Industry 4.0 demonstrator

FH Aachen

A model factory developed by Aachen University of Applied Sciences

In order to be able to react to ever faster and more complex market demands, a cost-effective but yet highly flexible production is necessary. This is the challenge of the industry of the 21st century and an important development for Central Europe to remain competitive as a production location. Essential for this is an integrated, digital production with intelligent workpieces and production equipment in virtual company networks. These enable a maximum flexibility of production with the aim of one-piece production at the price of a mass product.

All this is often summarized as Industry 4.0. The holistic implementation of Industry 4.0 requires a wide range of different technologies and knowledge, which usually exceeds the individual disciplines of mechanical engineering, automation and control technology and business administration.

The FH Aachen has developed the demonstrator "CMC - Car Manufacturing Cube" for the Industry 4.0 model factory. The main focus of the project is the presentation of Industry 4.0 ideas, developments and solutions by means of industry-standard automation components. Within the framework of the CMC, a system solution was developed on the basis of the reference model RAMI 4.0, which considers all aspects of the digital factory around industry 4.0 and implements them in a compact system for the individualized model production of cars. The reference model RAMI 4.0 gives an approach for the development of Best-Practices for industry 4.0. However, it is to be stated that a holistic conversion of the model is only rarely present, since practical examples are missing in the automation technology. Therefore, the aim of the present project is to introduce students, company representatives as well as technology-affine persons to the change in automation technology. The demonstrator serves as a basis for discussion.

To illustrate this, individualized cars are produced from Duplo bricks. The cars can be configured via a web store interface. The order triggers the real-time production.

To enable a practical realization as well as an industry-relevant training process, an igus xyz gantry was selected for the application. An open-source webshop solution was used for data management and mapping of the business processes. Through suitable adapters and expansion of the services, an industry 4.0-compatible application was created, which implements the entire process from warehousing, ordering and financial services to production in a multitenant capable manner. Only proven protocols are used for communication. Also on the production level a hierarchical communication was consequently realized, which distinguishes between real-time and non-real-time and meets the relevant IT security standards.

The use of the igus room linear robot in the model factory as well as in the teaching department enables a cost-effective and efficient representation of typical automation components. Medium-sized company representatives in particular are familiar with the robust and reliable igus linear robots and can experience the connection between current automation technology and Industry 4.0 software solutions in a practice-oriented way by using them in the model factory.