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.
Already in 2022, HGF installed a first automated production line for a strongly growing product range in the field of green energy. In connection with this, they developed a solution for real-time monitoring and traceability together with Meta Bytes, and we then became an important partner in achieving the solution.
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:
All data is then stored in the database, and staff have the ability to generate various types of reports and summaries.
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 fall of 2023, HGF, with the help of us at Meta Bytes, introduces a total digital traceability solution in the new production line. The application has also been expanded to read data from the machines in the production line. It stores all the data and also sends data triggers to an OPC_UA server where all the logic for managing traceability is handled. The goal of the traceability solution is to be able to derive the exact reason why a finished product is defective.
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.