Smart Printing Factory Testbed

Fast Facts




Fujitsu, Microsoft, Real-Time Innovations, Toshiba


Manufacturing (Industrial Printing)

  • Commoditization is lowering margins in all print market segments.
  • It is difficult to secure profits against the changing nature of demands.
  • Mass customization is difficult because the various pieces of equipment operate in either the brown field or the green field, or both, and operational efficiency is not easily measured.
  • Increase productivity and flexibility of complex printing production lines, including collaboration across ecosystem partners.
  • Optimize production uptime by performing predictive maintenance of printing equipment assets.
  • Establish centralized, real-time visibility of production line status across the printing equipment ecosystem.
  • Realize true profits through automation.
How It Works:

In a printing factory, legacy machines and modern machines are mixed. These machines are connected to the cloud by brownfield sensors or their status is reported directly to the management program. The reported data are stored in a database on the Smart Printing Factory IoT Center.

  • Make it easier to manage ROI and help identify and improve profit
  • Increase orders and sales by increasing the production capacity allowance
  • Maximize print production by increasing factory production efficiency
  • Minimize the waste material, optimize print quality and minimize unnecessary reprints
  • Minimize maintenance costs and downtime by predicting the repair time from the operating status data and preparing a repair plan in advance
  • Create “standards” for connectivity between Edge devices and Smart Printing Factory system
  • Create “standards” for connectivity between current customer’s systems and Smart Printing Factory system
Societal Benefits
  • Produce items that could not be realized previously, such as costly out-of-print books
  • Give Software houses additional opportunities to design new applications

The SPF Testbed will grant new and attractive application capabilities for brownfield and green field equipment by leveraging the industrial internet. This connectivity enables customers, suppliers and vendors to more readily access data from these systems and to apply predictive maintenance and optimized processing to those systems. 

The Testbed

This testbed optimizes printing production planning and improves equipment availability by instrumenting printing equipment and integrating printing ecosystems for production line automation control, cross-site fulfillment and predictive maintenance.

All people involved in the printing value chain can view or monitor the data in a form most useful to them. For example, purchasers can obtain status information on the likelihood of completion of their order, whenever necessary. Production managers can check process progress to help detect delays in progress and identify bottlenecks where appropriate action should be taken. Management can check daily accounting reports.

The Smart Printing Factory IoT Center estimates appropriate production capacity from operation information gathered from factories and creates a schedule to process orders. By using the capabilities of cooperating companies as well as the company's own operation data, it is possible to naturally create manufacturing plans that include cooperating companies.

The insights and concepts proven in this testbed may be replicated in several other testbeds in the future.

Interested in learning more about the Smart Printing Factory (SPF) Testbed? Email us!