The packaging industry is currently facing many challenges, resource efficiency and digitization being among the most important issues. Due to the growing demand for customized packaging, packaging machines are increasingly made up of units, which are subject to ever-shorter innovation cycles. At the same time, the integration of machines and an increase in digital solutions result in more complex software projects. Due to this complexity, topics such as usability and user experience are gaining significance. With the VisiWin toolkit, you are perfectly equipped to meet the current and future challenges.
Frequently changing customer demands lead to a large variety of products and forms that cannot be covered by individual machine functions and units. Hence, modularization has become the norm in the packaging industry to cope with recurring controlling and handling tasks for packaging machines and the increasing horizontal and vertical interconnectedness. Standardized basic modules can be combined flexibly and extended by other submodules at any time to meet a specific requirement. The VisiWin modularization concept allows to apply this to HMI. The application frame as well as the modules can be pre-defined and put together to create the final HMI for a specific machine. The reusable modules are versioned and maintained separately. The editing task can thus be distributed among developers. Ideally, creating the HMI is nothing more than selecting the required modules and pushing the button to generate the final application. In contrast to the copy & paste approach involving project templates taken by many companies, error corrections, extensions and improvements are incorporated into modules and consequently into any machine that uses this software. Updating existing modules is also possible. By using modularization in VisiWin, not only do you shorten lead times for individual machines, but you also automatically improve the quality and consistency of the software through centralized maintenance, thus increasing cost efficiency and customer satisfaction. Selling HMI add-on modules can also open up new business opportunities.
More information: Modularization
When investing in new machines, flexible solutions that allow to produce diverse formats quickly and easily are the way to go. For optimal machine efficiency, format adjustments must be reproducible and customizable. The intelligent format changeover is supported by the VisiWin recipe management. A recipe is a set of parameters and nominal values. The user or operator can load a recipe, send it to or read it from the PLC, and save it. Tracking changes in recipes and comparing recipes is also possible. This makes processes more secure, ensures consistent quality, and above all reduces setup times during product changeovers.
More information: Recipe management
The increase in the degree of automation in the packaging industry leads to higher complexity, and customary HMI solutions have difficulty keeping up with it. Production lines are characterized by machines and lines of different manufacturers. Coordination and monitoring is performed by a superordinate SCADA system, which uses standardized interfaces. VisiWin covers them all, from a single-machine HMI to a complex SCADA application, and does not depend on specific hardware. It supports open standards such as OPC and OPC UA, both as a client and a server, with MQTT as an extra. Moreover, other standards used in the packaging industry such as PackML can easily be integrated. The necessity of connectivity to automation components and cloud systems will grow in future. With its openness and standard interfaces, VisiWin efficiently supports you in that. Since we constantly develop our products further, you can calmly look forward to the interconnected systems of the future.
More information: Process communication
The increased complexity leads to greater demands on the operator. Moreover, shortage of manpower result in longer training times for new employees. An intuitive and user-friendly HMI can reduce training times and increase efficiency. The graphical user interface should be adjustable to the task at hand. VisiWin enables this through customized navigation concepts and a user management system that allows to allocate rights and save user profiles. It is thus ensured that users get exactly the information they need. Another highlight is the VisiWin language switching system, which meets all requirements related to internationalization of operator interfaces. It reduces the risk of faulty operation caused by language barriers and allows users to interact with the machine in their respective language and in the way they are accustomed to. Translations are time-consuming and costly. Nevertheless, they are necessary since you are selling your machines around the world. VisiWin relies on reusable texts and offers convenient export options for translators. This allows you to adapt the user interface to the language, local specifics, and users’ preferences at minimal cost. A clear advantage in the international business of the packaging industry.
More information: Language switching
An excellent user interface is intuitive to use and emphasizes the high quality and technological superiority of your machines and equipment. It is the first point of contact in the human-machine-interaction and an important selling point. VisiWin allows you to recreate every detail of your design concept reflecting your corporate identity. This enhances brand awareness and enthuses your customers. In addition to that, the VisiWin cooperative engineering concept brings team work to another level. Software developers create individual components in Visual Studio that the HMI developer can access in VisiWin, implementing them according to styles guides. In the development process, the focus is always on reusability, which is the best way to achieve cost efficiency and consistency in the implementation of designs. The VisiWin concept and its numerous design components allow to reduce time to market, which is an important factor, given the ever-decreasing innovation cycles in the packaging industry.
More information: Design
VisiWin is used by many players in the packaging industry and grows constantly in close cooperation with our customers.
Krones AG, an internationally operating manufacturer and provider of turnkey filling and packaging solutions, relies on VisiWin 7 as an open, flexible and powerful basis for its future-oriented "Connected HMI".
A standardized HMI for a group of companies with different types of machines – such was the goal of this award-winning HMI project. IWK used VisiWin to develop a new HMI for their machines.
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