ECOmachines (3) - up-to-date
Bartlomiej Juszczyk, 2022.02.04, ECO production
The current time of geopolitical turmoil, one of the main themes of which is energy, seems to be conducive to a realistic view of the energy transition. How to be ECO in the era of plowing supply chains, rising energy prices and ambitious goals set, for example, in the European Green Deal? How to be more ECO thanks to flexible Industry 4.0 solutions without incurring enormous costs and endless implementations?
The importance of data collected from machinery and production plant lines is constantly growing. They are a source of information needed to ensure qualitatively good and optimal work, which is not indifferent to the ecological aspect in industry. In fact, it is only thanks to this data that all Industry 4.0 systems make any sense. A comprehensive supplier can play an important role here, which will not only provide end-to-end engineering in the sense of designing, building and commissioning a technological line, but will also offer tailor-made solutions that digitize production. Such an integrated supplier perfectly knows the structure and specificity of the operation of a given line and is able to design appropriate data sources (sensors or entire intelligent sensor networks, IoT, etc.) and software modules necessary for their useful analysis and use (digital twin, smart factory, etc.). It seems that in this way you can avoid the common trap hidden in the implementation of "boxed" solutions, consisting in the use of too universal and therefore too general and expensive software. It should also be clearly said that the implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions is not only a matter of installing a few modern sensors and an appropriate application, but also the need for considerable involvement on the part of the customer. This is due to the need for in-depth analysis of processes, data we want to analyze, expected changes and indicators. Having the right supplier can also be a significant competitive advantage here. A supplier with extensive know-how in the construction of machines and production lines as well as their integration, automation and robotization provides the customer with an important added value in the form of rich interdisciplinary knowledge. Such advice and in-depth knowledge of many systems and solutions facilitate and accelerate the implementation process and bring the achievement of the assumed goals closer.
Well suited digital twin
Mapping a physical machine or production line in the data space defining the state of the process allows not only remote supervision over its operation, but also a useful analysis of potential problems and a quick response. Desired functional areas of smart factory / digital twin:
- System integration
- Data Acquisition
- Traceability of material and component
- Historical analysis
- Monitoring KPI
- Production supervision
- Media monitoring
- Quality management, good manufacturing practice support
- Maintenance Support (CMMS)
- Tailored reporting capabilities
- Multi-system / Internet accessibility
Thanks to the modular architecture of the software, an even more optimal cost adjustment of the implemented solution is achieved.
More ECO example
At ELPLC S.A. an innovative production line of shock absorbers or gas springs was designed and built, in which unique solutions for many processes were implemented. By improving the quality and efficiency of production, at the same time they have become environmentally friendly by optimizing the consumption of resources, materials and energy. Modern linear drives reducing the need for mineral oil (no hydraulic drives) and station structures such as oil filling station, CTS or EPICS - significantly reducing cycle times and ensuring high process quality.
It is also worth analyzing the aspect of optimizing the line operation control and equipping it with the Industry 4.0 - ELPLC Smart Factory. In a typical solution, despite a lot of automation - an engineer or a team of engineers has to make fairly frequent and tedious adjustments to process parameters (e.g. the amount of gas entering a cylinder of theoretically the same volume) to maintain product quality. It is forced by changing environmental conditions (temperature, pressure), wear of elements in the line, differences in materials, etc. vibration sensors for mechanical components), process flow (flowmeter with Coriolis force algorithm, supporting oil dosing) and vision systems. The necessary corrections of process parameters can be precisely and autonomously made by the AI ELPLC Smart Factory algorithm, analyzing a large data stream (big data) from sensors, which is another factor in reducing material and energy consumption. By limiting the number of defective shock absorbers or gas springs, we also reduce the environmental footprint in the form of waste. The use of vibration sensors in mechanical components adds value to maintenance services, enabling predictive diagnostics. Properly early detection of dysfunction and a signal of an impending failure of a machine element allows for its early replacement or repair. It is therefore possible to avoid worse and unforeseen damage or the lack of a spare part and downtime is thus often reduced to a minimum.
ELPLC S.A. constantly develops the latest solutions in the design, construction, programming and delivery of production lines and machines with a modern ELPLC Smart Factory environment. We exceed the framework of Industry 4.0 by increasing the product maturity of the system in the following areas: digital twin, predictive maintenance, mixed reality, big data, machine learning / AI.