Next-Gen Solutions Ima Connected Machines, the Power of Data
Ima Group gave life to a wide number of technologies and platforms dedicated to production monitoring and efficiency increase. In particular, it is worth mentioning about A4gate which is specifically created to tackle cyber-attacks, Ima Sentinel for remote production monitoring 24/7 and Ima Control Room for more sophisticated services.
Analyzing the data obtained through the connected machines means creating important opportunities for the manufacturing world. The data, duly collected, interpreted and analyzed, definitely bring added value since, because of them, it becomes possible to monitor the life status of each single component, to plan maintenance, to track activities and test virtual behaviors.
Ima Group, within its Ima Digital project (www.ima.it/en/ima-digital), has launched numerous digital development sites aimed at the interconnectivity of the systems and in order to obtain more and more accurate and precise data through the use of cutting-edge platforms, which could lead to a continuous efficiency of production flows. Today, thanks to the connection possibilities of the systems, Ima Group is able to:
- Protect the confidentiality of information generated inside the manufacturing plants;
- Increase operational efficiency (OEE) through the use of smart platforms;
- Support the daily management of the lines;
- Track parameters, performance and conditions of the equipment;
- Prevent and anticipate the occurrence of unexpected machine stops;
- Assist, maintain and solve problems remotely.
Monitoring the equipment and plant has never been so important. On the other hand, open connections to cloud platforms open the way to cyber security issues, which is a current topic in the manufacturing world today. Hacker attacks are, as a matter of fact, potentially able to increase damages to data, systems and people are also at risk. To solve this problem, the Group gave life to A4gate, a tailor-made solution capable of preserving sensitive information generated from inside the plant.
Designed with the Israeli partner Terafence, A4gate is, in fact, the integrated hardware and software solution to protect data confidentiality, system operations and operator safety. Agate technology allows data collection coming from the smart components of the machines through the IOT edge software in order to transfer them externally to the other Ima Platforms, such as Ima Data Room, Sentinel and Control Room.
The system allows only one-way flow, making it impossible to trace the flow itself and to access the machine from the outside. Penetration tests carried out by three independent agencies, experts in cyber-security attacks, certify the highest possible degree of security for A4gate. Technically, A4gate is able to manage more than 250 interface protocols (OPCxx, MQTT, HTTP, HTTP/S…) as well as situations of network failure and electrical continuity, integrating also advanced services and functions such as IOT Edge & IOT Data Collector, 24/7 Control Room and IOT Remote Access Control.
Today, controlling production efficiency is the main priority of the industry. We always look for data. More and more data. However, data alone is not the answer, and too much data, could even be misleading. To support daily machine management, Ima designed Sentinel, the Digital Platform that collects raw data and translates them into meaningful and valuable information, allowing the operator to monitor autonomously machine conditions in real-time 24/7.
Thanks to its sensitive technology, Ima Sentinel guarantees the manufacturer with the possibility of efficiency improvement through the intelligent and dynamic action list for the operator; furthermore, the platform supports smart line harmonization through machine data statistics and real average performance for accurate production planning. Sentinel is able to interact with all ERP and MES systems and all kinds of machines. In addition, it can receive and analyze data from all PLCs.
Ima Control Room
The Group has initiated various projects concerning the interconnectivity of machines and their direct communication with Control Rooms. Within these dedicated spaces, data is analyzed and re-processed to generate new technological solutions improving production results. If anything, unusual happens, automatic alarms are generated by the system to alert Control Room operators. It thus becomes possible for the Control Room to promptly inform customers so that they can intervene immediately.
In addition, on a periodic basis, the Control Room will issue reports on how machines are performing, how they are used, if anything unusual has been noticed relating to certain parameters, material, products or external conditions, trying to identify trends which can help improve production processes.
The Control Room Services are also able to offer general support 24/7 through the:
- Collection of event details and technical issues
- Verification of control room data on the machine up to that moment
- Preparation of a specific report to activate the second level of technical assistance service, documentation of the event as well as the maintenance in the control room of a system dossier in terms of operation and data.