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Industry 4.0 (IIoT)

Cosmino sets You on the Path to Intelligent, Digital Manufacturing

Industry 4.0 (Industrial Internet of Things)

A significant majority of production companies are seeing exceptional opportunities for their sites in Germany thanks to digitalization and automation of manufacturing. Despite this, the motivation and need to take the initial steps in the direction of Industry 4.0 (IIoT) is lacking in many companies. The reason for this hesitation is that their recorded orders already have them working at full capacity and they do not have the specialists and capacity needed to add the required IT infrastructure.

However, experts are warning against delaying too long, because digitalizing and automating manufacturing cannot be accomplished in a single step. Plus, the market is already demanding increased flexibility and transparency in production. All companies should therefore begin considering how they can modify their production systems, such as by changing the order process in their supply chains in a timely manner.

Several production companies are already considering this issue, however only a fraction of them are actually taking action. They are benefiting from an increasing lead and have achieved competitive advantages.

Making Industry 4.0 (IIoT) become reality requires a great deal of thought. A finished Industry 4.0 (IIoT) solution is simply not available on the market, with the exception of several advertising offers.

The current state of research into Industry 4.0 can be seen at http://www.plattform-i40.de

COSMINO AG relies on the standards and reference architecture for Industry 4.0 as part of our customer product development.
Important drivers for progress include a variety of technologies that are being used increasingly in manufacturing operations.

The following material presents several examples of how new technologies and their benefits are being used in projects today:

Smartphones and tablets have many advantages in addition to mobility, which is why they can be used in manufacturing:

  1. Through their own personal use, employees are learning how to work with mobile end devices.
  2. Through mass production techniques, mobile end devices are a clearly less expensive, high-quality alternative to stationary industry monitors and PCs.
  3. All of the Cosmino dialogs for reports, analyses, real-time visualizations and entry screens are browser-based and can also be displayed on mobile devices in the local area network.

The use of mobile end devices has proven advantages on the shop floor:

  • When there are disruptions, the service workers can open the machine dialog directly on the mobile device and can review the description of the problem, the logged process and energy values and the event journal without being onsite. Thanks to this remote diagnostic, the problem can be resolved more easily and quickly with the right workers and the right tools onsite.
  • From the Shop Floor Management dialog, all figures, data and facts generated anywhere in the manufacturing system can be accessed from the mobile device. Even disruptions that just happened will be displayed to the Production Manager on the digital floor plan in real time and in a transparent manner.
  • Support is also provided for the continuous improvement process. Video clips and pictures make the description of problems easier, document the progress of measures and allow a detailed before-and-after comparison to be made afterwards and do it in multiple languages!

RFID has been in use in manufacturing plants for a long time. Using RFID, work items and containers can be identified automatically throughout the entire manufacturing process (Traceability).

The tools and personnel in use can also be automatically recognized using RFID. Manually logging personnel on to and off of tools at the workstation and for the order has become a thing of the past.

COSMINO AG is also currently participating in a research project, which will make automation of value stream analysis with the help of location services and software possible.

The question of how ideal software support in the manufacturing industry should appear can be answered quickly: One Dialog with all of the information and for all of the work being done.

Using Cosmino WorkerPoint has succeeded in creating an interface between people and MES. The online dialog that was given the Best of Industry award is a necessary tool for the shop floor.

OPC UA creates the appropriate connection for secure, standardized exchange of information in communications between machines and components. For this reason, OPC UA is a decisive step in preparing the path to Industry 4.0 for us and many other experts.
OPC UA provides many advantages when for communications between plants. A scalable security design has also been developed for such usage.

Using OPC-UA for communications between machines is independent of the PLC systems. In particular with regard to large quantities of data (Big Data), OPC-UA provides advantages in communications between machines and MES. Values no longer need to be queried continuously (polling). The OPC UA client (MES) will log subscribe to some information detail of an OPC UA Server (i.e the PLC) just like one would do it with a newsletter. If the information (i.e. a produced quantity counter) changes its value, the client gets a message. (Subscription Service). This approach relieves the load on the transmission network and the databases.

Frequent queries on an increasing number of operating tools are a burden for the IT infrastructure. When this can be foreseen in projects, we recommend making queries using OPC-UA, because it does not poll for data and to use an in-memory database. Some time ago, we included the database developer, EXASOL AG, into the Cosmino partner network for this reason.
One important decision with regard to big data is the consideration of how long certain data must be kept. For process parameters, the individual measurement values can be deleted after a certain period, when the average value has been achieved (such as for the day, the shift or the order).
For this reason, the time period for the determination of average values and how long the data should be kept can be set in the Cosmino system.
Similarly, whether certain parameters need to be recorded or not can be discovered by analyzing the data, such as through correlation analyses.

 

In some factorys Cosmino MES Plus already takes control of the units through the production processes. Before each processing step, it is checked whether previous steps have been successfully carried out. Only the right product in the appropriate quality can be further processed. This also supports variants. This control is based on a variable workflow for each product.