Saving the environment, reducing paper usage in factories and generating value for workers and management. That’s the purpose of Industrial Paperless Production Process (IPPP), a new activity launched by EIT Digital as part of its Digital Industry Action Line.
The initiative is based on the fact that in traditional assembly lines of large and medium companies paper documents still play a significant role.
Reports for quality assessment, for instance, are often still manually filled and anomalies during the production process are still managed with instructions written on paper.
The progress of the work order is therefore monitored with a delay of days, affecting the efficiency and the quality of processes.
The solution developed by Cefriel, as business champion of the IPPP initiative, and the Fraunhofer Institute as technology provider, will generate new data and knowledge regarding the production status on the factory floor, supporting workers with real-time information about their operations and reducing the decision time of stakeholders.
It will be a modular solution, consisting of both hardware and software components.
A digital tool installed on the production line (made of sensors, controls and UI panels) will allow workers to collect data to monitor production state progress and suggest procedures to manage anomalies, whereas a data analytics dashboard will be available to production managers and quality staff for real-time operations tracking.
This will lead to an overall improvement in efficiency, equivalent to an estimate 40% reduction in the number of A4 papers involved in production lines and to a 20% reduction in the time needed for quality checks.
The product will be released by the end of 2017. From the beginning of 2018, Zoppas Industries, as first customer and early adopter, will be able to test the final solution in its Italian headquarters in Vittorio Veneto, and submit feedback or feature requests.
Zoppas Industries Heating Element Technologies, as part of the evolution of its production systems, aims at focusing on process control to evaluate performances aspects such as productivity, quality and consumptions not individually, but rather as integrated factors.
"In this context, the opportunity of developing a solution for the collection, digitization and visualization of process and product data, in labour intensive production processes, was identified," says Michele Peterle, Zoppas Industries’ business unit manager for Development & Technology Integration.
"The architectural solution should be designed to work seamlessly with the company’s existing tools and systems in order to make it possible to extend it to other production areas of the group."
In a later phase, therefore, the product will be further enhanced to become an integrated digital industrial platform, able to collect and correlate data from different sources.