It’s said that the IIoT’s “real potential lies not in a radical rip-and-replace overhaul strategy but through incremental smart upgrades and improvements.” (See Industry 4.0 Is an Evolution, Not a Revolution.) That’s the mindset we’ve taken at Corlina in our work with a large midwestern packaging manufacturer. Our customer wanted to develop a monitoring solution to predict maintenance needs more accurately but didn’t know where to start. While their main manufacturing systems (injection molding machines) have embedded sensors and intelligence, they did not have access to the sensor data. As a result, they were doing excessive preventative maintenance to avoid costly downtime caused by machine malfunctions. Together, we were looking for a method to reduce overall downtime without a full overhaul of these systems, and in a way that was not too costly for their margin-pressured business.
Our goals for the solution were:
● provide visibility into the plant machinery which is not available from the proprietary closed OT systems
● maintain the safety and integrity of the core and supporting systems
● could be scaled simply and quickly with limited additional cost and effort
● enables the predictive analysis of the data and planning of preventative maintenance to maximize equipment availability and service life.
We collaborated to implement a network of industry-standard sensors that were up and running in a matter of days, and that helped our client to immediately begin to avoid unplanned downtime of their systems. With an upfront cost of less than $15k, and ongoing outlay of just $1,000/month, the solution had a positive ROI within just a few months.
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