Global Graphics Software, a leading developer of innovative software components for digital print, has partnered with APS Engineering to create an OPC UA-enabled ink delivery system to communicate with any aspect of an industrial inkjet ecosystem.
Its development means that the printer can be monitored remotely from an iPad or from a browser on the desktop, or that data can be stored from the ink delivery system in a historical archive database to enable other functions like predictive maintenance.
OPC UA (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture) is the interoperability standard for the secure and reliable exchange of data in the industrial automation space and in other industries. It is platform-independent and ensures the seamless flow of information among devices from multiple vendors. The ink delivery system sends information to a SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system, which is used to control and monitor the print subsystem and other devices in the factory.
“Within a few weeks we had added an OPC UA interface to the ink delivery system using an inexpensive embedded controller as a gateway. Without writing another line of code we can now send the data and control to SCADA and cloud processing systems like AWS IoT Sitewise,” comments Eric Worrall, Global Graphics Software’s vice president of product and services.
The companies worked together to create the OPC UA-enabled ink delivery system for SmartDFE, a full software and hardware stack that adds print to the fully automated smart factory. Global Graphics Software built an OPC server for APS and created a user interface for the client in the Smart Print Controller™ so that the two can talk to each other. Global Graphics also built a SCADA-based implementation so that all the ink system data can be viewed via a standard SCADA package.