Importance of Natural Resources

Sustainable food packaging, powered by IoT


CuBE is very conscious of
the environment, our sustainability. Our customers are willing to pay
a premium price for a premium product that is not going to go to a landfill
tomorrow. I have been in manufacturing for over 20 years, and IoT, for me is a new
wave of manufacturing. CuBE Packaging is a manufacturer of injection molding
containers, primarily for the food service industry, a big component
of the reusability aspect of our containers is trying to find
that second life of the container, prior to recycling. CuBE has always maintained
that premium product, which adds to its longevity with second life and,
ultimately, cycle ability. It is a large growth industry, where people are now
ordering prepared meals to come home. They want them presented in a certain
way. We have just finished a large expansion with equipment, effectively
doubling the size of our business. Part of the growth of the company, we felt
it is critical to have a pulse on what is happening on the operation side,
providing transparency, timely information, allowing us to effectively
maintain the existing assets as well as take care of the new assets. Our goal
is to have the equipment to tell us when it needs us. When there is an issue,
or prior to initial occurring, our goal is to have the equipment notify us that
it would like our attention. So then we can go service what we need to,
where we need to, while we need to, with the proper resources, doing preventive
maintenance. My philosophy was, let’s look for a technology that is going to be
there five years from now. So we have built that infrastructure utilizing HPE
technology with Nimble and Synergy and Aruba throughout the whole facility
to more effectively manage the IoT. We are collecting data locally at the edge
as a pilot. We originally rolled out on the platforms, it forced us to apply additional
sensors and pick up on some data points deciding what data we want to collect.
Once we said what we wanted to do, we were able to pull that into the
dashboard. The initial goal was to give us an up time/down time. Are we
running at speeds? Are we hitting target? Now we are utilizing a Thingworx
software platform to do the dashboarding for us. We also tied in
some peripheral equipment, our cooling system and our air system, the lifeblood
of the injection molding plants. If you lose the cooling system
or your temperatures rise, that will essentially shut the operation down.
We partnered with local vendors of HPE. We are also partnering with their local
integrator that is tapping into the local information at the equipment,
pushing it through to the storage system. We are looking at some RFID
technology as well, which we can use for faster tracking. Some of the assets
utilize shared components that need to be tracked individually. With the Aruba
platform we are able to track our assets in a more meaningful real world way and
feed that back into the IoT system so we can do our predictive and preventive
maintenance on the injection molding equipment and the molds. We do have a
lot of capacity built into the system, it is scalable, there is new technologies that are coming off from HPE,
that I am sure they are going to be built on to our existing system. I am looking at augmented reality as something we can use in the
future, so it is built for the future and just the implementation,
the integration, from a business standpoint, there are no interruptions. From an HPE
standpoint, our people are very comfortable with the partnership that
we have built. It is not a vendor that shows up and install something and then
runs away. They are very local, friendly, approachable. They are always there.


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