Digitization, product tracking, iOT, artificial intelligence: in production, this involves using machine data to optimize and automate processes. Modern software solutions such as GRAFiT 4.0 present the data of all connected machines in a clear, accessible form, and thereby make it available to the operator for use and analysis. The data is displayed in real time – for example via the smartView app – which allows for early detection, analysis and correction of errors. The central monitoring of the entire machine park offers numerous advantages such as higher productivity, less production scrap and lower costs. The system is available for the complete Starlinger product range (e.g., machinery for the production of plastic fabric as well as plastics recycling machinery) and has been designed with this portfolio in mind, but machines of other manufacturers can be integrated as well by means of standardized interfaces. Worldwide, around 2000 lines are currently connected to GRAFiT 4.0.
GRAFiT 4.0 – structure and features
GRAFiT 4.0 possesses a clear data structure; in the future, this structure will be geared towards machine learning, which means that the system can be trained to detect errors at an early stage. The resulting predictive maintenance of the machines leads to higher machine uptime, which in turn increases efficiency, reduces production scrap and lowers costs.
The smartView app features a user-friendly interface, which includes the option to individually adjust the menu bar. Popular features are push notifications, the storage of recipes, the export of data into a computer program or ERP system as well as limiting the access to machinery with an RFID lock. Online tutorials are available for operator training.
GRAFiT 4.0 and rTRACK
Based on a solution that was developed by an IT service provider roughly 15 years ago, GRAFiT 4.0 is an elaborate system that was perfected in cooperation with customers of Starlinger. With the founding of the independent subsidiary GRAFiT in 2018, the Starlinger Group placed the product on a new platform which guarantees continuous development and comprehensive technical support. With the backing of a world market leader, GRAFiT was able to further expand its product range: In the previous year, rTRACK, a software for batch tracking in the entire recycling process, was added to the portfolio. On delivery, the goods are marked with a QR code which is scanned at each station that the goods pass through. The data is recorded by the system and gives information about the receipt, processing and delivery of materials. The system makes an important contribution to quality management in areas such as PET recycling; another area of application is a concept developed by Starlinger that focusses on a circular economy for big bags made from polypropylene fabric.