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Real-time monitoring and traceability in production


HGF (AB Halmstads Gummifabrik) has a long history which dates back to its founding in 1947. They specialize in moulding various rubber products for sealing, damping, and protection which they deliver to major industrial customers. In the sports business area, they produce gym products, roller ski wheels, and rubber horseshoes. HGF mixes all their own materials, and moulding is done using modern injection machines.

In 2022, the company’s turnover was nearly 170 million SEK, and the company has about 80 employees. Over the years, they have experienced both highs and lows, but HGF now anticipate a significant increase in turnover and are expanding production capacity by constructing a completely new production hall.

In 2022, HGF installed their first automated production line for a rapidly expanding product range in the green energy sector. In conjunction with this, they developed solutions for real-time monitoring and traceability in the production line together with Meta Bytes, an important partner in the implementation of their new digital solutions.

Real-time data and integration for data transfer

For a manufacturing company like HGF, there are clear goals and KPIs when it comes to production. It’s crucial to clearly understand how much is being produced, and how that figure compares to set goals, so that deviations can be quickly identified and addressed. Obtaining real-time data from robots and machines in a production line is therefore of utmost importance.

In the new production line, rubber membranes are manufactured. As a final step in the production line, the finished product passes through a robot station with vision control, where thickness and other parameters are measured. In the first phase, we built an application that connects the robot to a database at HGF, ensuring that the robot's data is sent to the database. Additionally, we have created graphs that display real-time data on the number of manufactured units. The graphs show the following:

  • The number of products manufactured during the current hour
  • The number of products manufactured each hour over the past day
  • The total number of products manufactured over the past day

All data is then stored in the database, and staff have the ability to generate various types of reports and summaries.

The following technologies have been used:

Backend: Go 

Dashboards/graphs: Grafana 

Cloud: Azure 

Improved observability and traceability

The integration between the robot and the application has enabled automatic data transfer, and staff can generate reports on production in PowerBI. The data displayed in the graphs will eventually be shown on a dashboard in HGF's machine hall as the project progresses. This way, employees will have real-time control over the status of the production line. They can easily see if the number of manufactured membranes meets the set goals, and other important machine parameters can be monitored.

In the autumn of 2023, HGF will, with Meta Bytes help, implement a complete digital traceability solution in the new production line. The application has already been expanded to read data from the machines in the production line. It also stores all data as well as sending data triggers to an OPC_UA server where all logic for traceability management is handled. The goal of the traceability solution is to be able to pinpoint the exact cause if a finished product is defective.

A long-term collaboration in small steps

The application we've built is a first step in an extensive collaboration we’ve initiated with Halmstads Gummifabrik and will gradually be expanded. HGF has received a solution where machine data can be read, stored, and transmitted. The solution is scalable, and by 2024, it will be implemented in the new production hall.