Global Graphics Software has partnered with APS Engineering to create an OPC UA-enabled ink delivery system to communicate with any aspect of an industrial inkjet ecosystem.
The companies worked together to create the OPC UA-enabled ink delivery system for SmartDFE, a complete software and hardware stack that adds print to the fully automated smart factory. Global Graphics Software built an OPC server for APS and created a user interface for the client in the Smart Print Controller so that the two can talk to each other. Global Graphics also built a SCADA-based implementation to view all the ink system data via a standard SCADA package.
The development means that the printer can be monitored remotely from an iPad or a browser on the desktop. Data can be stored from the ink delivery system in a historical archive database to enable other functions like predictive maintenance.
OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) is the interoperability standard for secure and reliable data exchange in industrial automation and other industries. It is platform-independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors. The ink delivery system sends information to a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, which controls and monitors the print subsystem and other devices in the factory.
‘Within a few weeks, we had added an OPC UA interface to the ink delivery system using an inexpensive embedded controller as a gateway. Without writing another line of code, we can now send the data and control to SCADA and cloud processing systems like AWS IoT Sitewise,’ commented Eric Worrall, Global Graphics Software’s vice president of product and services.