The ATEX&QPlant project contributes to the digitisation of Rieusset logistics
- The companies Imaz, Irontech, Rieusset and Tai Smart Factory participate, with the support and coordination of the Functional Print Cluster, based in Navarra, and the Catalan Packaging Cluster
- ATEX&Qplant will allow the improvement of Rieusset's production as well as a better control of the safety of the inks in an ATEX - or explosive atmosphere - environment
At the end of December, the ATEX&Qplant project, an inter-cluster proposal between two regions, Catalonia and Navarre, which has worked on the digitalisation and improvement of process analysis, quality, safety and stocks in the preparation of inks, printing and manufacturing of labels and sleeves in real time, will come to an end.
It is a collaborative innovation project in which 3 SMEs, Irontech, Rieusset and Tai Smart Factory, 1 startup, Imaz, and 2 clusters, Functional Print Cluster and Packaging Cluster, both accredited as Innovative Business Groups, have cooperated.
"The initiative aims to digitise Rieusset's production data in order to improve the management of its own production and greater control and safety of the inks. We do this through hardware, software and printed sensor technologies," says Mònica Riera, head of European projects and entrepreneurship at AEI Packaging Cluster, the project leader.
The project process began with the detection of the management problem of the different ink warehouses of Rieusset - dedicated to the printing of labels, sleeves and flexible packaging for the food, beverage, hygiene, pharmaceutical and tobacco sectors mainly -, which had separate locations and an offline planning of the manufacturing order.
For this, Tai Smart Factory developed a ink management software solution to collect all order and stock management information to automate Rieusset's logistics. Irontech installed ATEX (or explosive atmosphere) resistant hardware in its plant, located in Santa Perpétua de Mogoda, to detect high levels of vapours that are harmful to health.
In parallel, Imaz has developed new solvent-sensitive materials in an ATEX environment with functional ink to detect the solvent, as one of the main objectives of this project was to explore solutions to develop a compatible printed passive gas sensor.
ATEX&Qplant will enable Rieusset to reduce stocks, optimise in-plant resources and improve the management of internal ink movements in its facilities. This case is scalable to other industries, which will see their production processes optimised.
The aim of this type of co-creation is to contribute to a more connected, efficient and better prepared industry for the challenges of the new era, thanks to the investment in innovation and research by the printing and packaging sectors. This will allow the "transition towards digitalisation and industrialisation 4.0 of SMEs to improve their competitiveness and business model, more focused on the needs of users", as Adela Santamaria, Project Manager of Functional Print Cluster, explains.
ATEX&Qplant is a project funded by the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism in the 2022 call for "Agrupaciones Empresariales Innovadoras".