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By Rich Handley

Industrial Internet Consortium Announces Smart Printing Factory Testbed

The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), an organization focused on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), has announced the Smart Printing Factory Testbed. Led by Fujifilm and supported by IIC members Fujitsu, IBM, RTI and Toshiba, the testbed automates print production and predictive maintenance for factory-based printing equipment.

The Smart Printing Factory Platform collects job status, machine condition and production-quality data for factory-based printing equipment using integrated sensors. It then delivers optimized production and predictive maintenance plans. Users can monitor and control printing equipment through a secure IT/OT management console. For legacy printing facilities without digital devices, sensors can be attached to send, store and analyze data.

"As in other manufacturing industries, the printing industry is required to respond to mass customization and must improve processes in order to stay competitive. However, replacing a legacy printing system with a fully automated one is not easy because companies use equipment from various manufacturers," said Izumi Watanabe, Fujifilm's IIoT team leader, in a prepared statement. "An open ecosystem is the best way to connect equipment from many manufacturers. An open ecosystem will also allow factory operators to analyze data and integrate new printing developments more easily. We look forward to working with IIC member companies to make improvements on printing industry processes and technologies."

"The Smart Printing Factory Testbed is a perfect example of an IIoT application that will help improve the efficiency and cost effectiveness of an industrial application through IoT-based automation," said Richard Soley, IIC's executive director, in the prepared statement. "We're excited that IIC members are working on a cutting-edge problem like smart printing for factories."

Fujifilm hosts the Smart Printing Factory Testbed at its site. Supporting IIC members provide enabling technologies for data acquisition, management console, production planning, design implementation and security. IIC testbeds are where the innovation and opportunities of the Industrial Internet—new technologies, applications, products, services and processes—can be initiated, thought through and rigorously tested to ascertain their usefulness and viability before coming to market.

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