CAMERAS, AUTOMATION, DIGITIZATION AND REMOTE PROCESSES FOR BMR LINES
23 June 2020 | News | Technical News
The evolution of the ceramic sector towards solutions capable of complementing high aesthetic and functional levels has led to the creation of new sizes and the need for new processes, which companies specialized in production technologies have interpreted with foresight.
BMR has once again shown that it has a strategic vision of the market, characterized by an international and futuristic perception of the sector, by a DNA strongly focused on research and innovation and has further developed its 4.0 technologies according to a digital approach that allows a process automation capable of guaranteeing complete remote efficiency, the most advanced production standards, with the collection of diagnostic and predictive data.
TopSquadraDry 4.0 with camera system is the first direct example of this evolution and presents new features and numerous advantages.
The new generation and fully automated dry squaring machine, in addition to the camera system, has an optical unit for each spindle, complete with protection and cleaning system, measuring laser units, and a control station complete with PC and management software. This set-up allows switching from a purely electromechanical context to one that is also computerized and interactive.
One of the main benefits is the ability to make all the tools work in the best way: in fact, their annual cost – according to BMR’s findings with the camera system – is on average 25% lower than that found with the traditional squaring machine. In fact, fewer resin grinding wheels are used and also, thanks to the camera system, it is possible to use almost all the grinding wheels’ abrasive, thus also reducing the problem of disposal. Then tile chipping and breakage decreases markedly and production downtime decreases thanks to the predictive maintenance function and real-time planning and tracking tools for the intervention of the technical teams. This allows a greater continuity and a consequent increase in production, a greater size change speed, with the right sized material from the first piece, and a reduction in processing waste.
Furthermore, the operator can have full control of the process, working from the workstation outside the cabin or even more remotely: he can view the flames coming from contact of the tools with the passing tiles – and therefore check the correct removal function – and intercept any defects. In this case too, compared to traditional technology, the camera system has allowed BMR to record an average increase of 2% of the first choice tiles, getting closer to 100%.
And it is precisely the possibility of working totally remotely that is the real plus of BMR’s new digital evolution, an upgrade that allows a reduction in the need for on-site operators in favour of streamlining resources and a better quality of work.
In fact, the possibility of working remotely is a great advantage for the current market, which has been able to witness its enormous benefits, especially during the recent health difficulties. It can take place both during installation and start-up, and during actual production.
Thanks to state-of-the-art learning technologies and software platforms, the machines can communicate with each other and with operators in natural language, making the start-up of the line installed anywhere in the world easy to do via remote-control. In this way, in addition to cancelling the problems and the timing dictated by distances, it is possible to intervene at any time and from any location immediately, addressing the processing dynamics – from installation to start-up, in fact – just in time with qualified technical staff, able to support the customer from start to finish. This is a new way of managing production and company that aims at optimizing resources to guarantee ever better quality: in support, production, efficiency.
In the traditional squaring process, each line requires the presence of an operator, situated in a soundproof cabin with ear defenders. From here micro-adjustments to the positioning of the single spindle are made, while looking at the ammeters. This procedure hardly allows full processing efficiency since these operations require simultaneity.
Then, as the lines increase, the number of personnel employed per shift increases proportionally.
The squaring machine with cameras, on the other hand, requires just one operator per shift, regardless of the number of active lines (or in any case up to 5/6 lines), who can work outside the cabin or even remotely from any location. All micro-adjustments are performed by a fully automatic system and without stopping the line, and can be implemented more frequently and quickly than the traditional system.
The operator becomes an expert process technologist who, based on his experience, is able to programme the processing recipes and delegate ordinary control activities to the system.
The system also allows having machine diagnostics and a predictive ability on production thanks to the ability to record and save all information regarding the consumption, duration and efficiency of the grinding wheels.
Several operations can be performed with BMR software:
- department operational status display;
- display / set production data of the connected machines;
- alarm signals and list of alarms present in the department;
- display / save alarm history and statistics, which can be recalled by date and / or production batch;
- display the list of maintenance work to be carried out in the department;
- remote access to the system through various access channels.
Thanks to the synergy of these digital solutions, BMR’s TopSquadraDry 4.0 squaring line is completely automated, with the possibility of remote management and data control. It can be connected to cutting and splitting machines in order to minimize production waste and raise production to the highest levels. Intelligent warehouse management is a logical consequence.
The same process can be applied to BMR lapping and polishing lines, thanks to the improvements that have been made recently
BMR strongly believes in this technological implementation and in the development of production strategies that focus on the digital approach, in order to guarantee the highest performances, and believes that it can be a lasting response to the needs of ceramic production to guarantee maximum efficiency , the reduction of waste and data management.