Skip to main content

Ekomachines (3) – On Trend

The current time of geopolitical shifts, with energy being one of the main topics, seems to favor a realistic view of the energy transition. How can we be eco-friendly in an era of disrupted supply chains, rising energy prices, and ambitious goals such as those set by the European Green Deal? How can we become more eco-friendly through flexible Industry 4.0 solutions without incurring gigantic costs and endless implementations?

Integrated Provider

The importance of data collected from machines and production lines is continuously growing. This data is essential for ensuring high-quality and optimal operation, which has significant ecological implications in the industry. Essentially, without this data, Industry 4.0 systems would make little sense. A comprehensive provider can play an important role here, offering end-to-end engineering in designing, building, and commissioning production lines, as well as tailor-made solutions for digitizing production. Such an integrated provider thoroughly understands the construction and operation of the line and can design appropriate data sources (sensors or entire smart sensor networks, IoT, etc.) and software modules necessary for their useful analysis and application (digital twin, smart factory, etc.). This approach helps avoid the common pitfall of implementing “off-the-shelf” solutions that are too generic and expensive. It should be clearly stated that implementing Industry 4.0 solutions is not just about installing a few modern sensors and an appropriate application, but also requires significant client involvement. This involvement is necessary for in-depth analysis of processes, the data to be analyzed, expected changes, and indicators. Having the right provider can also be a significant competitive advantage. A provider with extensive know-how in machine and production line construction, their integration, automation, and robotics equips the client with valuable interdisciplinary knowledge. Such consultancy and in-depth knowledge of various systems and solutions facilitate and accelerate the implementation process, bringing the set goals closer.

Tailored Digital Twin

Reflecting a physical machine or production line in a data space that defines the process state allows for remote monitoring of its operation as well as useful analysis of potential problems and quick responses. Desired functional areas of a smart factory/digital twin include:

-System integration
-Data acquisition
-Material and component traceability
-Historical analysis
-KPI monitoring
-Production supervision
-Media monitoring
-Quality management, support for good manufacturing practices
-Maintenance support (CMMS)
-Customized reporting capabilities
-Multi-system accessibility via the Internet
-Thanks to the modular architecture of the software, the implemented solution is even more optimally cost-matched.

More Eco-friendly Example

At ELPLC S.A., an innovative production line for shock absorbers or gas springs has been designed and built, incorporating unique solutions for many processes. Improving production quality and efficiency, these solutions have also become eco-friendly by optimizing the use of resources, materials, and energy. The previously described modern linear drives reduce the need for mineral oils (eliminating hydraulic drives), and the design of stations such as the oil filling station, CTS, or EPICS significantly reduces cycle time and ensures high process quality.

It is also worth analyzing the aspect of optimizing line control and equipping it with an Industry 4.0 system – ELPLC Smart Factory. In a typical solution, despite high automation, an engineer or team of engineers must frequently and laboriously adjust process parameters (e.g., the amount of gas introduced into a cylinder of theoretically the same volume) to maintain product quality. This necessity is driven by changing environmental conditions (temperature, pressure), wear and tear of line elements, material differences, etc. To address this problem, an intelligent network of sensors monitoring environmental parameters, wear of production means (vibration sensors on mechanical elements), process flow (a Coriolis force flowmeter assisting in oil dosing), and vision systems was proposed. Necessary process parameter adjustments can be precisely and autonomously made by the ELPLC Smart Factory AI algorithm, analyzing a substantial data stream (big data) from the sensors, further reducing material and energy consumption. Reducing the number of defective shock absorbers or gas springs simultaneously reduces the environmental footprint in the form of waste. Using vibration sensors on mechanical elements adds value for maintenance services, enabling predictive diagnostics. Early detection of dysfunctions and signs of impending defects in machine elements allows for their timely replacement or repair. This helps avoid worse and unforeseen damage or lack of spare parts, often reducing downtime to a minimum.

Towards the Future

ELPLC S.A. continuously develops the most advanced solutions in designing, building, programming, and delivering production lines and machines with the modern ELPLC Smart Factory environment. We go beyond Industry 4.0 by increasing the product maturity of application systems in areas such as digital twins, predictive maintenance, mixed reality, big data, and machine learning/AI.

ECO production, Lines & machines

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© ELPLC. All rights reserved. Powered by