Marginal Column

The integrated production

Content

July 2016

 

Industry 4.0 extends over the entirety of value creation: from the order, the supply of components for the actual production to shipment to customers and after-sales services. People, machines, and IT systems automatically exchange information for manufacturing products. The basic requirements are decentralized intelligence and open standards for programming and exchanging data. In the process, protection of production materials and company IT must be ensured against environmental attacks and disruptions. This concerns the security of sensitive data as well as the prevention of malfunctions, both intentional and unintentional. As a result, integrated production enables companies to manufacture their products more efficiently, with greater flexibility, and saving resources, thus securing their competitiveness.

The integrated production
 
 

Customers put their desired products together individually over the Internet using a PC or a smartphone and order electronically. The company software uses the data starting at that point to initialize all the steps necessary for manufacture.


Manufacturers and suppliers form a value creation network. Here in real time, IT systems exchange all of the information necessary to manufacture a product.


 

The company IT receives the order and initiates the respective subcontractor and in-house production stages.


Each work piece receives a clear, virtual identity with an RFID tag. Production takes all necessary information for manufacturing this work piece and begins the production process.


 

With this virtual identity, all of the machines know which work steps are necessary: From the machine tools to the final assembly, they exchange information and autonomously coordinate the flexible production of small batch sizes down to 1 unit. When processing begins, they use the RFID tag to read out the work piece‘s information and document it.


Communication systems increase transparency in production. They detect all relevant production information in real time, processing it for continuous quality and process improvements. In this way, all relevant data are at all times available to all parties involved in the plant.


 

From assembly to finishing products, intelligent stations support associates with digital assistance functions through individually-prepared work instructions and support.


Sensors and software recognize wear on mechanical components and report it to maintenance before it comes to a machine stoppage. Maintenance technicians replace the respective components during planned pauses in production.


 

All relevant production and logistics data supplement the virtual image of the component and are also available for servicing activities after delivery.


The flow of information across company borders: All of those involved know when which information is needed for which production step and provide it ad-hoc.


 

The customer receives its product which, through its decentralized intelligence, can be networked freely and integrated easily into production environments.