The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us to become more resourceful and to maximise what we already have. Over this time, we have seen prominent FMCG manufacturers repurposing existing lines, companies adopting a lights-out approach, and talk of shorter supply chains coming into play.
Jozef Ceh, digital transformation manager for SMC Corporation ANZ, said the current situation highlights the importance of futureproofing one's business.
“Every business is looking for a competitive advantage to get their business back up to speed and Industry 4.0 is certainly the answer,” Ceh said.
He said SMC offers a practical approach for new and existing customers to smarten up their digitalisation without the hefty upfront investment costs.
“Rather than upgrading entire systems, there are smart and affordable decisions that one can make. Customers can identify products in their factories that aren’t being used to their full capacity such as an EX600 fieldbus system which has the capability to enable remote access,” Ceh said.
Customers using a legacy fieldbus across the ageing EX250 or EX500 range or even D-Sub connected compatible valve series, could look to retrofit a new EX600 to enable smart capabilities. “SMC’s team of application engineers are able to offer remote access to help set these up as well as ongoing virtual technical and sales support,” Ceh said.
“We are helping customers to futureproof their businesses remotely, easily and cost-effectively."
The EX600 series module valve and I/O system has the capability to interface to various industrial networks via the designated SI unit.
“This allows the customer to configure a customised arrangement of valves and IO required for the project,” Ceh said.
The EX600 connects to an industrial network as a network device allowing for local reduced wiring system configurations or distributed network system to interface pneumatic valves, digital and analogue I/O along with specialized modules such as IO link master modules, wireless transmission, RTD sensor inputs, high current outputs, and more.
“This system allows flexible configurations of IO, valves or both along with other benefits such as parametrisation, diagnostics, remote configuration supporting the requirements for digital smart factories,” Ceh said.
“Digitalisation is not as daunting as one might think. Implementing remote access, smart flexibility and gathering big data can be done slowly and incrementally. Many of these features are already within reach – with the right products you just need to unlock these features.”