The soft flooring industry is a huge global market that has yet to be fully explored, leaving the sector open for innovative solutions to capitalise on this niche. Local Victorian company Modra Technology had the foresight to propose one such innovative solution for soft flooring product development, in the form of manufacturing machines that produce carpet samples in small sizes.
Modra’s Managing Director Tim Modra’s passionate interest in software and Industry 4.0 technologies led him to seek out the capabilities of Open IIoT member Beckhoff Automation, to see how his existing machinery could be better leveraged through technology to address customer pain points. “Our relationship with Beckhoff is unique and hugely beneficial because the products that Beckhoff supplies deliver great performance and quality at a reasonable price,” says Tim.
“Our relationship with Beckhoff began with what we saw as a risk: developing one of our first machines using the Beckhoff automation platform. That integration was a success and we have subsequently automated the operations of all our machines using their platform,” he adds. “The standardised automation platform that Beckhoff uses has made onboarding new machines with automative capabilities so much easier and our support staff are able to support global customers with ease thanks to the commonality of the system.”
Tim says that the fact that the same automation integration process of the early machines could be repeated in later machines also made Industry 4.0 adoption in general a much less complex process. “The same IIoT-enabled parts are used across different machines, making switching in and out easy which has been tremendous for our local stockholdings,” he says.
Tim concludes that customer pain points have been addressed faster and more effectively as a result of Modra’s partnership with Beckhoff. “I’m constantly looking at the challenges my customers have and matching that against the enhanced skills and capabilities we have at Modra because of the innovation sparked by our relationship with Beckoff,” he concludes.