Case study

AFA Systems streamlines automation with Ewon technology

AFA Systems, a Brampton-based packaging automation solutions provider, uses Ewon Cosy for remote automation tuning, reducing costs and improving customer service. Ewon simplifies communication and programming updates.


AFA Systems, located in Brampton Ontario, is a leading provider of Custom Designed Automation Solutions for a variety of applications including casing, packaging, palletizing and high-speed assembly.

Through the innovative use of servo drives and automation, AFA creates an environment where machine parameters become part of the packaging recipe. Each time a different product comes to the machine, the packaging patterns and mechanical stops are changed via touchscreen and the PLC program. AFA finds it makes good financial sense to employ the Ewon Cosy gateway in their machine design.

Automation tuning from the office

According to David Langen, AFA’s Electrical Engineer, “In the past, the complexity and importance of each machine required commissioning at the customer facility. New systems required two engineering technicians; one who specialized in the mechanics of the machine and another with background in the automation application. Invariably, the automation specialist spent much of their time waiting for and reacting to mechanical changes.”

The Ewon device allowed AFA Systems to send just a single mechanically focused person out from the startup. “It takes 1-3 weeks to commission a new machine. With travel costs running in the thousands of dollars per trip, it just made sense for us to apply the Cosy gateway to our machines and do the final automation tuning from our location here in Toronto.” says Langen. 


Our experience with Ewon has been so positive that we regularly offer the product to customers requesting field visits.

 David Langen, Electrical Engineer, AFA Systems.


"(...) When a customer calls, I will give them a quick estimate of the cost of a trip to their area (which includes airfare, rental car, hotel and living expenses.) I then provide the option of sending a Cosy along with wiring and installation instructions. The installation is simple and the Ewon alternative is always a better value for the customer. We can almost always make the needed adjustment from here.”

The Ewon Cosy allows the AFA engineering team to offer better service to the customer. Again per David, “Typically, our work onsite is distracting to the user. When our guys are on site there is a subtle pressure to accommodate them by shutting down the line so they can complete their work. Often the line just can’t be easily shut down, so the engineer just waits for the end of shift or a planned work stoppage. With the Ewon solution, the engineer can simply wait for the best time for the customer; all the while performing other productive work.”

Easy to use and secure for the end-user

With three years and over 40 Ewon installations of experience, AFA Systems has noted a number of advantages to using the devices. “For starters, the Ewon solution has a unique methodology for communicating over the internet. We can easily access our customer’s system within a matter of minutes. Customer networks remain secure and the costly involvement of the customer IT department is minimized. For smaller plants with very little infrastructure, Ewon allows the customer to avoid calling in experts to make things work.” 

But David pointed out another important driver for the automation systems providers. “The cost of supporting programming software has grown to the point that many smaller users can’t keep up. Using the Ewon solution solves that problem because we are able to update the users program with our own software. They avoid the hassles and ongoing costs of maintaining the most up to date software. Our engineer simply accesses their system, makes the needed changes and puts them back online in a matter of minutes. The whole thing is a win for everyone.”

Company: AFA Systems

Country: Canada

Year: 2019

Solution: Industrial remote access 

Industries: Packaging

Products: Ewon Cosy

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