Production of the future: Industrial Application 4.0 Showcase
The interactive "smart4i Next Generation Demonstrator" impressively illustrates the production of the future. It contains all relevant Industry 4.0 applications required for individual configuration and assembly of model cars – from the cloud to modular sensors. The demonstrator – developed by ITQ – was initiated and sponsored by the VDMA Food Processing and Packaging Machinery Association (VDMA NuV).
Production of the future at automatica. The industry 4.0 demonstrator "smart4i NG" enables the production of an individualized model car, whose manufacturing process could be experienced live and on site. The demonstrator is characterized by its modular design and the implementation of all relevant Industry 4.0 applications – from the cloud to modular sensors.
The road to the finished product
Your individual configuration is entered on a landing page where you can define parameters for the car body and add-ons. After submitting the order, the superimposed control system determines optimized order processing steps and allows for a more flexible production process through data exchange with the connected modules.
Thanks to a digital twin – a virtual representation of the physical production process – you can track and monitor your order during the entire process. The underlying concept is based on networked virtual and physical products. This networked approach is implemented in an augmented reality environment that you can access via a free app to track e.g. the milling and joining process as well as the fitting process for the virtual add-ons. Technical partner for this module: PTC.
This creates a common and consistent chain of information for customers, manufacturers and suppliers, facilitating optimized resource planning and earlier detection of product errors during the development phase.
Top priority: design freedom
One of the demonstrator’s declared goals is to provide you with the greatest possible design freedom under consideration of economic aspects. On the one hand, this is provided in the chassis that can be customized according to your preferences. On the other hand, this freedom is facilitated by new digital media that change and improve your virtual experience across the entire product life cycle.
This makes “smart4i Next Generation” a tangible example of Industry 4.0 – and of congenial theoretical knowledge application in practice.
Application for an innovative idea
The demonstrator is an interdisciplinary project of three universities that integrates the most important key technologies of sustainable automation in a single system. The latest research on production and simulation methods can be presented and applied thanks to close cooperation with the iwb Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management at the Technical University of Munich.
Highlights of the “smart4i NG” hardware include innovative joining stations that were developed in close cooperation with Herrmann Ultraschall, new gripper technology for handling the various geometries, and a loop through which the car is transported to the packaging station.
The smart4i NG demonstrator was conceived and developed by the software and systems specialist ITQ, who has a particular emphasis on practical education.