Reducing machine down-times
Scientists unveil smart system for mobile devices in manufacturing
For the first time, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and an industry partner will be revealing a smart information system which will deliver information tailored to match the requirements of the job in hand, straight from the machine control unit to the machine operator.
This will slash the time required by the operator to make a decision and will permit even unfamiliar tasks to be solved more swiftly and more flexibly. The innovative solution will be shown at the EMO Metal Working Trade Fair in Hanover in Hall 25, Booth B94. The new system can gather together all the information of relevance to the machine operator on mobile terminals and present it in processed form: Smart glasses or tablets can thus support the employee directly on the shop floor – in activities ranging from training, through monitoring and eliminating machine malfunctions through to maintenance.
The system works with commercially available smart glasses and tablets running an android operating system and can now integrate these in industrial manufacturing environments. The smart devices and the machine control unit communicate directly with one another in the new system. Thus, staff can see in real time when tasks are completed, disturbances occur, when a machine door is not properly shut or when scheduled maintenance work is coming up. The system informs the machine operator directly via pop-up on the terminal and offers help.
Information on subjects such as how to replace a tool is provided step by step in various formats such as video or text. This allows users to solve the problem promptly themselves, without having to stop one activity in order to locate and look up manuals, operating or test instructions. Companies which implement the system, can thus reduce machine down-times, schedule production orders more accurately and manufacture products more quickly.The system supports the machine operator not only in the event of disturbances and repairs, but can also monitor individual machine tool components in real time: The smart devices flash up-dated motor current levels for various drives and 3D part models are augmented into the real machine environment within the operator´s immediate field of vision. This permits the state of the components to be monitored continuously and at any given point in time.