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As you look ahead to 2019 and upcoming projects, there are most likely initiatives that focus on automaton and connectivity. In this edition of the Service Advisor, we explore these initiatives for the food processing plant and what you can do to ensure your project is a success.
Successful Automation and Connectivity Projects
Eight years ago, we introduced RemoteMD, the first automated remote monitoring and diagnostics software as a service (SaaS). RemoteMD is an automated condition analysis tool for G6-based Manta ®, Optyx ® and Tegra ® sorters as well as G6 ADR ® systems. It proactively detects changes in real-time, analyzes them and takes actions based on predefined rules.
RemoteMD is also a collaborative tool allowing a Key service technician to remotely access your sorter to quickly diagnose the situation. Through this secure connection, a technician can log in to the sorter’s user interface and “see” what the operator sees. This tool was revolutionary at the time – at least for equipment in a food processing plant.
That was before the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Today, Connected Devices, Edge Computing, Big Data, IIoT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality (AR) and other automation acronyms are now sweeping the industry.
Regardless of what your automation or connectivity initiatives are, success begins with pulling all the right resources together. Success depends on:
- Scoping the project - Specify what problem or pain point needs to be solved and review current capabilities to create a gap analysis.
- Executive Management Support - Communicate the long-term vision of how the technologies will add value and secure senior management buy-in and evangelism.
- Support Staff - Get your team involved in the project. Provide training to create buy-in and awareness. Their feedback can lead to new ideas and solutions.
- Start Small - Sometimes a proof of concept project is the optimal start, then look to scale.
- External Partners - For IIoT or connected devices projects, enlist expertise from vendors that have open, non-proprietary software and platforms. Work with more than one trial platform from multiple vendors.
- Define Success - This is more than just the scope of the project. i.e. Is it a solution that has a great user experience, simple to use and others seek it out? Does it move you closer to a fully automated line? Does it free up labor for other tasks?
- Communication - Keep all stakeholders informed. Not only does this include your project team and senior management, but also operations, maintenance even finance and accounting. Keeping people informed and excited will ensure a much smoother path to project success.
Key Technology has embraced open connectivity for our sorters. We employ OPC for the communication of real-time data between our sorters and controls systems from different manufacturers. Even from machine-to-machine.
In addition to RemoteMD, you can integrate the sorter data into your control system. This data enables you to manage the processing line by using it to send signals or commands to other pieces of equipment based on what the sorter is doing in terms of sorting out defects and foreign materials. Conversely, you can use data from other equipment to make changes to the sorter’s recipe to better manage quality and yield.
Our Service Team is Growing to Meet Your Needs
Key Technology is pleased to announce that we have increased our service capabilities in Europe with four additional dedicated Field Service Engineers.
Emiel Schoofs will be based in our Hasselt, Belgium office while Luuk van Meurs, Gerco Tober and Michel Verboort will be based in our Beusichem, The Netherlands location. They will serve customers throughout Europe, enabling us to deliver faster, more reliable and affordable service to customers throughout the entire region. Their responsibilities will include commissioning, maintenance, troubleshooting and emergency support.
We are dedicated to providing best in class after-sales service to our valued customers in Europe and these new additions to our service team will help ensure that you get the most out of your Key Technology equipment.
Our Service Team can be reached through our 24-hour Call Center. Contact them today to get information on your installed equipment, detailed spare part quotations, or to schedule a service visit:
Tel. +31 345 58 58 06