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oPtimized zero-defect high-tech AuTomatic WRAPping machine

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PAT WRAP (oPtimized zero-defect high-tech AuTomatic WRAPping machine)

Reporting period: 2016-08-01 to 2017-01-31

The PAT WRAP Phase 1 project allows the applicant to:
a. identify market trends and requirements considering Industry 4.0 to define a reliable IoT platform to be integrated on PIERI wrapping machine;
b. identify potential key stakeholders and technical partners to be involved for the implementation activities;
c. define all the technical functionalities to be implemented for the realization of PIERI IoT platform for the wrapping machine, considering market trends, PIERI competences and business plan;
d. define a regulatory framework requirements, with the identification of risks and opportunities;
e. define and develop a “go-to-market” strategies, mainly considering export possibilities and competitors’ market;
f. develop a sound and strategic business plan mainly considering the after-sale service of the innovative Industry 4.0 platform to be integrated on wrapping machines.
Industry 4.0 is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies, including cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and cloud computing and creating a Smart Factory. The performed market analysis highlighted that the main problem of the packaging market is the lack of an efficient monitoring system for the non-conformities and control of the process, production’s remote control, alert, predictive maintenance and images/data storage. These limits provide several limitations in the production efficiency, the safety degree of the used machines (in this case, wrappers), the damage of the surrounding environment, and the large amount of raw material waste (in this case, wrapping film). Currently the market does not fully respond to these issues and the realization and industrialization of the first European IoT platform for wrapping machines will be a breakthrough innovation.
The IoT platform for wrapping machine will improve: i) the productivity with great consequences in the firmness of machines, efficiency and quality of the wrapping process; ii) the security of the entire process and also for operators, thanks to the real statement of the machine and components functioning; iii) the maintenance activity both considering preventive and predictive maintenances, reducing maintenance costs for the company and iv) the data monitoring and storage considering historical events. In addition, the optimization of the wrapping process will allow reducing energy production and waste production improving the whole environmental sustainability of up to 25%.
The first activity performed by PIERI for the implementation of the Phase 1 activities was the identification of key stakeholders to be involved for the in-depth market analysis, the definition of the main technical functionalities to be included in the IoT platform for wrapping machine and the definition of a strategic and sound business plan for the Company and its needs.
Once these actors have been identified, different roundtables have been organized for the activities management and during the development of the feasibility to verify step by step the obtained results. First, the market analysis allows: 1. identifying the main needs in the Industry 4.0 sector, considering mainly the industrial sector, allowing also to perform a detailed comparison of PIERI solution and competitors tenders; 2. identifying the main players and proposed solution considering IoT platform for the industrial sector; 3. verifying the international panorama on packaging market defining a potential go-to-market strategy for the export sector; 4. identifying the main technical activity to be optimized and implemented on PIERI IoT platform.
Then, the obtained results allowed defining a proper business plan, considering above all PIERI needs to improve its market share and company growth.
In the meantime, the evaluation of protection activity for the innovative IoT platform, the freedom to operate analysis, regulations and standards analysis and risks and opportunities analysis have been performed to ensure the possibility to act without infringing other intellectual property rights and defining its own protection strategy.
The final activity was the estimation of timing and costs for the implementation and optimization of the IoT platform, starting from the already developed prototype, the results obtained from the pre-validation activity in real working environment, the company business strategy, and the defined development plan.
The PAT WRAP Phase1 feasibility study confirms the estimated expected potential impact of the proposed solution considering:
i) The improvement in company’s productivity, due to the higher efficiency and quality of the wrapping process,
ii) The improvement of the work and operators’ security conditions, due to the real statement of the machine and components functioning,
iii) The optimization of the maintenance activities, due to the improvement of preventive and predictive maintenance activities through the strengthening of the after-sale service. The main consequence of this activity is the maintenance costs reduction,
iv) The optimization of the data storage and management, considering and acting according to historical events,
v) The improvement of environmental sustainability of up to 25% considering the reduction of energy consumption due to the production improvement and the reduction of wrapping film waste.
Vision system installed on PIERI ring wrapping machine