Digitization in the planning and manufacture of production facilities is already being actively and successfully applied at MAG IAS GmbH. In addition to the clear advantages for project management and the activation of previously unused potential in plant operation, quality and costs of the produced component can be improved in the ‘Digital Factory’. With these performance parameters, digitization in production will become firmly established as a disruptive development step and faster than expected.
Digitalization From Production To Maintenance
With the tools of digitization or the digital factory, it will be possible to activate further potential that is still untapped today and to use it to improve productivity. The objectives are cost reduction, quality improvement, productivity optimization and the conservation of resources. A wide range of Industry 4.0 applications and/or wizards are available to configure ‘his’ suitable concept. It covers the four areas of training (skills), processes, plant equipment and operation and maintenance.
eLearning At The Digital Twin
The focus is on people in the production process as plant operators or maintenance staff. “Nowhere has man shown more sharpness of mind than in his games,” the philosopher Gottfried Wilhelm Leibnitz once said. With e-learning, MAG offers metered learning, where each participant can decide how long he learns, where he learns, how often he repeats. At the end of each lesson, a test must be passed in order to move to the next level. With the tools of digitization, the interrelationships can be easily displayed using Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR and AR) as in a video game.
Sensors Detect Tool Wear
In the ‘Processes’ area, in addition to MAG’s own applications, commercial applications are also available for retrofitting already delivered machines or for use with new orders. In volume production, the tools are still replaced after reaching the tool life criterion (machining path or number of parts) – regardless of the actual wear condition. Alternatively, the wear condition of the respective tool can be recorded with simple sensor technology and automatic system teach-in, and the tool can only be replaced in the machine at this limit value. In this way, tool utilization can be extended by an average of 50 %, resulting in potential savings of approx. 2 % of the cost of parts. At the same time, interventions in the processes and manual services for operating the system are reduced.
Quality Improvement With Digital Temperature Recording
There is a range of ‘assistance products’ for the plant equipment, which can also be procured for subsequent upgrading of the machines supplied. If not already specified during procurement, the machines can be retrofitted with the ‘thermal compensation’ function, for example. With this expansion stage, the product quality, for example, can be considerably improved. This is done by digitally recording temperature data in the machine and on the workpiece, which is then processed by the program control with the setpoint value specification. If required, the machine can also be equipped with an energy monitor to record and display detailed consumption data.
Finally, various products are available for operation and maintenance (operations). The most popular is, for example, Fingerprint, i.e. recording the status data of the system, analyzing the data and reporting the results or recommending action based on the trend analysis. During data acquisition, three measurements are performed on the machine: frequency analysis (vibration measurement and assignment), servo trace (determination of axis dynamics) and ball bar test (geometric test in the workspace). From these different measurement data, the operator can be presented with a machine condition analysis, from which he receives a report of any damage that may be imminent, even before a deviation is detected on the produced component.
Digital Tool Enable Improved Collaboration
Ultimately, the digital tools already available today open up new ways of collaboration between customer and supplier. For example, machines or components can also be made available on a rental basis and a payment model can be agreed with the operator that takes into account the actual production hours used (pay-per-use). This business model is preferably used for standard CNC machines. This business model requires, like many things in the Digital Factory, a data link between machine and supplier. Many customers are not yet prepared to do this for network security reasons, but this is only a matter of time. Especially since such services can also be implemented with the on-premises solution (local, server-based data collection) at slightly higher cost to the supplier. Learning from their own product strategies (e.g. autonomous driving) and through the increase in AI applications (artificial intelligence – software based on neural networks), customers will also want to recognize and use the benefits for production.
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