each printer’s support log, and manually analyzing the data. With Industry 4.0, this same process is now automated, saving time and money while offering a heightened level of insight.

The Domino Cloud configuration automatically enables the generation of OEE calculations and printer usage metrics, providing insights for line improvement and lean manufacturing initiatives. It’s akin to having an expert consultant readily available on your team whenever needed, all accessible on the dashboard.

What Does Industry 4.0 Mean for Your Business?

The advent of Industry 4.0 doesn’t have to signify a dramatic and time-consuming overhaul for your business. We can assist you in navigating through Domino’s Ax-Series printer innovations and support you in implementing changes to your production sites through manageable programs. This ensures that the processes are established correctly, allowing you to derive maximum benefits from transitioning to an Industry 4.0 production environment.

We can also acquaint you with the innovative features of the Domino Gx-Series printer range. The Gx-Series is tailored for smart factory applications, providing manufacturers with a seamless and future-proof solution for evolving production processes, addressing previous challenges encountered with TIJ Printers.

Feeling cautious and uncertain is natural when making any significant technological leap. However, over time, the transition to a 4.0 facility serves as a major catalyst for reducing operational costs, improving uptime, enhancing throughput, and transforming Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE). Furthermore, this level of automation allows for the redeployment of human resources, freeing up both your team and yourself to focus on proactive, value-added tasks instead of short-term firefighting.

What impact could this have on your business?

What’s next?

If you would like to explore the future of your manufacturing operations, please arrange a no-obligation conversation with one of our Industry 4.0 experts!

Want To Learn More?

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