26. February 2020

IIoT at your fingertips: KUMAVISION develops digital model factory

How will digital processes be mapped in the factory of the future? How do different Industry 4.0 applications work together? And what tasks does the ERP system take on? To answer these and other questions, a team of KUMAVISION trainees is building a model factory where digitization scenarios can be developed and tested.

In order to make the topic of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) more tangible and to demonstrate the possibilities of networking machines, a team of nine consisting of trainees and master students is developing a factory in miniature format: the various business areas are from incoming goods to production and storage connected with each other. The aim of the project is to realistically simulate various processes by connecting the model factory to the ERP industry software from KUMAVISION. In addition to internal training, the model is also used for demonstration purposes at various events such as trade fairs: Trade visitors can use the interactive model to go through various scenarios, such as monitoring logistics processes, and to discuss their own requirements with the KUMAVISION experts. Because the concrete practical examples visualize abstract processes and help to identify starting points for digitization projects in the company more easily.

Own project

The basis of the model is the learning factory 4.0 from fischertechnik, which in addition to the various modules such as kiln, conveyor belt and high-bay warehouse also provides the basic infrastructure: Six controllers control the factory fully automatically and communicate with each other via an open message protocol. The task for the trainees from Dortmund is to set up the model factory and make it IoT-ready. To do this, the prospective application developers program the functionalities of the factory and then link all processes to them Microsoft Dynamics 365 based KUMAVISION industry software for manufacturing, which acts as a central integration hub. This is how the entire flow of goods can be replicated: In incoming goods, the incoming items receive a label with built-in RFID transponders in the form of a module. This is used for identification and ensures that the article can also be clearly identified in subsequent processes and the respective processing status can be tracked. The workpiece then passes through various production stations and the sorting line, where it is sorted by color and transported to the packing line. Sensor and motion data are recorded during the entire process, as well as camera images and throughput times. An environmental sensor also provides current data on temperature, humidity and pressure.

Real teamwork

The connection of the warehouse to the ERP software is planned for mid-April, further departments will follow little by little - just as is the case with a correct implementation. The team will take care of which task and who will do it. The trainees in the "Model Factory" project not only acquire important programming skills, but can also put their project management knowledge into practice. The trainers accompany the project with training and simulation games and are always available to answer questions. The trainees also receive input through the close exchange with the digitization team at KUMAVISION and from interested employees who monitor the progress. Because the model factory receives a lot of attention throughout the company and attracts many people interested in IoT at this early stage. The model factory will then have its first major appearance on April 20: Visitors to the Hannover Messe can experience it live at the VDMA joint stand (Hall 17 / Stand C40).

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