Industry 4.0, the Road to a Smart Factory

In April, XPAR Vision’s CEO Mr. Paul Schreuders was one of the keynote speakers, during the yearly Technology & Society Congress in the Netherlands. It offers students of Industrial Engineering and Management a unique, interactive day, where they can broaden their knowledge, expand their network and explore their career opportunities.

This years topic was ‘Industry 4.0, the Road to a Smart Factory’, about the current trend of automation and (big) data exchange in manufacturing technologies. It included cyber-physical systems, the Internet of things (IOT) and cloud computing, which is more related to Production Technology & Logistics (PTL) than Proces and Product Technology (PPT). During the congress there were contributions of companies like Philips, ATS, Koning & Hartman, The Things Network, Engie, Enginia, Enexis, Target Holding, Ardagh Group and AkzoNobel and – of course – XPAR Vision. The various presentations painted a clear picture of Industry 4.0 in the minds of the 160 participants.

Benefits & challenges

Paul Schreuders used the opportunity to show the audience the benefits of container glass as packaging material, compared to other materials. Consequently, he gave an introduction to the global container glass industry and manufacturers and highlighted the specific challenges of manufacturers in the context of environment: the relatively low efficiency of the forming process, the weight of the bottles and the high dependency on human skills and experience.

Solutions & roadmap

In this context Schreuders introduced XPAR Vision’s innovative solutions: the hot end sensor technology for quality selection, quality control and automated process control. He also shared the results of these solutions and the enormous potential to maximize quality and profit and to reduce the use of materials and energy and to minimize failures: “Unfortunately, the implementation of new technologies in the conservative industrial environment goes much slower than you would expect. Companies are very careful and sometimes even anxious to implement new technologies. This is why we invest a lot of time and effort in personal guidance and excellent service”, Schreuders said.

Robot applications

In the field of Industry 4.0, XPAR Vision presented a roadmap for future developments, with a new generation hot end sensors, hot end automated feedback loops and robot applications as the key towards Smart Factories: with higher efficiency, lighter and stronger bottles and less human dependency. Following the questions and answers and informal talks afterwards the XPAR Vision contribution has been highly appreciated.