Ambient Intelligence platform for manufacturers

8 minutes read

The client aimed to optimize the monitoring of their manufacturing process. The existing system relied on Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), which were limited and expensive to upgrade. VirtusLab implemented a custom Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and built physical IoT interfaces, which added new metrics for the client to track and increased the efficiency of the production lines.

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The challenge 

Our client, a medium-sized manufacturer of custom labels, aimed to optimize their production processes. They could monitor only some parameters with Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs). This solution had some limitations, namely:

  • It required dedicated drivers which made PLCs expensive to run.
  • Monitoring the linear production rate and the number of items produced per hour would require expensive equipment.
  • The PLCs were incompatible with older machinery.

The client needed a solution that would both monitor and manage the production process. It should also integrate with the client’s old machinery. Being a manufacturing business the client lacked the expertise in IT solutions and required a technological partner. They contacted VirtusLab to help them bridge that skills gap. 

The solution

VirtusLab implemented our ready-made production management system that helps manufacturers streamline operations with built-in MES, APS, WMS & IIOT modules. 

Our engineers' customization efforts focused on improving the following functionalities:

  • Order management
  • Production planning
  • Integration with the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system
  • Tracking resource allocation efficiency

VirtusLab also developed physical IoT interfaces. Our engineers assembled custom PCB boards, powered by Arduino microcomputers. The devices were created to monitor the parameters of the production lines by reading data from factory sensors and sending it to MQTT servers.

Similar interfaces were available on the market but, compared to our custom solution, offered a lower degree of customization and were more expensive.

The results

The implementation of the production management system and the custom IoT platform has given our client the ability to better measure and visualize data. This client responds to monitored parameters and is more effective at optimizing their production process in real-time.  Also, they noticed the following benefits:

  • Reduced idle time of production lines
  • Eliminating the need to purchase expensive PLC drivers
  • The ability to monitor additional parameters such as linear production rate or the number of production items per hour

Tech stack

Language: Scala

Databases: PostgreSQL, TimescaleDB

Framework: Play Framework

Library: React

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VirtusLab's work has met the mark several times over, and their latest project is no exception. The team is efficient, hard-working, and trustworthy. Customers can expect a proactive team that drives results.

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Stephen RookeDirector of Software Development @ Extreme Reach

VirtusLab's engineers are truly Strapi extensions experts. Their knowledge and expertise in the area of Strapi plugins gave us the opportunity to lift our multi-brand CMS implementation to a different level.

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VirtusLab has been an incredible partner since the early development of Scala 3, essential to a mature and stable Scala 3 ecosystem.

Martin OderskyHead of Programming Research Group @ EPFL

VirtusLab's strength is its knowledge of the latest trends and technologies for creating UIs and its ability to design complex applications. The VirtusLab team's in-depth knowledge, understanding, and experience of MIS systems have been invaluable to us in developing our product. The team is professional and delivers on time – we greatly appreciated this efficiency when working with them.

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