Introduced for the first time at INTERPACK 2017, IMA DIGITAL is the new company’s comprehensive project to tackle the digitization challenge that is transforming the manufacturing world. Businesses face unprecedented disruption.
IMA is riding the wave of this new digital era, by integrating innovative technology on its automatic machinery.
IMA DIGITAL embraces all of the projects that represent IMA’s commitment to the evolution towards digitalization and consolidates a series of initiatives born to optimize its inner and outer processes: the outcome will be a gain in efficacy and efficiency to offer higher value to its customers.
IMA’s leadership in terms of innovation and technology imposes a highly competitive position also in the challenges of Industry 4.0.
By giving additional value to the packaging industry with empowered machines and services created to deliver predictive and personalized customer’s experiences across all over the value chain.
IMA DIGITAL shapes its vision of SMART MACHINES and SMART FACTORY declining the Industry 4.0 milestones according to a visionary approach. A unique approach to Industry 4.0.
The innovation opportunity created and offered by the IMA ecosystem, integrating traditional skills with innovative digital competences will allow the Group to gain a competitive advantage over its main competitors.
The potential coming from data analysis and interpretation of data sent by sensors and servo drives installed on the machine units is of paramount importance in order to get detailed information on the machine lifecycle.
According to IMA, the right path to reach higher standards in the machine’s intelligence is the one which enables the experience and knowledge of the machine’s manufacturer to be embedded into the machine itself.
The combination of machine unit sensors with the IMA knowledge of the machine functions in different production conditions will enable the possibility to get useful information regarding the machine status and life expectations, allowing prognosis services for fault research and predictive maintenance plans.
The activities put in place to reach this goal are:
HW architecture of data collection in parallel with the machine motion control
Data collection of particularly important components in different working conditions
Realization of analysis tools
Sensors integration and analysis tools on IMA machines (Edge Computing)
All the information coming from the machine must be available and «published» as a service – MES and ERP systems.
The communication languages utilized belong to OPC UA, MQTT and http REST standards.
Pilot projects by our customers to validate the integration of the data collection and analysis systems.
Smart Services • Enhanced serviceability
Digitization of products includes the expansion of existing products, by adding smart sensors or communication devices that can be used with data analytics tools, as well as the creation of new digitized products which focus on completely integrated solutions.
By integrating new methods of datacollection and analysis, companies are able to generate data on product use and refine products to meet the increasing needs of end-customers. IMA has today several solutions in its pipeline. Some of the activities described here below will allow the expansion of the assistance services:
SMART App for interactive digital documentation – troubleshooting – training
Machine performance monitoring
Condition monitoring: autonomous maintenance
Support to the resolution of faults with the aid of augmented reality tools
AR and VR tools for training sessions and data transfer
Choice of a cloud platform to collect data from the field and relevant analysis
A Smart Factory is an environment where machinery and equipment are able to improve processes through automation and self-optimization.
Thinking digital, the way we do, is the impulse for better work, better business, better life.
Yet, the core value of the smart factory still happens within the four walls of the plant.
The structure of a smart factory can include a combination of production, information, and communication technologies, with the potential for integration across the entire manufacturing supply chain.
All these disparate parts of production can be connected via the IoT (Internet of Things) or other types of advanced integrated circuits, which enable sensing, measurement, control, and communication of everything that’s happening throughout the manufacturing process.
Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cyber-physical systems and collaborative robots (cobots) are only some of the main topics of discussion under the mainstream of Industry 4.0.
IMA’s vision of an intelligent factory is a place where the main production elements (tools, devices and machines) are connected in order to obtain a smoother production management, allowing higher flexibility and reconfiguration.
Big data & Real time monitoring
The possibility that the use of data will open are almost infinite: production data in real time, life status of the individual components fitted on the machine, maintenance planning, activities traceability, virtual behaviors monitoring.
Among the various advanced technologies, some of which may still seem out of reach, the one regarding collaborative robots appear to see a remarkable spike in popularity. The main reasons for that could be their relative affordability and emphasis on safety.
IMA is currently developing a pilot project which sees the experimentation of collaborative robots, known under the acronyms Cobots.
IMA combine the use of collaborative robots to its automatic machines to ease, as an example, the job of the operators. Transferring the heavier and ripetitive operations from the operator to the cobot or to delegate some control and adjusting functions. IMA’s main objective of this pilot project is the realization of robotized cells.
From Robots to Cobots
The so-called cobots can today work together with humans without requiring safety fences or segregated factory floor areas. Even if cobots still have to comply with ISO safety standards and certifications if fences are no longer required between robots and humans, the direction is now clear towards a completely new and highly productive approach.
IMA laid the foundation for the development of a new project, which will see the first human-robot collaboration in the packaging industry. With the avail of highly sophisticated software and 3D vision system, IMA developed the algorithms to guide the cobot to recognize the right object, pick it up and install it directly on a packaging machine.
In this way, the cobot will carry out part of the job together with the machine’s operator, assisting him with full confidence (intelligent industrial work assistant).
In this case, IMA is integrating more and different technologies to move a step ahead and making the whole system more flexible and reconfigurable, therefore giving the possibility to use the cobot for different functions by changing just the instructions.
Smart Organization • Empower people through technology
Being agile to follow and anticipate the needs of the Business. Creating the right structure by integrating traditional and historic competences with new advanced digital skills.
Planning an in-depth cross training and development for all its people in the various functions, IMA is a sustainable organization where nothing and no one will be lost.
Flexible enough to keep the agility of its individual companies embraced by the main Group robust structure, to prepare the bed of the river flood represented by the IMA business strategy.