Why Marking and Coding Should Be Part of Your Connected Factory

How MPERIA bridges the gap between product coding and the data-driven factory

It’s not easy being a CPG manufacturer today. You face advancing technology and evolving consumer demand, complex global supply chains, labor shortages, and relentless margin pressure – you get the gist.

One way manufacturers are meeting these challenges head-on is by taking advantage of connectivity and digitization to create a connected factory.

A connected factory, also known as a smart factory, is all about using digital technologies to create a network of communication between machines, sensors, and people. This network gathers real-time data on everything from production line equipment to room temperature. By centralizing this data in the cloud, manufacturers can analyze it to improve efficiency, predict problems, and optimize operations. It’s all part of the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0.

A key obstacle many manufacturers face when it comes to setting up a connected factory is how to integrate existing legacy systems, including coding and labeling equipment, that typically is not compatible with new, interconnected technologies.

Bridging the gap

But what if there was a tool that could help bridge the gap? This is where a universal print controller like the MPERIA platform comes in. It lets you manage all your printers, labelers, vision systems, and coders through central interface and easily connect them to your network.

MPERIA is technology agnostic and can support the best and most cost-effective marking and coding systems for each stage of your operation. When business systems need to be connected, MPERIA seamlessly enables data automation from those systems without the need to invest in complex middleware.

One of the best things about MPERIA (especially for anyone needing to prove ROI) is that as your production operation grows and you add lines, the MPERIA platform grows with you. The platform easily scales to control additional printers on more lines or even across multiple locations, giving unprecedented scalability and flexibility.

When it comes to data security, MPERIA has you covered as well. It offers an integration technique called netFolder that provides a secure and robust way for a print controller to communicate with your enterprise system without risky integrations, specialized servers, software, middleware or hardware, or direct connection to the internet. It works by reading messages and other information that the ERP or other systems place in a centralized folder that MPERIA can access. There is no chance for injection of malware or other attacks.

Proving the ROI of integration: A real-world example

Porterville Citrus, Inc. (PCI) needed to automate the data flow from its backend database while simultaneously improving the marks on cases of mandarins and ensuring those cases were routed to the correct palletizing station. In other words, it wanted the benefits of integration and connectivity without all the hassle of setting it up.

Matthews Making Systems helped Porterville Citrus integrate using the MPERIA automated marking platform and controller. Using MPERIA, PCI gained centralized control of its marking operations. Its backend database was linked to all its different production lines, with a single MPERIA controller routing printable data to different lines. A vision system was integrated to automate printed data, and a conveyor diverter was installed to automate the routing of mandarin cases.

The results:

  • Quantifiable improvements in efficiency, cost savings, and product quality
  • Enhanced agility and responsiveness to market changes.
  • Stronger control and visibility across production processes.
MPERIA at Piorterville showing datamatrix

Unlock the power of connectivity

System and data integration are critical to future-proof manufacturing, particularly consumer goods. The good news is that it’s not as complex as you might think. By starting with one process—marking and coding—you can start reaping the benefits of integration and connectivity sooner and get your business future-ready.

Matthews Marking Systems works with many CPG manufacturers to help them unlock the power of connectivity with MPERIA. Schedule a demo with our team or request a consultation to discover the unique benefits that integration can bring to your operations.