A revolutionary new digital platform from SIPA will help PET container makers take an important step into Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. At Drinktec, the Italian PET processing technology specialist is introducing Echo, an open digital ecosystem that connects individuals, businesses, suppliers and customers to bring value to players all along the supply chain.
Echo is far more than a traditional technical portal: it allows an exchange of products, services, skills and information, reinforcing synergies and optimizing productivity. Echo is truly innovative, it promotes the growth and development of our industry through the active participation of professionals from a perspective inspired by total transparency, accessibility and usability. We live in a world full of data, information, and knowledge. Echo makes it possible for our partners to systemize and use all these elements in a lean way, and to create more value.
The new portal is part of a new program called ECO2 that SIPA has developed to promote a sustainable business model, focused on energy recovery, waste reduction and optimization of logistics. Echo is a smart system for implementing and perfecting the ECO2 philosophy and it will be an important tool for companies who want to enhance their performance within a framework of respect for the environment.
The Customer Lounge
The heart and soul of Echo is the Customer Lounge, home to a collection of data and basic information of machines that form SIPA’s complete installed machine park. The system builds up a profile of each customer according to the equipment they have, the products they handle, and their overall needs. It can then offer targeted services – maintenance, upgrades to installations or new products for example – to improve production targets.
All offers requested and received can be tracked, problems on machines can be intercepted, the customer can request service calls, and also has ‘always on’ access to user guides, with parts lists preloaded to optimize the supply chain.
In addition, by comparing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of their machines with sector benchmarks, each customer will be able to analyze each individual task, helping them to produce bottles as efficiently as possible. All this, with just a few mouse clicks.
The virtual market place
Inspired by the principles of the sharing economy, Echo is a place where every user is a customer and a supplier at the same time. They can sell as well as buy SIPA spare parts and also offer and acquire services. The goal is to create an area that allows direct contacts and open sharing among users in order to eliminate the middlemen in transactions and so cut costs and minimize waste.
A community of professionals
SIPA is presenting the new Echo project as a reference point for the sharing of knowledge and experience among users. Two sections of the platform in particular are designed to fulfil this role: Packaging Design and Sharing Capacity.
This first is dedicated to the exchange and valorization of user input on everything related to product design. Statistics on preforms and bottles are set out in an open database, for use in research into new solutions for PET containers. Users can share their own experiences and demonstrate latest pack developments, and network on new bottle design trends, lightweighting, dimensions and performance for different applications.
The Sharing Capacity section allows manufacturers of PET bottles and containers to put at the disposal of others any excess production capacity they may have, allowing partners to save time and resources, forge new commercial relationships, and strengthen operational synergies.
News, updates, training
SIPA’s new digital ecosystem is also a tool for promoting online training for operators. It has a dedicated section where customers can access content to investigate the operation of machinery and find out about new methodologies and updates in order to continually improve their technical skills. They will also be able to exchange ideas, opinions and suggestions through a forum where they can independently create discussion groups on topics of special interest. Finally, there is a section providing information updates and news relevant to users.