Smart Roller – the intelligent printing roller

Smart Roller – the intelligent printing roller

Integrated sensors for monitoring signs of wear and tear

Paderborn/ Lemgo The company Zecher from Paderborn manufactures printing rollers and anilox rollers for use in printing technology or surface finishing, among other things. The anilox rollers are installed in systems that companies use in continuous operation. In this process, chemical substances are applied to the roller and excess ink is scraped off the surface of the roller. In addition, the roller is continuously rotated at high speeds. This causes the roller to wear out after some time and Zecher replaces the rollers.

Mr Knauer, CIO at Zecher is satisfied with the project result and reflects: “Digitisation is inevitable for the future of SMEs, especially when it comes to new digital business models. You shouldn’t wait too long here.”

He particularly liked the cooperation and testing opportunities at the SmartFactoryOWL, as research in Lemgo was presented in a very application-oriented and practical way. Basically, Knauer still sees a lot of need for action in SMEs:

“How are SMEs in particular supposed to catch up internationally if digital topics are foreign to them? Technology aversion among SMEs often stems from the fact that the digital topic has not yet arrived in Germany. If I have hardly any contact with digitalisation in everyday life, such as digital bus tickets or digital taxi rides, I can hardly imagine any use cases for my own company. Demonstration centres like the SmartFactoryOWL are therefore very important to establish these approaches and points of contact.”

In further projects, Zecher plans to further develop the transmission as well as the energy supply of the solution together with the Lemgo researchers. Both partners are looking forward to future cooperation.

Zecher cannot predict whether the first signs of closure will make the roller unusable after two or after five years – because little information is available about its use in the plant. This should change as part of the transfer project at Digital in NRW.

Together with the Fraunhofer IOSB-INA, Zecher developed a way to query the condition of the roller by sensor. Speeds and revolutions were recorded via an integrated sensor and transmitted to a specially developed analysis software. The results could be read out, so that Zecher has the first approaches for further development and product launch.

Project Info