Coding and marking is a small but integral part of production within many industry sectors such as food, beverage, and pharmaceutical plants across the globe. Legislation dictates that nothing can leave the factory unless the right code has been applied to the product's packaging – be it a date/batch code or a code for identification purposes. If a product does leave without a code (or an incorrect one), recalls and possible fines are costly, in both cash terms and potential impact on the manufacturer's brand.
This can become more complicated in industries where regulations are being introduced to enable individual products to be tracked through the entire supply chain, verified by retailers and customers and traced back to the origin of their production.
While coding and marking safeguards consumers, it adds complexity to production especially when it becomes the root cause of unplanned downtime on a production line. From a coding and marking perspective, combatting the factors that cause unplanned downtime in production can be segmented within groups: keeping printers running and ensuring the right code is applied on the right product. At insignia, we call this maximum efficiency, our mantra for Industry 4.0.
What is Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is an umbrella term for a range of technological advances that are transforming the way we manufacture. The picture of Industry 4.0 is one of intelligent, autonomous factory systems integrated with the internet, making complex decisions on the fly, fed by a never-ending stream of data.
In the world of the smart factory, there are no mistakes. However, Industry 4.0 isn't an all or nothing state, it should be moulded to your business and guided by the impact it has on your bottom line. Products, technologies and processes can be gradually introduced, eventually building up to a whole system optimised for maximum efficiency. 'Being Industry 4.0' should be thought of as a journey, rather than a single event, where improvements can be made to systems across the factory in manageable stages. This way of thinking ensures that processes are set up correctly and Industry 4.0 is being used to its full potential.
Domino in Industry 4.0
It is in the areas of IoT and cloud computing that Domino is shaping Industry 4.0. Through new technologies, operators can use coding equipment and systems as part of a singular intelligent factory operation.
Domino's iTech-x platform, available on both of their inkjet technologies collects a vast array of data on printer operation – from the ink and makeup levels of their Ax-Series CIJ range through to wear and tear on components, this information is then sent up to Domino's Cloud databases. insignia's Technical Support team uses the collated data to remotely diagnose faults and proactively identify potential future faults, ensuring maximum uptime for our customers. Additionally, printer metrics that contribute to the printer's Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) are monitored remotely, providing customers with the tools to improve their production. This data is available for customers too, accessible from any device connected to the internet. This provides our customers with the freedom to work away from their factory with full visibility of their working system.
Connecting coding and marking machines to the Domino Cloud means that keeping them working no longer requires an engineer to physically be at the machine. Instead, potential issues can be identified, and faults diagnosed in advance, ensuring optimal production uptime.
Domino's Ax-Series CIJ printers can automatically monitor ink and makeup levels, adjusting them depending on environmental conditions so that it is optimised for the printhead. Additionally, Domino's Gx-Series TIJ printers robust printheads are equipped with LED status indication for easy fluid replenishment and automatic ink perimeters to ensure error-free coding. The intelligence built into Domino's inkjet printers ensures high-quality codes are printed, thus reducing the likelihood of recalled products and unplanned downtime needed to clean and adjust printers.