Commercial printer operations: Capitalizing on IoT’s potential


The Internet of Things (IoT) holds tremendous potential in virtually every industry and market.

The IoT introduces network-enabled devices and sensors that can collect data at a large scale and produce valuable insights. The question remains for many businesses: What do they do once they have that data?

One of our clients in the commercial printing space recently grappled with this very question. It installed “electronic eye” sensors on many of its industrial printers, but struggled to convert captured data into actionable reporting that drove strategic decision-making.

One Six Solutions was brought in to help build a data warehouse solution that could facilitate operations reporting using data gathered through IoT-enabled sensors.

The question remains for many businesses: What do they do once they have that data?

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Our Solution

Providing more visibility into printer operations

Our team took a process-focused approach with this project, building new processes for intake, compression and integration of data captured by the industrial printer sensors. In addition, we combined that data with the work activity data produced by our client’s process control system.

One of the major goals of the project was to improve visibility into printing operations at a very granular level. To that end, One Six Solutions worked alongside the company’s process engineers to develop printer-centric and job-centric views that accurately reported on the efficiency of printing operations. We also developed a web service that provides printer performance metrics with near-real-time reporting.

One Six Solutions took advantage of many powerful data warehouse technology solutions to create the right arrangement for our client’s needs:

A Prometheus time series database facilitated data collection at each printer sensor

A SQL Server Data Warehouse provided reliable storage for both raw and aggregated data

Qlik Sense dashboards displayed aggregated data for management-level reporting

Grafana was used to develop shop-floor dashboards displaying real-time streaming updates on printer operations

The Results

Since implementing One Six Solutions’ data warehouse platform, our client has gained more visibility into its printer operations, including recognizing printer downtime patterns that would have otherwise gone unnoticed.