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Countroll scans QR codes on stickers or stainless steel, to provide data on rollers

Countroll acts as a digital passport for industrial rubber rollers, tracking and providing insights on how they are used.

Tracked by QR code and a mobile app, the platform can work in tandem with sensors (bought separately) that attach to rollers to measure rotations, speeds, accelerations, vibrations and temperature of rollers, to help clients better understand performance and usage of their rollers.

Likewise, as a typical rubber roller is returned to manufacturers to be recovered several times, the system will help clients keep updated with progress of the remanufacture.

Jonathan Whitehead, site director of BFS’ roller division, explained: “The software itself allows end users to create a history and timeline for each individual roller they have in their portfolio.”

When a user scans a roller’s QR code, it brings up the history, allowing them to add events such as putting it into a machine, taking it out, and logging how many impressions that roller made on that machine. The data is not shared with Countroll or BFS.

“End users can build up a portfolio of all their rollers to find out where they potentially get issues, where they can work with their suppliers, and what they can do on-site to make things run more efficiently.”

Seeing as many rollers run at high speeds and in tight areas, he added, Countroll’s sensors can act as a valuable warning system to alert users of issues with their machines, like unaccounted-for vibrations.

Predominantly, however, the platform’s use will be in giving an extra level of data control that might otherwise be difficult to keep track of.

Martin Buckner, technical director for BFS’ roller division, gave an example: “If you have a flexo company that has coating at different widths, they would probably have 20 rollers, or 20 sleeves, all in different widths.

“They might do three or four width changes in a shift. If they run [the machine] 24/7, this gives them the perfect ability to monitor the lifetime of the [sleeves, or anilox rollers etc.] because they know it went in for two hours today, it went in for two hours the day before.

“[Later], it might have to go in for repair. They can really assess the length of time the product has lasted for them.”

BFS said that while it is still testing how to best implement Countroll’s technology for the print market, it would be commercially available early 2023.


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