System integration, monitoring, and remote control for Industry 4.0
Piano Nazionale Transizione 4.0 is a big opportunity for factories to renovate production systems.
Grabo Balloons, the leading manufacturer in Europe with the highest number of balloons produced and largest portion of market share, asked Wonkit to adapt their industrial printing machines to Industry 4.0.
In 6 months, Wonkit has designed and implemented a web application that:
- connects Grabo’s machines to business management systems;
- allows Grabo’s machines monitoring, fault detection, and predictive maintenance;
- is compliant with Piano Nazionale Transizione 4.0;
- eliminate printing errors;
- allows Grabo to re-allocate 1 employee to more critical tasks.
Grabo’s process before Wonkit’s solution
The following process was performed daily:
- business management systems produce a document (es. Excel) with the tasks to be performed by each machine to date;
- an employee modifies the document by adding notes (e.g. practical information) for the printing machine’s operators;
- the employee prints the document;
- the employee delivers the document to the operators in a different factory;
- the operators manually sets printing machine parameters;
No remote monitoring nor control was available.
Grabo’s process after Wonkit’s solution
The following process is now performed daily thanks to the web application:
- business management systems produce a document (e.g. Excel) with the tasks to be performed by each machine to date;
- the web application gets the document automatically;
- the web application checks the format compatibility between the document and data expected by the printing machine’s PLC;
- the web application adds the most frequent notes automatically, and allows employees to add further comments;
- the web application allows sending both tasks and information for operators to the printing machine’s PLC;
- the web application allows printing machine’s continuous monitoring and remote control during task execution;
- the web application allows exporting reports of the printing machine’s activity.
Grabo’s machines support remote monitoring and control through the OPC Unified Architecture open protocol. Wonkit’s application, developed in Python, is based on open source libraries, including e.g. Flask to serve the Web-based interface and python-opcua for connection to machines.