As technology continues to advance, there are many who expect manufacturers to begin changing existing equipment and machinery for newer versions. However, these new tech developments can be quite costly, and considering the impact the Covid-19 pandemic has had on manufacturers worldwide, many do not have the money to invest in complete overhauls. Rather, what many are finding is a way to combine new technologies into their existing legacy machinery.
This new digitization can be done relatively quickly, and many times requires only minor changes, such as new sensors. Not only can these changes improve the equipment’s lifespan, but they can also drastically improve their efficiency as well. The most important factor for manufacturers to consider is where exactly this kind of tech will be most useful. By properly assessing what areas can be improved, they can get the most return out of their investments. One case study of this type of approach is when Mitsubishi Electronics and Horizon Instruments assisted a manufacturer of In Vitro Diagnostic machines. The IVD manufacturer was experiencing issues with their plate fitting machine, which they had been using for 15 years. The system was slow, inaccurate, and obsolete, meaning too much time was being spent diagnosing and correcting issues.
Mitsubishi and Horizon’s approach was to integrate new modern tech into the machine to help bring it back up to speed. The use of a new programmable logic controller meant that the machine could be both faster and more accurate in its duties. Additionally, a new human-machine interface lets operators directly control the machine’s operations, ensuring things are running as they should and allowing them to quickly correct problems. Not only did these changes turn the machine around, but they were also much more cost-effective than getting a new, modern piece of hardware. It’s safe to expect that many manufacturers across a wide range of industries will take similar approaches to upgrade their current equipment.