SmartFactory - a hands-on process chain experience
A trade fair like AMB is where competition comes out to play – a place where exhibitors bring the very latest innovations and factory-fresh products to stay ahead of their rivals in the battle for customers. In an age of digital networking, however, AMB is also an excellent venue for establishing partnerships and interactions between different process stages. Taking place in Stuttgart between 13 and 17 September 2022, the SmartFactory special show will illustrate exactly this using a real production process, complete with giveaways produced on-site for attendees watching the action.
Since its very beginnings, one of the hallmarks of Industry 4.0 has been the ability to keep production cost-effective at a batch size of 1. To stay in step with customers’ growing desire for customisation and products that are becoming more tailored all the time, the industrial sector is increasingly being called upon to deliver specialised products at the same cost as mass production. The answer to achieving this lies in digitalised, highly automated processes – exactly what the SmartFactory special show intends to present. Being held at stand EO200, Entrance East, it will bring an example to life in order to provide a transparent insight into how networked digital and analogue processes work together.
Six AMB exhibitors have joined forces to construct this example of a production process, which will be there for audiences to experience live at the trade fair. GEWATEC, from Wehingen in Germany’s Heuberg region, is providing an input system in which visitors to AMB can send an order. The IT specialists, who serve medium-sized companies in the manufacturing industry, are working together with IT consulting and software firm CENIT to map out and visualise production as a digital process. CENIT is also providing the digital twin for the entire process.
Specialist machine manufacturer HÄBERLE is contributing the manufacturing cell, which will ensure that the products take shape once visitors have fed in their orders along with any special requests. The turned parts being used here, which turning machine manufacturer MAIER has created in advance for space reasons, will be processed in a cell complete with a robot, automatic tool changer and automatic feed system, before receiving their final customised touches in the form of precision engraving from a laser that MAIER has also installed.
As industrial production processes cannot exist without quality assurance, the manufactured giveaways will then be checked over by partner ZEISS to ensure their tolerance is correct, and a measuring and testing log will be created automatically.
Factory automation outfitter FANUC is responsible for providing the control system and robot – but, as FANUC Germany’s Marketing Manager Nils Tersteegen knows, creating the SmartFactory special show is about more than just the control and intelligence underpinning the processes as a whole. It’s also about bringing together the people behind the processes, as he explains, reflecting on his role of coordinating the various players involved in the special show: “This special show is fusing the digital and analogue sides of production. Most exhibitors just present their products at their stands, but the SmartFactory showcase at Entrance East is a unique opportunity to experience a linked-up, fully digital production process live and up close.”
The installation and collaboration between its partners illustrate how digitally networked production needs to function nowadays in order to stay competitive. “In this kind of production, everything is fully networked and talks to everything else – so every machine knows what the others are doing”, adds Tersteegen. One thing he won’t reveal, however, is exactly what kind of giveaway the SmartFactory is going to be producing. “We want to keep that as a little surprise”, he smiles.
Date: daily (13–17 September 2022)
Location: Entrance East, Stand EO200
Partners: CENIT, FANUC, GEWATEC, HÄBERLE, MAIER, ZEISS