Technical solutions for your productionfrom drawing up the details

Focus on Digital Factory and Industry 4.0

At FFG, the activities relating to the topics "Digital Factory" and "Industry 4.0" are summarized in the new "DIGITAL FRIENDS" brand. For the first time at EMO, the visitor can experience the planning, engineering, commissioning and services of a real world exemplary plant step-by-step and see the results in a tangible and functional way. MAG thus demonstrates the "digital factory" of components available today that have been created in the virtual world with different specific digital twins of real products.

MAG invites to a journey to experience the future production at EMO 2019 and presents the seamless connection between virtual and real planning as well as working methods with products from the present. The digital consistency in the product life cycle of a production plant is tangible and as a result is the manufacturing cell with integrated automation and peripherals in action.

The services for the product development and product life cycle are broken down into four segments and further functionalities are added. (platform technology, 5G, AI, interfaces, etc.):

  • Digital visualization - from plan to plant model
  • Digital factory - digitizing the product life cycle
  • Digital commissioning
  • Digital production and service - Industry 4.0

The technology is determined and the suitable machines are defined from a modular system for the individual machining sections and filled with process contents. (process detailing and manufacturing planning). The processes are optimized on the process twin and made available as a finished program for subsequent process commissioning (process reliability validation) in the working area of the machine. With the result of the required plant components and the number of individual machines, the third step is to define the periphery, the plant layout and the logistics (plant design and material flow planning). In the last step of the plant and technology planning for the digital factory, material flow simulation provides proof of the required plant output and determines the respective result parameters for commissioning (production planning for automation).

Virtual commissioning continues at the Digital Product Twin and the control software is already tested before the actual assembly of the machines and accepted by the customer in advance. The production twin may well be used as a combination of a real workstation or machine and an animated mixed-reality automation section for virtual commissioning. In addition to the reduction of commissioning times and the cost advantage of not having to set up a unit for preliminary acceptance, these models can also be used for operator and maintenance training. A significant advantage of the virtual commissioning is the quality improvement as a result of the unmanned repetition of functions between the control and the simulation computer and the finding of sporadic bugs.

The real gem is the data collected from the production, which, however, only become valuable through data analysis and the knowledge gained from it. With the upgraded FFG DataCollector, these "rough diamonds" can be collected and pre-processed with the FFG Dashboard at any point. Individual "Industry 4.0" applications create transparency for operators and maintenance personnel through status analyses. AR glasses for remote maintenance combines quality potential with cost-effectiveness is an advantage for both parties (customer and in-house service).

In addition, the investment in data glasses also makes it possible to use them for training purposes.

The upcoming conversion and introduction of 5G technology opens up further potential with the performance parameters:

  • 100 times higher data rate
  • approx. 1,000 times higher capacity per area
  • Connection density up to 1 million devices per m²
  • Extremely low latencies (one fifteenth)
  • 1 / 1,000th less energy consumption

Higher data volumes with lowest power consumption and high area capacity available everywhere will be a catalyst for communication technology (collaborative robots, among others), voice and gesture control and new control hierarchies. Remote control of machines, tracking and controlling of mobile devices to the PLC in the cloud are just a few examples. FFG Group will also be presenting a number of interesting applications at EMO 2019.

Not only the service is changing, but also the distribution and use of the service via available platform strategies. Within the platform user association MindSphere World, FFG and MAG are actively involved in leading the Business Processes committee, which deals with business models, payment systems and data collection for machine learning.

A common language is essential when it comes to efficient data exchange of machine tools and production equipment of any supplier. For that, FFG Group companies PFIFFNER (development partner) and MAG (user) participate in the implementation of an OPC UA "Companion Specification" in the UMATI working group of the VDW.

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