Industry 4.0 Closes the Gap Between Customer and Supplier

3 min video  /  4 minute read
 

Project Scope

  • 572 tags
  • 39 screens
  • 60 alarms
  • Beckhoff controller and distributed IO via OPC-UA
  • Ignition Standard Architecture (with integrated web services)
  • MySQL
  • Unlimited rows historical data

Project Overview

This project connected Shopify’s e-commerce storefront ordering process directly to YourCoffee’s production floor. Using Ignition SCADA with web services APIs and Beckhoff PAC-based factory automation platform, ESM Australia delivered YourCoffee the Industry 4.0 tools to connect, evaluate, structure, and control information and physical processes — enabling it to achieve highly dynamic production goals, without limits.

 

Problem:
YourCoffee wanted a system to connect its Shopify e-commerce platform to the factory floor. The goals:

  • Inventory management for green and roasted coffee beans across 14 silos
  • A comprehensive recipe handling system
  • Pull new sales orders from Shopify
  • Build and optimize a production schedule based on key criteria
  • Ability for production manager to manipulate the production schedule
  • Control movement and track product between storage and process locations
  • Monitor the roasting process
  • Control the blending process
  • Deliver blended product to packaging
  • Provide clear performance reporting

YourCoffee did not want to spend a lot of money on functions and features that it didn’t need. It also had an aggressive timeline for the project. To ESM’s knowledge, Ignition and Shopify had never been connected before. Also, ESM hadn’t connected to Beckhoff via OPC UA before. Challenges also existed in convincing various stakeholders that although it hadn’t been done like this before, the risks were low. Traditionally this has been a manual, “artisan” process, with telephone orders keyed into an Excel spreadsheet which required manual data entry for all product types and orders. This process had to be done daily before production could start at 7:00 am, often meaning that there might be delays.

 

Solution:
YourCoffee acquired a greenfield site to start this exciting new venture. The company had heard about Ignition, and Inductive Automation referred YourCoffee to ESM. The two companies met and agreed to work together. YourCoffee developed a detailed process flow and scope, and worked with ESM to refine it.

Ignition made it easy to quickly build the inventory and recipe handling systems from scratch.

Your Coffee’s Shopify front end ordering system uses a RESTful API set. This works perfectly with Ignition’s web services capabilities to allow dynamic REST “queries” to do some of the initial data filtering automatically.

YourCoffee’s customers order their desired custom-made blends, selecting the bag size, type, and label type. Using Web Service calls, Ignition harnessed the raw JSON data returned from Shopify, where it’s filtered within Ignition Gateway scripting functions.

From there the orders are broken down into product-based objects where the users can collate several products from separate orders and produce a production run optimized to reduce changeover times. The Ignition-based production system automatically calculates when, where, and how much coffee is needed to produce the blends and then creates a roasting and packing schedule.

Ignition’s database enables the tracking of inventory of both green beans and roasted beans. Scripting manipulates live data to calculate on the fly what quantity of blended coffee can be produced at any time and automatically provides live data to a user’s iPad and the Beckhoff PLC to weigh out beans and blend for the perfect coffee.

To help maintain the tight quality standards YourCoffee demands, Ignition’s mobile module allows operators in the factory to use iPads to guide them through operational steps, and monitor production on the floor to produce high-quality coffee every time.

 

Result:
YourCoffee is one of a new breed of company, harnessing the power of technology to set themselves apart in a hugely competitive industry, to deliver personalized artisan coffee blends to boutique cafés around Australia.

Automating the preparation of the daily production schedule while allowing production runs to be manually added or edited greatly reduces data entry and management overhead.

Ignition integrates the warehouse and silo inventory system with the factory automation system. This means that all actions and information transfer are done in one step, further reducing the time needed to produce accurate records.

The combination of Shopify and Ignition has closed the gap between the customer and the supplier, increasing the quality, speed, and efficiency of the supply chain.

YourCoffee and ESM are planning to further augment their Industry 4.0 adoption by providing even higher levels of customization to suit each client. Automation for the booking and scheduling of shipments will provide higher efficiencies. It will also shorten delivery times of fresh products even further.

YourCoffee and ESM will also implement automatic reporting systems that will allow management to understand trends of both client ordering and production. The systems will also monitor energy-usage data from the roasters, helping the company to optimize efficiency and lessen environmental impacts.


Project Information

Created By:   ESM Australia

ESM Australia was founded in 1996, and delivers industrial automation solutions. Based in Brisbane, Australia, ESM offers motion control, automation hardware, instrumentation, and Ignition SCADA solutions. ESM also distributes a carefully selected range of automation products around Australia including products from Bedrock Automation, Beckhoff, Mitsubishi Automation and a range of AC, DC and servo drives, leveraging our engineering team's local experience to provide a high level of technical support to interators around Australia. ESM’s main customer focus is to simplify complex problems for clients so that they can be more efficient and sustainable moving forward.

Website: www.esm.com.au

Project For:   YourCoffee

YourCoffee is a subsidiary of a prominent and growing coffee roasting company in the heart of Australia’s culture capital, Melbourne. YourCoffee provides customers the opportunity to create custom blended coffee, starting from the roasting profiles and blend criteria through to custom packaging. YourCoffee uses a client portal where customers can place and manage their blends and orders.

Posted on September 1, 2018