Digital and sustainable at the same time - is that possible?

by David Fleschen

Industrial processes are either digital or sustainable - at least that is what some people who have not yet dealt with the subject think. But the VDMA Technology Forum at the EMO Hannover proves the opposite: Applied sensibly and cleverly, digitization can even increase sustainability. There are four companies who use their digital solutions to help make tools more sustainable or more sustainable to machine.

Smart Service is the magic word for Konrad Keck, Sales Manager DACH of Benz GmbH Werkzeugsysteme from Haslach im Kinzigtal (near Offenburg), to make services and products ready for Industry 4.0 (IoT-ready). Among them, the Baden understand a total service concept, in which more and more

Digital information, for example, from sensors for preventive service handling contribute.

Sometimes the technical devil is in the detail: Sensors often consume additional energy. Keck mentions the alternative: "With rotating tools, the energy for the sensor system is generated by means of energy harvesting and therefore largely dispensed with battery solutions." Users of Energy Harvesting "harvest" electrical energy from sources such as ambient temperature, vibration or air currents, so mobile devices or Supply electronics with low power.

However, the most lasting effect of the so-called Smart Service is that the tools last longer thanks to preventive maintenance intervals. If, in the future, products know their condition thanks to digitization, these parameters can be used to set up control loops that increase the service life of the tools. In Baden, Hanover is demonstrating how digitalization in practice has affected applications, including the newly developed spindle series magazine Benz Hybrix and the LinA impact unit family, which is now IoT-ready.

At the EMO Hannover 2019, Daniel Meuris, Head of Digitization and Virtualization at the machine tool manufacturer Klingelnberg GmbH, Hückeswagen, presents the GearEngine platform for gear production. It serves as a central collection point of production data and interface between production and company level. The platform allows the operator of Klingelnberg machine tools to easily deploy software-based data services.

Software tool increases tool efficiency

As a key to sustainable machining, Meuris describes tool efficiency. One example is bevel gear production, where efficiency has not been analyzed so far due to the special tools used and the lack of data. Klingelnberg's new SmartTooling system, on the other hand, can identify tools and devices for bevel gear milling machines using Data Matrix Codes and centrally manage them in a database. Meuris: "The means of production are described as precisely as possible by a digital twin and are stored in a central database, which is enhanced with production data during and after the gearing." How this works in practice is demonstrated by Klingelnberg in Hanover on the machine ,

How tool data can be used to optimize production is described by Dr. Ing. Raphael Rohde, employee of Technology Development of the Business Unit Tools and Parts of Phoenix Contact GmbH & Co. KG, Blomberg, at the Technology Forum of EMO Hannover. The manufacturer of connection and automation technology networks its injection molding tools with the aid of data acquisition via RFID technology and optical markers. "The production and production information is always and comprehensively available," explains Rohde. "The data is made available to the employee and the customer on a user-specific basis in the form of visualization boards or through the use of augmented reality in a goal-oriented manner. Failures due to misinterpretation or consequential errors can thus be reduced to a minimum and thus contribute to sustainability in production. "

But also the measuring machines from Wenzel are designed for extremely long service lives. "We use modern measuring technology on this foundation, which can be constantly modernized without having to replace the entire machine," explains the managing director. "The closed control loop between measuring technology and processing machines reduces rejects, as we - keyword process monitoring - can give very early feedback on manufacturing problems." How in these aspects the interaction of production with new measurement technology - from portable measuring arm to high-speed scanning machine - works, shows the Wenzel Group visitors to the EMO Hannover at their stand.

Interested parties can find out more about sustainability and digitalization in production at the Technology Forum of the VDMA trade associations Precision Tools and Measuring and Testing Technology in Hall 4, Booth D39.

Author: Nikolaus Fecht, journalist from Gelsenkirchen

Suorce: VDW Verein Deutscher Werkzeugmaschinenfabriken, Photo: Fotolia

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