Made in India: CountWonder from Unico Tech Solution

CountWonder is a production management and monitoring software capable of directly reporting to the mobile screens with live machine status, Sachin Kala of Unico Tech Solution tells Rahul Kumar

02 Aug 2022 | By Rahul Kumar

CountWonder generates reports for the management to see the actual productivity

Unico Tech Solution is a relatively new organisation, which has come up with CountWonder, a hardware and software combination to provide the Indian print industry with a production management and monitoring software capable of directly reporting to the mobile screens of the management with live machine status and various reports to enable the management to enhance productivity of the press.

CountWonder is a product from the stable of Mumbai-based Pentaforce Printing Software and is marketed, installed and maintained by Unico Tech Solution. Pentaforce has been in the printing industry for over three decades now and has a full suite of ERP for printers.

“We have been developing the product for the last couple of years. We have a few installations, and demos running at presses across India,” Sachin Kala of Unico Tech Solution, says. “Soon, we expect to have the second version of the product, which will have the data on cloud (in addition to our present provision of a server at the clients’ premises) for those printers who would be hard-pressed for finance in the present scenario.”

The technology
Kala explains that CountWonder has three components to it — a sensor; a Wi-Fi-enabled CountWonder hardware; and a server connected to CountWonder hardware through Wi-Fi, which is preloaded with the customised data analytics software.

In short, the sensor reads the signals from the machine, passes on the message to the CountWonder hardware, which in turn sends the message to the server via Wi-Fi, which then analyses the data and generates customised reports as may be demanded by the customer.

“There is no need for any wiring on the customer’s shopfloor for implementation of the system. And it does not affect the functioning of the press even a little bit,” Kala said. The product was launched in 2021 and is targetted at printing and packaging companies in India.

CountWonder also provides shift delayed start - early stop reports

How does the product help customers to be cost-effective?
Kala says that printing is the most suitable market for the product, especially because it is extremely price-sensitive. “Today, it is well-known that the best performing printing companies in India are working at about 30% productivity. Just imagine the difference the bottom line of the company makes with just an increase of productivity to 40%? Especially when our CountWonder will be able to pinpoint the reasons for the lesser productivity. The management needs to work upon the specific reasons to see the productivity increase instantly,” he explained.

For interested customers, the company provides an online demo. Then, if the print firm CEO requires a demo at their premises, it is arranged for a couple of days. During this time, the CountWonder generates reports for the management to see the actual productivity. “It can be called an overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) product, which provides a valuable independent measure of how well a piece of equipment performs over time,” Kala says.

Kala adds that the demo system has brought surprising results. In one example, after three days of the installation, the product found that the unit’s productivity was less than 23%. It meant that over three quarters of the time was being wasted. The areas of waste could be delayed start and early stop, line clearance, makeready, power failure, breakdowns and others, which when identified could be used to increase productivity.

“The demo reports were shocking for the printer. In fact, the printer postponed his current investment decision and decided to focus on his productivity issues and resolve them first. He found that it was a waste to keep investing in new equipment that wouldn’t be ensuring 100% utilisation as per current standards,” Kala adds.

The customers
The product has already been installed at Webtech Industries and Temple Packaging. Another installation is currently in progress at Ajanta Print Arts. Kala says while the company does not have any customers outside India at present, it is in initial phases of discussion with a few customers in UAE and Saudi Arabia, in addition to a handful in India as well.

Kala says productivity is and always has been a bone of contention for every production industry, be it printing or anything else. “Each producer looks into ways and means to increase productivity. And when productivity can be increased with the present capital investment rather than adding more machines, it creates genuine interest, especially in the printing and packaging industry, where capital cost is relatively higher than other similar industries,” he added.

One of the highlights of the product is the live machine status report, by which a customer, wherever he may be, can keep himself abreast of the live status of all the machines on his shopfloor, whether it is a fully automatic printing machine or a semi-automatic folding-gluing machine or for that matter even a manual die-cutting machine.

In addition, CountWonder also provides shift delayed start - early stop reports, and hourly, daily, monthly and yearly production reports. It also generates a daily job production report, machine downtime report, along with the production lost report. 

Moreover, all reports are customisable to the individual need of the printer. Kala says the system works without human intervention, but to get specific reports, as in time taken for line clearance, makeready, breakdowns, plate changes delay or any such needs of the customer, the staff needs to punch in the reasons while it happens for the system to record and report.

The company offers complete training at the installation. Remote training and resolutions to possible hiccups are also possible. The company also provides complete service support with free replacement of hardware in case of any complaint. Software support is also provided with AMC wherein all upgrades are included.

Kala concludes, “Ways and means to increase productivity is one of the best practices that one can follow in these challenging times. For this, CountWonder is an option one must try.”

Good response at PrintPack
Unico participated for the first time in the recently concluded PrintPack show and as per PrintWeek's sources, has received 30 queries.

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