Industry 4.0

Iterchimica is an Italian company leader in the production of high-tech additives and sustainable technologies for asphalt pavements. The company leverages leading-edge technologies to reuse and recycle existing asphalt pavements via innovative production materials and technologies. 

In 2018 the company started an Industry 4.0 project to plan and monitor operations at an industrial production plan recycling different types of waste materials (paper, fiberglass, etc.) into asphalt additives. 

The system had to implement a number of typical ERP functions (registry of customers and suppliers, types of raw material, types of products produced and their reference composition, orders, batches of raw material received, batches of products shipped, etc.).

However the system also had to interact with the plant and constantly  gather information from sensors about active component of the plant (current state, activity performed, power consumption, alarms raised, etc.) and about physical properties of the output product (specific weight, humidity, etc.).

Moreover, data received from sensors had to be correlated with the administrative data, in order to clearly identify, for instance which batches of product could be affected by a given alarm, and which batches of raw material where processed when the alarm was raised.

After evaluating a number of off-the-shelf products (either lacking some key functionality or very complete but definitely too expensive and overkill) the company selected Livebase as the best platform for quickly creating a fully tailored, hybrid  ERP/MES system.

The Livebase Designer was used to initially define with the customer a unified data model elegantly integrating administrative and sensors data. Then, all the required business rules were added to the model to ensure data quality and consistency.  A first version of the system was generated just two weeks from the beginning of the project, allowing the customer to populate and test the administrative functionality.

Once validated the administrative functionality, special integration modules have been coded in Java and plugged in the application generated by Livebase, in order to import sensors data from the PLC controllers of the plant.

Other custom interfaces have been coded to interface interface the system with RFID tag readers (to track which batches of raw material where loaded into the plant to produce a given batch of product) and with a mechanical weighing shovel (to automatically acquire the amount of each raw material loaded).

Model size
Database size
29 classes43 tables5 handlers
1840 LCP70K records45K LOC