At AUSPACK 2017, a host of exhibitors will provide access to the latest thinking and technology on Industry 4.0, from information and automation solutions, to robotics and integrated coding and vision systems.


Manufacturers have more data at their disposal than they realise – intelligent assets like sensors, devices, machinery and other production assets can potentially deliver huge cost savings if the data they store is accessed and exploited intelligently.


According to Rockwell Automation (Stand 73), by the year 2020, more than 50 billion devices are expected to be connected to the internet. These devices are getting smarter and consequently, will help make manufacturing smarter. Now more than ever, manufacturers can readily take advantage of this growing intelligence through modern technology, such as cloud, mobile and converged plantwide EtherNet/IP.


As plants and production processes modernise current and legacy systems, and plant networks converge with enterprise business systems, manufacturers are gaining access to a tremendous amount of data. However, most need help to maximise the benefits of their data and transform it into actionable information.


Foodmach's sales and export director, Peter Marks, says Foodmach (Stand 260) is at the forefront of implementation of OMAC PackML automation technology in Australia. This technology allows for rapid machine automation integration, performance diagnosis and improved OEE.


"OEE improvements come from less down time, standardised operator interfaces and more deeply integrated packaging production lines," he says.


Mark Emmett, MD of HMPS (Stand 69) says Industry 4.0 is the way forward.


"We have already begun work on software to monitor our machines while operating in the customer factory environment. This would be done online and in real time.


"The idea is to capture data which will allow us to provide planned and preventative maintenance. For example, we will know when a motor needs a service, or is at risk of overload. We want to take a much more proactive role in our customer’s after sales support.


"It also means the customer can have their finger on the pulse of the manufacturing cycle at all times and can plan more effectively around shutdowns and maintenance.


"It is a very exciting time in industry and we see growth for our business with the rise of Industry 4.0"


Michael Green, MD, tna (Stand 85) says: The idea of a “smart factory” is certainly gaining ground industry-wide.


 "At tna, we recognised the need for greater line efficiencies and less dependence on manual intervention and operator skills some time ago. Our controls technology, and with it the ability to monitor all equipment from one central location, can already be found in many factories across the food industry.


The latest technology in this area is able to collect and evaluate data from the entire production line and provides manufacturers with immediate and accurate information that can improve processes, lower costs, simplify logistics and inventory operation, and enables them to better respond to changing consumer demands.


This is likely to increase further as manufacturers start to see what benefits the collection of this type of data can have on their processes and ultimately their profitability. Turnkey systems, along with industry standard communications protocols such as MODBUS, are critical to getting the best out of the interconnected world of Industry 4.0."


In this video interview with three exhibitors we hear first hand how Industry 4.0 has the potential to increase production efficiencies and flexibility, and so much more...


AUSPACK 2017, Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park, 7-10 March.

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