Industry 4.0 is a vision. But what lies behind it? STUDER gets to the bottom of this issue. At the annual Motion Meeting from 16th – 17th February 2017 in Thun, the cylindrical grinding professionals have shown just what this vision entails and how STUDER approaches Industry 4.0.
Everyone is talking about Industry 4.0. This means the fourth industrial revolution. After mechanization, electrification and automation we now have digitalization. Machines and their components are digitally networked with one another and with their environment. The aim of this networking is to simplify and optimize processes and thus to maximize the value creation chain. In the digital factory, also called the Smart Factory, there will be no more unplanned machine downtimes and resources will be optimally used.
Network, collect, analyze
Half of the population are online today. They communicate via the World Wide Web. But more and more devices and systems are being networked together. The possibilities opened up by the digitalization and networking of machines are immense. Experts from different areas believe that new markets will open up, with an annual turnover of 100 billion euros. It is clear that Big Data, i.e. the huge quantity of data that is collected, is worth a great deal if it is systematically analyzed and incorporated into processes. This task presents a huge challenge for both industry and society. How does STUDER handle it?
The solution: Focus!
“A Smart Factory isn’t simply created overnight. It is necessary to focus on certain areas“, explains Christian Josi, project manager at Fritz Studer AG. For STUDER the basic principle applies, that all further developments should lead to a customer benefit. “We work closely together with our customers“, Josi explains. But what is STUDER specifically working on?
Focus: Simple and secure networking
The basis of Industry 4.0 is the networking of machine, logistics, product and our customers’ business systems (ERP, SAP). Everyone must speak the same language here. This is achieved through the simple and secure software interface used worldwide, OPC UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture). STUDER has integrated the OPC UA standard into its “StuderWIN” machine software. The machine can assume two roles here: OPC UA Client and Server. This enables STUDER machines to be integrated simply and securely into the environment of the digital factory.
Focus: Elimination of unplanned machine downtimes
Another focus is on unplanned machine downtimes. The UNITED GRINDING Group (UGG) – which STUDER is part of – tackles this topic methodically, as a group. The aim: The customer will receive a tool, which enables cost-optimized maintenance. In other words, the machine will only be stationary if this is planned and calculated. The UNITED GRINDING Group adopts the Predictive Maintenance approach here. In order to make this possible in future, the data of the individual assemblies and components are recorded and analyzed. Different measured variables are needed here, to form a clear picture of the individual assemblies and components. This requires continuous learning and is an ongoing process. “Once there is a clear vision, suitable strategies and measures can be precisely planned and the right tools developed“, Josi is convinced. Another project that is being tackled: The One Push Remote Solution. This means that if an assembly or component fails, despite Predictive Maintenance, the problem can be rectified at the press of a button and the customer can be offered optimal support.