Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Productivity Improvement Through Smart Machines

IIOT, Industry 4.0, 4IR (Fourth industrial revolution) etc. are  frameworks to merge the operational technology (OT) with the information technology (IT) to provide new solutions for automating and networking industrial machines and systems for performance and productivity improvement.

What is a Smart Machine?

It is self-­aware, reacts autonomously and provides information about the product being produced, production parameters utilized, production time taken production quantity in unit time periods, production history,  configuration, condition, quality and Overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE) to other machines.

Smart Machine Control
Machine vision and advanced motion control are key components of smart automation. Engineers can increase throughput and build highly efficient modern machines that sharpen accuracy and easily adapt to new products and processes.

Today, the keys to smart machine control are gaining insight into the machine’s operation and the ability to adjust control outputs. Engineers rely on sensor information to monitor the condition of mechanical parts, which gives them the ability to observe the process for quality control or closed-control loops for applications like force feedback or precise positioning.

Today, LabVIEW (of NI.Com) graphical programming helps leading machine builders master this increasing system complexity with add-on modules for motion control, machine vision, and control design and simulation.


Leonardo Smart Rotational Moulding Machine

Smart Machine
Bringing intelligence into the milling process is the intended aim of "smart machine".

Optimization of the Machining Process


Patented: The Original OSS
The intelligent Operator Support System optimises the machining process according to the specifications of the workpiece. The target variables – speed, accuracy and surface quality – as well as the workpiece weight and the complexity of the machining application can be selectively defined and modified at any time via an intuitive user interface.

Setting priorities
The user can define the machine settings via the OSS, depending on the operation. He can choose from 12 predefined settings or extend them as desired.

Priority: Time

Only the time is of interest when roughing. If the operator selects the time as the highest priority, then OSS extends the tolerance band. In addition to this, the control system adapts the speed profile to the geometry that is to be processed.

Priority: Surface quality

In order to maintain the best possible surface quality despite poor NC program quality, the tolerance band is enlarged and the transitions are smoothed

Priority: Accuracy

If the workpiece demands extremely high precision, the tolerance band selected is narrower, in order to achieve the required accuracy. The control system is configured in such a way that the best possible geometrical accuracy is guaranteed.

User-defined setting

Additional settings can be saved in a library and can then be used again at any time. Several positions can be selected between the extremes (surface quality, accuracy, time).

Productivity & Precision

Your benefit
The intelligent system sets the dynamic behaviour of the machine exactly according to the workpiece requirements
Shorter machining times
Better surface quality
Intuitive handling of complex settings
Reduced complexity when setting up a workpiece


Cat (Caterpillar) Connect Technology: Hardware and software available for equipment to arm customers with information designed to help them optimize their operations. Specific construction technologies include:

        o  LINK, a solution that captures vital performance and product health data and makes that data available on the web to guide decision-making.

        o  GRADE and COMPACT, two productivity solutions that help operators move material faster, more accurately and with fewer passes.

        o  PAYLOAD, an on-board system for trucks and loading tools that drives higher efficiency, shorter cycle times and lower cost per ton.


Smart Asphalt Compaction


Caterpillar’s new B-Series tandem vibratory asphalt roller models include a range of advancements in intelligent compaction technology to deliver higher quality compaction. These models — the CB64B, CB66B, and CB68B — feature technological improvements made possible through Cat Compaction Control, Caterpillar’s intelligent compaction suite. The suite consists of dual air-purged, infrared temperature sensors that are integrated into the front and rear of the machine.


Smart Food Processing

A Cisco project involving Sugar Creek Packing Co. , Washington Court House, Ohio is making machines and processes smarter. The company recently commissioned a brownfield project in Cambridge City, Ind., Harvesting large amounts of data and feeding it back as actionable information is used for  for establishing a high-performance work team structure at the plant. “High-performance work teams are semi-autonomous teams work with little supervision, with production, maintenance and HR issues handled by team members. They need meaningful feedback and they get it from the smart features of the system. A sous vide cooking system is an illustration of it. It is a disruptive cooking technology and a highly automated system, with hundreds of sensors to control the process. To access the data, team members use a Cisco mobile app called Jabber, “essentially an IP phone. This feature substitutes installing the system based on ordinary mobiles with a booster system that would have added $300-500 million to project cost. Jabber radios essentially function like a desk phone and integrate easily with plant software. The wireless network also will track worker locations within one meter via RFID tags embedded on protective headgear.



“Smart” ProSlab 155 Automated Turf Harvester

National Instruments Corporation, Austin, Texas describes the machine as smart machine.

The machine uses LabVIEW software and CompactRIO hardware supplied by National Instruments. The smart machine harvests turf 20 percent faster, and uses half the diesel fuel than other turf harvesting machines on the market. It uses more electric systems. FireFly engineers can also remotely monitor, diagnose, update (and control) the sensor-laden ProSlab 155





The technologies for building a large-scale and diverse scope of smart machines are coalescing and being tested by "first movers." Once they offer significant  cost reduction and productivity improvement, companies will embrace them by employing smart machines in place of humans.

IT cost is typically about four percent of annual revenue of the companies, whereas the labor costs that can be rationalized by smart machines are as high as 40 percent of revenue in some knowledge and service industries. This gives considerable scope for deploying further IT systems.

The firms that have not begun to develop programs and policies for a "digital workforce" by 2015 will not perform in the top quartile for productivity and operating profit margin improvement in their industry by 2020. As a direct result, the careers of CIOs who do not begin to champion digital workforce initiatives with their peers in the C-suite by 2015 will be cut short by 2023.


Books on Smart Machines

Manufacturing Intelligence for Industrial Engineering: Methods for System Self-Organization, Learning, and Adaptation: Methods for System Self-Organization, Learning, and Adaptation

Zhou, Zude
IGI Global, 31-Mar-2010 - Computers - 407 pages

The manufacturing industry has experienced dramatic change over the years with growing advancements, implementations, and applications in technology.

Manufacturing Intelligence for Industrial Engineering: Methods for System Self-Organization, Learning, and Adaptation focuses on the latest innovations for developing, describing, integrating, sharing, and processing intelligent activities in the process of manufacturing in engineering. Containing research from leading international experts, this publication provides readers with scientific foundations, theories, and key technologies of manufacturing intelligence.

Manufacturing in Real Time: Managers, Engineers and an Age of Smart Machines

Gian F. Frontini, Scott Kennedy, Scott L. Kennedy
Butterworth-Heinemann, 2003 - Business & Economics - 206 pages

The development of self-operating machines is the foundation of modern manufacturing. This current manufacturing environment is based on automation and smart machines that have the ability to make things with a level of accuracy and consistency that humans cannot match. In order to maximize efficiency, engineers and managers need to change their outlooks, processes and strategies and as a result, adopt new methods and management systems.

The authors demonstrate what is needed by first presenting a brief history of manufacturing and the changes we have already seen and then make their way into the current manufacturing environment. Topics covered include supply chain management, product streams, the role of automation in the supply chain, the relationships between machines and people in automated product streams (looking at what machines do best and what humans do best), variation and quality control, statistical process control, the flow of information in a supply chain and how all of these elements are effected by new technologies and need to be changed to allow for maximum efficiency as we move more toward automation in factories.

*Discover the impact of new technologies on the future shape on the manufacturing industry
*Excellent examples used throughout to demonstrate each idea and process
*Includes a CD with lectures, slides, tutorials, dynamic models and much more!




High Productivity Through Smart Factories

Updated 16 August 2017, 13 July 2017

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