In the furniture industry, customer demands in terms of colours, shapes, haptic properties and materials are becoming more and more individual. This presents major challenges for manufacturers, particularly in high-wage countries: the growing product variety, small batch sizes and short lead times have to be managed competitively, i.e. at costs that are comparable to mass production and with rapid availability, while at the same time focusing on optimised resource and energy efficiency. The solution is provided by networked, intelligent production systems with a high degree of automation, i.e. a control concept that leverages the increasing convergence of information and automation technology and enables seamless communication.
Industry 4.0 increases the flexibility, efficiency, and sustainability of production through the networking of products, production resources and facilities along the global value creation chain. Here, PC-based control technology from Beckhoff is a key enabler: The PC as a control platform with open communication interfaces provides the prerequisites for an optimal implementation of the vertical and horizontal integration required for
Industry 4.0 and the networked production.
With PC-based control it is already possible to seamlessly integrate production systems and modules into existing and new production systems, and to communicate with these and with higher-level production planning and control levels on secure channels. In this way, it is possible to adapt ongoing operations to changes in order planning or the production process. TwinCAT 3 automation software provides the required modularity, object orientation and integrated engineering throughout the whole product lifecycle.
PC-based control delivers the prerequisites for implementing
Industry 4.0 concepts:
ScAut research project focuses on enhancing the intelligence of
The research project "ScAut" is part of the Industry 4.0 concept. It explores the integration of engineering and scientific knowledge from various disciplines into automation to enhance the intelligence of technical systems. ScAut is one of more than 45 research projects of the technology network "it's OWL" (Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalenLippe). ScAut was awarded Leading-Edge Cluster status by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in 2012 and is the first major Industry 4.0 project. The aim is to create a Scientific Automation platform for the development and operation of intelligent, self-optimising machines and equipment. Smart, reusable automation solutions are provided as software modules or intelligent Bus Terminals. These developments are intended to enable production facilities to automatically anticipate wear, reduce emissions and environmental impacts, optimise energy consumption and avoid production faults. As a result, rejects, lead times and harmful emissions are reduced while the service life of tools and the sustainability of systems are increased, without significant increases in the cost of the automation technology.