Uptime and productivity are key objectives for manufacturers, and when it comes to automation, they’re actually the bottom line. In a PMMI study released in May 2011, packaging professionals said their ultimate goal when they implement new or upgrades to machinery communications solutions is to maximize uptime.
Continuing advances in hardware and software are helping make that happen.
“If machines aren’t running, they’re just taking up space,” said Tom Egan, PMMI’s vice president of industry services. “Effective machine to machine communications provide real-time data to technicians and line managers, and predictive information to help end users manage scheduled maintenance and better understand and predict potential problems.”
PMMI’s latest industry research study, “Machinery Communications — Trends and Challenges” compiles input from end users, manufacturers and industry experts to create an overview of the present state of machinery communications and what to expect as the field grows.
- As always, cost is a driving factor when considering machine communications products, and the ability to retrofit legacy machinery with new communications technology opens up a wide field of smaller business customers to machinery manufacturers.
- End users are concerned about the wide range of proprietary machine communications software, which makes the integration of data streams from various points along the production line onerous. As a result, machinery end users are leading a drive for open architecture that will allow them to build the best line for their products without sacrificing the uptime and efficiency associated with real-time data.
- Packaging machine language (PackML) is one potential solution to the proprietary software problem. As a standard programming language that sits above proprietary software, PackML makes it easier for both manufacturers and customers to integrate machinery, and to understand, communicate and troubleshoot machine problems in a single unified language.
The Machinery Communications Trends and Challenges whitepaper contains 10 pages of current analysis and segment outlook, and it’s available for download at PMMI.org. PMMI members can access the full Machine Communications Trends Report by logging in to PMMI.org.