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Powelectrics Telemetry Helps Adhesive Company ‘Stick’ to Best Practice

Posted on 23 Apr 2018

Powelectrics have developed a ‘connected sensor’ solution in partnership with a major business in the global industrial adhesive sector. The collaboration is a great example of Powelectrics’ 25 years of sensor and telemetry experience being adapted to a specific application.

Hot melt glue is used in the manufacture and processing of hundreds of familiar products, from cardboard boxes to nappies & from bottle labelling to books, shoes & cigarettes. This project has focused initially on cardboard boxes. There around 400,000 packaging machines in the world that use hot met glue, producing an average 500 cartons/hour… that is 200 million cartons/hour!! It is important that the correct amount of glue is applied. Too much glue is an enormous waste of resource at these volumes … and too little glue puts quality at risk.

Our customer wanted to offer their customers, the adhesive users, the benefit of Powelectrics telemetry to measure and report on the efficiency of the packaging machines. Various parameters are remotely monitored and reported, initially via wifi and then via ADSL or cellular connectivity to a bespoke web portal.

The data is then analysed. Using customised dashboards, our customer and their adhesive users can see how many boxes have been made, how much glue has been used, the number of hours/day a machine was run and how close to target these KPIs are- by glue type, factory, division, region etc. Alarms are sent when thresholds are breached and stock levels can be determined, allowing for automatic re-ordering.

It’s a perfect example of the ‘smart factory’ and Industry 4.0 in practice. Benefits include maximising employee productivity, minimising energy and product consumption and extending machine life/line uptime through predictive maintenance.

The solution is affordable, reliable, easy to retro-fit and currently deployed across sites in the US, Canada and Europe.

This m2m solution offers a valuable service to adhesive users, allowing them to intervene when machines show signs that maintenance is needed or their operators are not following best practice.

The ‘added value’ of this service, on top of the supply of high quality adhesive product, offers our customer a significant competitive advantage and helps them to secure key global contracts. The strategic move from product to service supplier has proven extremely popular. After all, what business wouldn’t want to know when their processes are not operating efficiently and have the chance to put that right?

The partnership with Powelectrics has provided a win-win, enabling both our customer and their customers to achieve their strategic objectives. It’s a great example of ‘connected sensors’ empowering industry to create new business models and use the industrial internet of things (IIoT) to create added value throughout the supply chain.