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Case study: Energy transparent machines cut consumption by one-third

By IoT Now Magazine

A few weeks ago the World Climate Conference was held to discuss sustainability targets for lower energy consumption and less pollution. Few organisations have embraced the goals but Festo, at its Scharnhausen Technology Plant in Germany, has already shown its support for them in the Industrie 4.0, energy efficient, IoT-enabled factory

Energy efficiency often starts from the ground up in manufacturing environments and, for Festo, a major decision was to develop an energy efficiency module that is a plug-and-work solution for the pneumatic circuit as a whole. The module is able to summarise, evaluate and analyse data by using artificial intelligence (AI). The data collected can therefore be pre-processed inside the unit and/or completely transferred into a cloud. A decentralised automation platform usually collects data from different Festo devices and combines them on a valve terminal with Codesys controller on board.

In the Festo Technology Plant at Scharnhausen, this type of installation has been retrofitted to all older machines since 2015 – and is a must for all new machines. The target was to make them energy transparent and to optimise air and current consumption by dedicated switching-on and off cycles depending on several criteria – thus avoiding that energy peaks are just added without any benefit, or leakage causing high extra cost. Data had been fed via object linking and embedding (OLE) for process control (OPC) unified architecture (UA) into the on-site manufacturing execution (ME) system from SAP by its plant connection module (PCo), and further to the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with SAP HANA cloud. Now the new solutions allow – in conjunction with other actions taken like solar panels or re-use concepts for heat – saving of up to one-third of energy compared to the old plant. Amortisation is expected to be around two years.

In the latest use cases, the data from such energy efficiency modules is brought via OPC-UA and a Festo CPX-IoT Gateway to cloud or IoT platforms like Siemens MindSphere or Rockwell Factory Talk. Festo also provides its own cloud for deeper analytics of all its pneumatic and electric drive components and mechatronic sub-systems as a long-term target. Data is also fed into SAP HANA, Festo’s on-site option in the Scharnhausen factory.

The required apps are developed by Festo, and in the case of external cloud providers, are then installed in the MindSphere environment (using Siemens MindConnect LIB) or the Rockwell Device Analytics (via Shelby Appliance or Team ONE tools). The app for the Festo energy efficiency module inside these clouds or IoT environments allows easy visualisation, quicker set-up and parametrisation of the product and online visualisation during machine run-time. The data analytics support advanced diagnostic and condition monitoring concepts and could lead into predictive maintenance systems by combining data from different sources inside the cloud.

Today, a cloud based visualisation makes many things easier, but a high degree of expertise and IT knowledge is needed to make the devices communicate to clouds offered by the market today. In total, the Festo energy efficiency module reduces energy cost, and […]

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How to use Industrie 4.0 to drive the production of the future

By IoT Now Magazine

Eberhard Klotz is the head of the Industrie 4.0 campaign at Festo, a supplier of automation technology and industrial training and education programmes. In this article he discusses the company’s activities in IoT, its view of production of the future, benefits for original equipment makers (OEMs) and end-users and partners in industrial markets with Matt Wilkins, a senior analyst of IoT Research at Strategy Analytics

Matt Wilkins: Industrie 4.0 is a key aspect of the implementation of the Internet of Things in the industrial market, what does Industrie 4.0 mean to Festo?

Eberhard Klotz: At Festo we view Industrie 4.0 as the process through which we get to the production of the future. Festo has a holistic view of the changes in the production world, considers different perspectives and, in addition to technology, also takes other key points into account, such as the interaction between man and machine, and the issue of training.

Eberhard Klotz, Head of the Industrie 4.0 campaign at Festo

The real and virtual world are growing increasingly closer: modern information and communication technologies are merging with industrial processes, increasingly changing the production landscape and the interaction with individual customers.

Industry 4.0 brings together various activities under one umbrella and describes the change that is imposing new requirements on production systems, machines and people in many areas. Festo is part of the Industrie 4.0 steering team that includes government ministries, several official bodies, along with Siemens, Bosch, SAP and Deutsche Telekom.

MW: What does production of the future look like?

EK: The first thing is that production systems will be fully connected. There will be intelligent, selfregulating and self-controlling components for plug-and-produce. Production plants will be highly flexible, allow for economical manufacturing of small batch sizes, fast balancing of the workload in a production network – including logistics, and fast adjustment to the orders in hand.

Matt Wilkins, Strategy Analytics

Finally, there will be comprehensive condition monitoring which helps to avoid or reduce downtime and optimises maintenance procedures and mobile maintenance. Essentially the faster we can be aware of an issue and analyse it, the faster we can implement a repair before a minor issue becomes a major one. Digital twins and a virtual set-up of a smart factory also allow pattern matching and detecting random errors, thus optimising downtime as well as process optimisation online.

MW: If Industrie 4.0 is the process which takes us to the production of the future, that must surely require a constant focus on refining and developing?

EK: Festo has been at the forefront of factory automation for many years. The research department helps shape the production systems of the future. So it is looking at mechatronics, the latest simulation technologies, microsystem technology and intelligent components for Industrie 4.0. In our view innovation management creates the necessary framework to turn good ideas, knowledge and technology into successful commercial products.

Our research activities include the ENTOC (Engineering Tool Chain for Efficient and Iterative Development of Smart Factories) research project, where the aim is to significantly reduce the time taken and complexity […]

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