IIoT consortium announces smart printing testbed

July 06, 2018 // By Rich Pell
The Industrial Internet Consortium (Needham, MA), which aims at accelerating the adoption of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced a testbed - a controlled experimentation platform - designed to automate print production and predictive maintenance for factory-based printing equipment.

The Smart Printing Factory Testbed collects job status, machine condition, and production-quality data for factory-based printing equipment using integrated sensors. It then delivers optimized production and predictive maintenance plans.

Users can monitor and control printing equipment through a secure information technology (IT)/operational technology (OT) management console. For legacy printing facilities without digital devices, sensors can be attached to send, store, and analyze data.

"As in other manufacturing industries, the printing industry is required to respond to mass customization and must improve processes in order to stay competitive," says Fujifilm IIoT Team Leader Zuni Watanabe, whose company led the testbed effort. "However, replacing a legacy printing system with a fully automated one is not easy because companies use equipment from various manufacturers."

“An open ecosystem is the best way to connect equipment from many manufacturers," says Watanabe. "An open ecosystem will also allow factory operators to analyze data and integrate new printing developments more easily. We look forward to working with IIC member companies to make improvements on printing industry processes and technologies."

Fujifilm hosts the Smart Printing Factory Testbed at its site. Supporting IIC members - including IBM, Fujitsu, Toshiba, and RTI - provide enabling technologies for data acquisition, management console, production planning, design implementation, and security.

Testbeds are a major focus and activity of the Industrial Internet Consortium and its members. Testbeds, says the organization, are where the innovation and opportunities of the Industrial Internet – new technologies, new applications, new products, new services, new processes – can be initiated, thought through, and rigorously tested to ascertain their usefulness and viability before coming to market.

"The Smart Printing Factory Testbed is a perfect example of an IIoT application that will help improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of an industrial application through IoT-based automation," says IIC Executive Director Dr. Richard Soley. "We're excited that IIC members are working on a cutting-edge problem like smart printing for factories."

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