Why integrate identification and inspection?
By FoodProcessing Staff
Friday, 13 October, 2017
Identification and inspection are powerful technologies. They can improve efficiencies and product quality. This Q&A outlines what they can achieve when integrated.
Q. Firstly, who should consider integrating?
A. Manufacturers of all sizes can benefit, particularly those with manual QC quality processes or orphaned equipment, those who want real-time visibility to streamline processes, and those looking to improve productivity and efficiency.
Q. But aren’t they hard to integrate?
A. Not any more! Previously, limited and proprietary communication protocols restricted proper integration opportunities. With vast improvements in technology making each piece of equipment smarter, integration is becoming easier.
Q. So it’s easy to integrate now?
A. Absolutely. Smart software, new languages and interface standards are increasingly powerful ways to standardise packaging-industry communication. That makes integration much easier between the factory floor, machines and supervisory control systems, with no loss of functionality or control; e.g., Matthews’ award-winning, iDSnet software integrates coding, labelling and inspection for truly centralised control. Together, they can provide and capture quality data, and send alerts while the line is running, constantly improving the process and product quality.
Q. Are there any tips?
A. Yes, working with a specialist who knows how to integrate your equipment to meet your business goals and application needs will bring some pretty solid project-management skills. Their unparalleled understanding of equipment and systems will ensure you optimal results.
Q. What are some benefits of integrating identification & inspection?
A. There are many! Firstly, in overcoming the biggest pressure manufacturers face: “improving efficiency” by streamlining processes: eg, integrated inspection systems can guide upstream equipment to deliver better quality, say a checkweigher sending a signal to the filler to adjust levels in the case of repeated overfills or underfills.
Q. Any more?
A. Others include faster product changeovers (from one central point, again, such as iDSnet), better quality (inspecting coding & labelling with other aspects ensures better product quality overall, reducing the chance of recalls), real-time visibility (a major integration benefit is the data insights gained, in real-time) and continuous improvement (long-term value from continuously analysing ID & inspection data, then using the findings to improve production processes and optimise efficiency).
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