Overview of IoT and its impact on industrial processes

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the concept of connecting physical devices and objects to the internet to enable real-time data collection, analysis, and communication. In industrial settings, IoT plays a pivotal role in driving automation, efficiency, and connectivity across production processes.

By enabling various machines, robots, and devices to connect and share data seamlessly, IoT paves the way for greater transparency and traceability across supply chains. It also allows for predictive maintenance, remote asset management, and overall operational excellence. The beverage industry stands to gain tremendously from the onset of IoT and connected, data-driven operations.

Increasing need for connectivity in automated production lines

Beverage companies rely heavily on automated production lines with advanced robotics and smart technology. As these production lines get increasingly complex, the need for effective connectivity and real-time data exchange also rises proportionately.

IoT solutions like industrial routers, Ethernet gateways, and edge devices fulfill this need for reliable, low-latency connectivity directly on the production floor. They enable various parts of the automated line to share data and work in coordination. Edge gateways, in particular, play a vital role in aggregating and processing real-time data from automations before it is transported to the cloud.

Challenge: Balancing quick data access and reducing cloud computing pressure

However, as more and more data is generated on the shop floor, relying solely on cloud-based analysis leads to issues like latency, increased computing costs, and bandwidth congestion. Beverage companies need smart edge solutions that can filter and preprocess data locally to extract only value-adding data before transferring it to the cloud.

This balanced computing approach allows for quick data-driven decisions on-site without putting excessive pressure on cloud infrastructure. The right edge gateway solution can help companies overcome this key challenge.

Challenges in Data Collection in Industrial Production

Diverse automated devices, industrial interfaces, and non-uniform protocols

Modern beverage production lines employ various types of automations like robotics, conveyor systems, filtration units, blow molders, labelers, fillers, etc. These advanced devices use different industrial protocols like Profinet, EtherNet/IP, Modbus, OPC UA etc. for communication.

The diversity of interfaces and protocols poses significant challenges in collecting and aggregating data from various production line automations. This hampers gaining a unified view of the production process.

Lack of openness in different brands and devices

Moreover, different beverage processing units and devices have proprietary firmware and toolsets. This lack of openness across third-party brands and models further complicates seamless data exchange and interoperability across the production line.

Difficulty in data collection across various production processes

In large beverage plants, there are often multiple production lines dealing with processes like raw material handling, mixing, fermentation, filtration, bottling, labeling, packing etc. Collecting and coordinating data across such varied processes with complex interactions is highly difficult. It requires an advanced IIoT solution specifically built for industrial environments.

Solution: AR7091GK Edge Gateway in Beverage Production

Introduction to AR7091GK edge gateway

The AR7091GK industrial edge gateway offers a tailored solution to address the challenges of data collection and connectivity in automated beverage production.

It provides comprehensive wired and wireless connectivity options through various industrial-grade interfaces and cutting-edge communication technologies.

Addressing challenges in industrial data collection

This intelligent gateway can collect and converge data from diverse field devices regardless of brand and communication protocol. It seamlessly integrates complex production line automation while resolving interoperability issues.

Specific focus on the beverage production line

The AR7091GK has robust Industrial rated mechanical design that prevents ingress of dust and moisture on the beverage production floor. It can withstand vibration, shocks, and extreme temperatures in the processing facility.

The gateway uses advanced edge computing capabilities for local analytics before securely transferring value-adding data to the cloud. This makes it an ideal solution for data connectivity challenges in automated beverage plants.

Automated Production Line for Beverage

Data Collection in Different Production Links

Overview of the beverage automated production line

Common processes in automated end-to-end beverage production include:

  1. Raw material handling
  2. Mixing and dissolving
  3. Fermentation
  4. Filtration and carbonization
  5. Filling and packaging
  6. Labeling and coding
  7. Case packing and palletization

Each process involves various types of automations like conveyor belts, filtration skids, filling machines, pick-and-place robots, automatic label dispensers etc. An edge gateway like AR7091GK collects and coordinates data across each critical production link.

Edge computing for machinery operation and production efficiency data

The AR7091GK integrates with the beverage plant’s MES system to extract real-time OEE indicators from the production line. It provides insight into machine utilization, performance, availability, product quality, and overall efficiency.

1. Examples: Profinet protocol + SMS alarm app

For a automatic labeling machine using Profinet communication, the AR7091GK collects granular diagnostics like operating speed, label count, rejection rate etc. In case of faults, it triggers SMS alerts to maintenance personnel for swift rectification.

4G Industrial robots and real-time data acquisition

Modern plants use 4G-enabled collaborative robots for material movement, palletizing, machine tending etc. The AR7091GK gateway leverages 4G connectivity to acquire time-critical data like electricity and water consumption from these robots in real-time.

1. Examples: OPC UA protocol + data uploading resumption

For 4G vision inspection robots using OPC UA protocol, any data upload interruption due to network fluctuations is automatically resumed by the intelligent gateway without resending the entire package. This enables reliable real-time data collection.

Conveyer data acquisition during material movement

Beverage plants use long conveyor systems for movement of raw materials, intermediates, and finished products between processes. The AR7091GK acquires running status, belt speed and other IoT data from conveyors over EtherNet/IP protocol to coordinate material movement.

1. Examples: EtherNET/IP protocol + IO alarm

In case of failure of proximity sensors or actuators in the conveyor system, the AR7091GK triggers IO alarms over EtherNet/IP to indicate exact location and component. This enables quick detection and rectification.

Power Consumption Analysis in Automated Beverage Production

Importance of power consumption analysis

Energy is a critical resource across the beverage industry. Detailed analysis of power consumption by different production line automations provides actionable insight on optimizing energy usage and improving sustainability.

AR7091GK’s role in collecting power data from production facilities

The AR7091GK gateway uses Modbus TCP protocol to acquire granular power data from drink processing equipment like boilers, chiller systems, ventilation, pumps, filling machines etc.

1. Examples: Modbus protocol, data pre-processing, and cleaning

It collects power consumption patterns from a flash pasteurization plant over Modbus, preprocesses this data to remove noise and anomalies, and uploads cleaned data to the cloud for analysis – delivering over 20% bandwidth savings.

Benefits of power consumption analysis for efficiency improvement

By gathering energy usage data across assets, beverage companies can identify optimization areas, right-size equipment, and develop sustainability initiatives – all of which bolster operational excellence. Real-time analysis also prevents blackouts and improves power reliability.


Recap of challenges in industrial data collection

To conclude, some key challenges in industrial data aggregation include:

  • Heterogeneous protocols, brands, and devices unable to intercommunicate
  • Difficulty collecting and coordinating data across complex automated production processes
  • Excess volumes of IoT data overburdening cloud infrastructure

Highlighting the effectiveness of AR7091GK in addressing these challenges

The AR7091GK industrial edge gateway provides tangible solutions to these data collection and connectivity challenges in beverage production lines, enabling plants to pursue their digital transformation journey.

Emphasizing the role of edge computing in optimizing automated production lines

By processing and analyzing data near the source, AR7091GK reduces reliance on cloud infrastructure. Its versatile wired and wireless connectivity empowers beverage production lines to become data-driven, efficient, and highly automated.

Future Implications and Trends

Potential advancements in IoT and edge computing for industrial applications

With exponential strides in digitalization, edge computing, 5G and IIoT, beverage producers can expect solutions to increasingly turn more intelligent, autonomous, predictive and efficient in the coming years.

Edge devices will become smarter, analyzing even video feeds on the production line using AI inferencing. Automations would be able to self-diagnose issues, trigger maintenance workflows proactively, and even adapt operating parameters independently in response to data.

The role of technology in shaping the future of automated production lines

Technology is playing an undeniably transformative role in driving optimization, adaptability, productivity, and flexibility in automated beverage industry processes. Beverage companies that embrace digitalization and data-based solutions are gearing up for market success in the future.


Recap of the key points discussed in the article

To recap, this article provided an overview of:

  1. The impact of IoT and connectivity in driving automation and efficiency in beverage production
  2. Challenges like production data aggregation complexity and cloud infrastructure load
  3. How AR7091GK edge gateway addresses these challenges
  4. Use of edge computing across links like machinery, robots, and conveyors in beverage line
  5. Role of data analytics in improving energy efficiency and sustainability

Reinforcement of the significance of efficient data collection in beverage production

As competition intensifies, the ability to collect, analyze and optimize production data serves as a differentiating factor for beverage industry leaders of tomorrow. Adopting edge computing solutions like the AR7091GK paves their digital transformation pathway.

Encouragement for industries to adopt innovative solutions like AR7091GK for improved efficiency in automated production lines.

In conclusion, food and beverage players should proactively embrace edge computing solutions on their shop floors to maximize efficiency gains, data-driven agility and connectivity in automated production environments, unlocking transformative business value.


What are the examples of automated production lines?

Some examples of automated production lines include assembly lines for packaging, labeling, mechanical part production, electric appliance manufacturing etc. In the beverage industry, highly automated lines are used for processes like bottling, canning, kegging, packaging and crate loading.

What is automation in food and beverage industry?

Food and beverage facilities leverage automation technology to optimize manufacturing processes using equipment like conveyors, sensors, motors, actuators, pumps and machine vision guided robotic systems. This boosts yield, quality consistency and productivity while reducing labor dependency.

What is an automated production process?

An automated production process uses advanced mechanized equipment like robots, conveyors, and machine vision systems to accomplish manufacturing tasks with minimal manual intervention across the production floor to boost reliability, precision and output volumes.

What is an automated assembly line?

An automated assembly line employs robotic technology to assemble component parts or finished products without human involvement. For example, bottling plants have automated assembly lines for bottle labeling, sealing, packaging etc.

What is an Automated Food Production Line?

An automated food production line consists of interconnected mechanized workstations like mixers, ovens, extruders, conveyor belts, quality inspection systems etc. to mass produce food products like bread, pasta, snacks etc. with minimal human assistance.

How to Make an Automatic Production Line?

To create an automated production line, assembly processes are broken down into discrete steps, and robotic modules/machines are assigned to each step based on production needs. The components are then integrated using a material handling system like conveyors and networked via industrial communication protocols.

How IIoT EDGE Gateway will transform food and beverage manufacturing?

IIoT edge gateways deliver actionable intelligence to beverage producers by acquiring, processing and analyzing vast amounts of data right on the plant floor in real-time. This transforms efficiency, visibility, adaptability, productivity, asset health, power reliability and sustainability across the manufacturing value chain.

Adopting the AR7091GK industrial edge gateway powered by advanced IIoT capabilities facilitates data-driven manufacturing, unlocks significant efficiency opportunities and paves the digital transformation pathway for beverage production facilities through edge computing. Its versatility aptly addresses connectivity, interoperability and analytics challenges arising from the complexity of modern automated production environments.

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