Industry 4.0 has been created from a strategic German government project for the technological evolution and optimisation of industrial processes, aimed at implementing a detailed system that allows for maximum production efficiency, the best use of energy and the highest possible goods customisation even in a mass production context thanks to the adoption of four basic principles that are implemented in the Smart Factory:
• Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS): guaranteed interoperability thanks to a global network created by businesses that include machinery, logistics, structures and operators that are interconnected and continuously dialogue through the Internet of Things (IoT).
• Integration of data to the context: using information systems able to aggregate the raw data received directly from the machines during the production process in the full context, ever more timely needs can be fulfilled.
• Digital Interconnection during the entire process: from the end user to the manufacturer and vice versa, the process engineering allows for the customisation of the product through the system that independently collects the information needed to perform the required task.
• Decentralisation of decisions: thanks to the integration of their components and their connection, the CPS are able to perform their tasks autonomously notwithstanding exceptions, interferences or continent needs.
The integration between the production, distribution and information structures of the manufacturing industry is the key Smart Factory concept.
Piovan has implemented this with the evolution of its process control and management software based on the Industry 4.0 guidelines, creating communication networks with an exchange capacity well ahead of schedule (2020) to allow for connections between the various parts of the technological ecosystem.
Winfactory 4.0 can be defined as an open system for the export and import of operating and management data from and to external systems. The integration required is generally with the customer's MES/ERP, for the automatic acquisition of POs (Production Orders) on the final machines, to ensure that the correct resin or blend is delivered to the correct final machine, in the proper quantity and with the optimal drying level.
All this minimises operator intervention and thus the risk of human error. Winfactory 4.0 provides a complete PO report, specifying the materials and the batches used, together with the quantities consumed. It therefore provides monitoring, integration, automation and traceability: the key concepts and requirements of Industry 4.0. Piovan's twenty years of experience in this area enable us to be not just suppliers but genuine consultants, pro-actively suggesting bespoke integration solutions that meet the customer's needs.
The control of the processing of plastics, from the storage of materials through to entry to the final machine, is becoming increasingly strategic in general process control, and through Winfactory 4.0 we believe we are the specialists in optimising the value-added involved in this management procedure. Tracing the raw materials used for a specific production, once only required by medical applications, is becoming increasingly important and is now a general requirement. For this reason we have focused so strongly on the control of the storage area of raw materials to be used in production, and WF includes acquisition of materials through the scanning of barcodes, and the adoption of auxiliary systems to prevent mistakes in the loading of materials (lamps, electric locks, etc.). Winfactory 4.0, then propagates the data relating to the materials automatically, following the flow of the physical connections, right through to the final machines, guaranteeing both traceability and the optimal setting of the Piovan devices that make up the process.
Winfactory 4.0 is a software developed entirely by the Piovan in-house software division, making it easier to guarantee its continuous evolution.
New functions, new tools and new control features are continuously added, as a result of the experience gained or, in most cases, in response to customers' suggestions. Production recipes to guarantee process repeatability, centralised scheduling of Piovan devices, KPI for real-time monitoring of device performances, on-line updating of manuals, optimised alarm management with frequency monitoring, and customisable graphics, are just some of the functions recently introduced, and many more are under development. While the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies to provide accessibility by remote client devices (PCs, Tablets, etc…) and the installation of the software on company servers in a virtual environment, to enable the use of company networks to carry data, for the use of standardised data transmission protocols are constantly under consideration by our developers/designers, ready for application to WF4.0.
Piovan Group President’s message
I would like to update all of our Stakeholders concerning the current operativity of Piovan Group during the medical emergency of COVID-19. Firstly, I want to reassure all of you that any choice and future activity have, as a primary aim, the health and safety of our Collaborators and of our Customers, duly following the regulations issued by the Governments where we operate.
All production sites, service & sales companies are operating with continuity.