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Smart bottling line debut

20 July 2022

A SINGLE demonstration line running on the Omron stand (B34) at this year’s PPMA Total Show will reveal how a dynamic manufacturing operation – in this case filling – can see dramatic efficiency and uptime improvements from the deployment of AI in at least two areas: intelligent machine control; and fault detection and remediation.

Too many operations gather large amounts of often unusable data, which is stored in the cloud at plant level, and requires subsequent analysis before it can be acted upon. The first of Omron’s two areas of digital intelligence is focused at machine-level, through its Sysmac controller with edge-based AI. With filling handled by an i4 SCARA robot, the small bottling line will demonstrate how this technology can deliver real-time trend analysis and alerts on the fly.

“The first step is to work in partnership with the customer to establish what data is being extracted from the line, cut out the ‘noise’ and focus on actionable data,” says Omron’s UK Marketing Manager Stuart Coulton.

This live data-at-the-edge, combined with the controller’s adaptive intelligence, allows the system to flag up any anomalies. Depending on operational priorities, these could relate – for example - to fill level, visual defects or mechanical properties such as machine torque. Any deviation outside a defined window can be preset to trigger a visual alert, alarm or even – in the case of safety-critical variables – line shutdown.

AR for troubleshooting

During the many lockdowns and other restrictions of the past two and a half years, suppliers and users of equipment have often had to resort to remote digital troubleshooting. In the second area of applied AI to be demonstrated in Birmingham, Omron will show how it has recognised the strengths of this approach, and formalised them within an Advanced Services offering based on the use of augmented reality (AR).

“Using AR glasses, in-house engineers can work with a remote expert to correct any machine malfunction they cannot diagnose or remedy themselves,” says Coulton. “Downtime – and especially unplanned downtime – has always been a bugbear for manufacturers. Omron’s solution helps to dramatically minimise that impact. Many businesses will also be conscious of the carbon footprint savings, as well as time efficiency, resulting from this use of technology.”

The bottling line, debuting in the UK on the stand will offer visitors the chance to see Omron’s Advanced Services in action. Stand B34