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How Industrial Printers Use IoT to Reduce Costs and Maximize Uptime

06-13-2018 01:42 PM CET | Industry, Real Estate & Construction

Press release from: Hitachi Europe GmbH



Keep Spanners Out of Your Works

How Industrial Printers Use IoT to Reduce Costs and Maximize Uptime
If you’re in manufacturing, you know what “a spanner in the works” means. It’s when a line grinds to a halt due to an unforeseen incident or a “spanner” (British English for “monkey wrench”), and you start losing money until the systems get back online. Today’s production facilities are under constant pressure to minimize spanners and increase production outputs – and that’s where the industrial internet of things (IIoT) is making a difference.
Industrial IoT technology is accelerating operations across manufacturing, making processes and devices smarter and improving the life of factory equipment. Analysts predict that IoT applications for manufacturing could create $3.7 trillion in value by 2025, increase productivity by 25% and reduce downtime by up to 50%. One area that’s achieving new levels of efficiency, cost savings and sustainability in manufacturing is industrial IoT printers.
IIoT Transforms Industrial Printers
Although industrial printers account for only a small part of manufacturing production, they play an important role in meeting the needs of consumers. One area of manufacturing that uses these specialized industrial printers is the food and beverage industry – to print expiration dates on containers of milk or cartons of eggs or even cans of beer. Because the food industry is highly regulated, these machines must print information quickly, reliably, and accurately from up to two inches away without physically touching the food containers.
For manufacturers in food and beverage, IoT technology is transforming regular industrial printers into IoT devices to improve operational efficiency, reliability, service quality and sustainability. With industrial IoT printers, organizations can measure uptime and view it as a digital representation, monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) using analytics and use dashboards to monitor an entire fleet of printers to identify issues with specific devices.
IIoT Ensures That Printers Stay Online
To meet the growing needs of manufacturers, Hitachi America is developing next-generation IIoT dashboards to turn industrial printers into IoT devices. By using sensors in the printer to communicate to an IoT platform, these systems allow operators to view printer status, ink levels and viscosity. They can also measure pressure, the rate of production, user habits and even why printers go offline – an expensive and time-consuming issue for manufacturers.
For example, a leading U.S. dairy manufacturer needed help in preventing its industrial printers from going offline and grinding milk production to a halt. The company was required to perform daily antibacterial washes to sanitize the equipment in the production line, causing the printers to fault. Hitachi conducted a proof of concept that pulled sensor data from IoT printers and analyzed the data on its dashboard. The company could instantly see the conditions that caused the fault and take corrective action. The problem was solved, allowing the manufacturer to maintain production at full capacity with no further issues.
IIoT Printers Reduce Environmental Impact
Not only do Hitachi industrial IoT printers help manufacturers prevent “spanners” from impacting production, they also reduce environmental impact by improving printer energy use and by using significantly less makeup solvent than other printers, which is better for our environment. Through IIoT printer technology, Hitachi is co-creating solutions with customers that deliver significant benefit to society.
By Garan Myers, Product Manager, Global Business Strategy Group, Hitachi Industrial Equipment Systems FIH2CM
Learn more about Hitachi's coding solutions, please visit:

About Hitachi, Ltd.
Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, delivers innovations that answer society’s challenges with our talented team and proven experience in global markets. Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional materials & components, automotive systems, healthcare and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company's website at

Hitachi Europe GmbH
Niederkasseler Lohweg 191
40547 Düsseldorf

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