Digitisation Along the Entire Value Chain

At the Hannover Messe the main focus at Festo alongside industry solutions for automation technology is digitisation.

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At the Hannover Messe the main focus at Festo alongside industry solutions for automation technology is digitisation.

In keeping with the ‘Integrated Industry – Discover Solutions’ motto for this year’s Hannover Messe, the main focus at Festo alongside industry solutions for automation technology is digitisation. This is not confined to intelligent products, but includes the entire value chain from the planning phase through intelligent components and systems to production and predictive maintenance. In addition to the hardware, particularly the software plays an important role in networking the virtual and real world. Festo will be presenting its solutions at the Hannover Messe.

The fusion of the virtual and the real world begins with the engineering process in the system planning phase. With the software tool Handling Guide Online Festo shows how manual processes are digitalised. The customer can easily, intuitively and conveniently compile a suitable handling system on the PC and then order it with just a mouse click.

Software and intelligent components as a basis for Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is based on the vision of fully-networked, adaptive production. That is why Festo is developing decentralised intelligence and control technology, sensors, apps and ready-made software modules that make Industry 4.0 possible in the first place. This intelligence is what enables products to interact with each other. IO-Link is an industry standard that allows fast communication within production plants. Festo is already integrating it into various sensor series and actuators such as valve terminals, electric drives and stepper motor controllers. IO-Link enables the sensors and actuators to quickly run and communicate complex diagnostics as well as realise condition monitoring concepts. This permits early maintenance and prevents – or greatly shortens – production downtimes. IO-Link wireless is another innovative step towards greater simplicity.

Fair highlights – Industry 4.0 system solutions from Festo

The aim of Industry 4.0 is to link together all of these individual solutions to form a networked complete system. Particularly, international and company standards and the interfaces of the new IT architectures play an important role – they are currently being developed in various research projects and networks. In a first step, Festo will use OPC UA as the communication interface for new products.

Festo has recently incorporated OPC UA into its automation platform CPX. This decentralised control platform can be used for electric and pneumatic drives in both factory and process automation. It also has diagnostic capabilities and features a condition monitoring function. This increases process reliability and productivity. This latest version will be showcased at the Hannover Messe in two dynamic industry displays for the automotive and packaging industries. It is also integrated into the delta kinematic system CPX/EMCA and not only makes the handling system more intelligent and ready for Industry 4.0, but also more economical.

Industry 4.0-enabled modular system solutions

Festo has also developed mechatronic system solutions with an OPC UA communication interface which are based on a modular design. This means that the systems are made up of individual modules comprising an integrated, innovative mini control system, drives and software blocks. This enables plants to be quickly and flexibly expanded or downsized as required. This increases their efficiency. At the Hannover Messe, the company will be presenting the Multi-Carrier-System, an innovative transport system for flexible production processes. Another example is the servo press. This will be showcased at the Hannover Messe as a dynamic industry display for the electronics and small parts assembly industries. The third example Festo will be presenting is the compact handling system. This is a basic platform for a wide variety of applications such as screwing, testing or gripping.

Predictive maintenance

An increasingly important topic for Industry 4.0 is predictive maintenance. Intelligent machines not only record the process data in real time, but also evaluate it and report foreseeable disruptions. The aim is to detect impending failures in good time and avoid downtimes.

Festo will be showcasing the compact handling system at the Hannover Messe special exhibition ‘Predictive Maintenance 4.0’ at Stand A38 in Hall 17. Equipped with integrated functions for condition and process monitoring, it detects and reports problems in good time. This reduces breakdowns and has a positive impact on the productivity of the plant. The conditioning monitoring functions have been implemented in accordance with the latest non-proprietary VDMA standard. This increases the efficiency of the plant.

Also on display at the Festo stand as a further example of predictive maintenance will be the award-winning energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M in a dynamic display from the food industry. This is an intelligent service unit that not only measures pressure and flow rate values in line with Industry 4.0, but can evaluate the information on the spot, make decisions based on the evaluated information and initiate appropriate measures. The automatic leakage testing and real-time monitoring saves the customer energy and increases the customer’s efficiency.

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