New Berlin, Wis. — Auxiliary equipment maker ACS Group launched an industrial IoT service to collect and analyze data using cellular technology as opposed to WiFi or Ethernet networks.
Called MiVue, the service provides real-time condition monitoring of production equipment so manufacturers can essentially see inside their equipment and operations to predict and prevent problems.
MiVue was in development the past two years, according to company officials.
"Ultimately, MiVue will help plastics processors increase their uptime, reduce costs and improve aftermarket support," ACS Group Senior Product Manager Michael Gersmeyer said in a news release.
The MiVue team used their industry knowledge of customer's pain points to help develop a service that starts manufacturers on their Industry 4.0 journey, Gersmeyer added.
"Customer input was critical," he said. "We developed the initial product and continue to add functionality as we learn more from our key customers."
MiVue users can connect just one asset, such as a blender, for starters and then connect other equipment to the platform as needs arise. The service gathers data from their controllers and a router sends it through a cellular technology signal to the cloud, where it is stored.
The data can be accessed remotely nearly anywhere in the world on any device with an internet connection. MiVue also will send e-mail and text alerts to any web-enabled device.
"Manufacturers need a solution that is easy to deploy. That's why we developed MiVue to work with a cellular signal," Gersmeyer said. "While the technology is similar to a cell phone, we ensure robust connectivity with a powerful and reliable antenna. Cellular is one of the key differentiators compared to other systems that use Wi-Fi or Ethernet networks. Cellular is easy in comparison because the installer doesn't have to assign IP addresses for assets, configure firewalls, or setup VPNs in the factory. Once MiVue is plugged-in and turned-on, it starts communicating. This speeds time to value."
MiVue currently works with new auxiliary equipment from AEC, Cumberland, and Sterling, but eventually, it will be compatible with all industry products, injection molding machines, extruders and other machinery.
To retrofit existing equipment, a kit is available for processors to connect to existing equipment and begin gathering data.
The MiVue service also offers custom-built integrations for processors to optimize their factory with Industry 4.0 technology.
"MiVue provides the best solution for our customers because it is able to integrate with myriad brands and numerous types of equipment," Gersmeyer said. "We've engineered it to be easy to use, and we can provide the insight and support to help customers work and succeed with the new MiVue platform."
New Berlin-based ACS Group will put a spotlight on MiVue at the Injection Molding & Design Expo in Detroit on May 25-26.
ACS Group designs and manufactures a wide range of auxiliary products, including size-reduction equipment like granulators and shredders, material conveying equipment, metering and blending devices, heat exchangers, steam control equipment, drying systems and presses. These products are marketed under the brand names of AEC, Sterling, Sterlco, Cumberland, Wabash and Carver.