Pharmaceutical market leader
The company with which TT PSC collaborated on a project related to IIoT, AR/VR, and AI technology is a leader in the Polish pharmaceutical market, with a strong position throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The company has more than 4,000 employees and owns several factories. The company is aware of the need for innovation and technological solutions. Its cooperation with Transition Technologies PSC proves its desire to use state-of-the-art yet proven and customized solutions.
Better data management with ThingWorx platform
The pharmaceutical industry is a market branch that quickly adopts new solutions, often driving or financing the creation of new ones. In Poland, the pharmaceutical industry has been among the top three innovation leaders for years, as confirmed by CSO data from the report “Innovative Activities of Enterprises in 2018-2020.”
The drug manufacturer’s collaboration with Transition Technologies PSC stemmed from the need to organize and streamline the management of data coming from many different sources. The client wanted data aggregation and visualization, as well as mechanisms for predicting manufacturing anomalies. The company also decided to test AR/VR technology for a more visual display of data.
The goal of the project was to create a digital model of the engine room (Digital Twin) along with the existing infrastructure by utilizing ThingWorx’s IoT platform and AR and VR solutions.
Challenges and needs
The client aims to implement Industry 4.0 in its enterprise; thus modernizing its production lines and optimizing its processes. Customer’s main needs:
- Reducing energy consumption,
- minimizing machine downtimes, thereby increasing their efficiency rates,
- improving utility surveillance efficiency and response speed in case of failures,
- enabling remote training for new employees.
TT PSC’s activities primarily involved virtualizing the production space by:
- Scanning the production space along with the infrastructure located in it,
- implementing the scan in the form of a point cloud into an AR application for mobile devices,
- implementing the IIoT environment, expanding it with the Manufacturing Apps package, and mapping the two machines indicated by the customer in this platform,
- implementing an analytical (AI) module including advanced tools designed for data analysis using statistical methods and machine learning, among other things,
- Integrating with the client’s existing systems referred to as the Media Monitoring System.
- Verifying and confirming whether the created environment provides:
- Data aggregation from multiple sources, including existing company systems, databases, and sensors located in production resources,
- Data visualization in an IIoT environment,
- Anomaly prediction using AI techniques,
- Data presentation in AR and VR environments.
The project was developed using the following technology:
- Industrial Internet of Things (IoT),
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).
- Artificial Intelligence (AI).
The work was carried out using a hybrid methodology, with high-level activities coordinated in a cascade approach, while programming and implementation work followed agile project management methodologies such as Scrum and Agile.
The TT PSC team divided and implemented the project in two phases:
- Implementation of development work.
- Test period.
The development work included such services, tools and systems as:
- Scanning the production space:
- Making scans of the engine room (equipment, devices and installations),
- Developing scanning results in the form of a point cloud.
- Development of an AR/VR application that works with a 3D scan:
- AR application based on the Vuforia engine designed for the Apple iPad,
- Integration of AR and VR applications with the ThingWorx platform; linking two machines (POIs) within the PoC.
- VR mode accessible from a web browser.
- ThingWorx system implementation.
- Integration with the Media Monitoring System:
- Mapping a set of parameters for two machines.
- Launching the analysis module for automatic detection of anomalies and prediction of emergency conditions.
- Configuring email and SMS notifications for alerts and periodic reports.
- Active Directory integration.
The solution allowed the client to test the possibilities of virtualizing the production space. It vividly demonstrated how data is collected from various sources, automatically contextualized, analyzed, and presented in a way that makes understanding the state of the production line and making strategic decisions easier, faster, and more precise. IIoT, AR, and AI have become real opportunities for the customer, bringing tangible value.
The project enabled the determination of the level of difficulty in implementing the system to its full extent, including all production resources and multiple locations of the company. The implementation of the tests increased the awareness of the company’s employees regarding the capabilities of the technologies used, and identified real needs and development prospects to a much greater extent.