Digitally networked – with suppliers and partners

One of the key tasks in Industry 4.0 is to redefine traditional data handling structures. Everyone involved in the value creation chain will need access to all necessary data in the future, starting with product development and extending all the way to the customer. The status of the individual components used and their entire history will be accessible in real time.

Thanks to digital networking as part of Industry 4.0, production companies will be able to equip and start up entire factories on a virtual basis. In the future, it will be possible in real time to monitor systems and products throughout their lifecycle, to calculate their energy consumption reliably and to optimize this to meet relevant needs.

The 4.0 factory is modular

The factory of the future has a modular design. It can be flexibly adapted to changing market needs and is segmented and streamlined. Small factories within the factory are the new reality and are the organisational units of Industry 4.0. Employees, machines, data streams and processes are networked. The aim is to boost productivity in the collaboration between people and technology.

The intelligent combination of people and technology is key

In the 4.0 factory, the individual process modules are networked with cyberphysical assistance systems that help people carry out their work. Mobile assistance systems take the parts from product manufacturing just in time to the assembly cell. A mobile assistance system – the cyberphysical assembly assistant – travels through this cell. The assembly assistant finds its way through the factory to the next defined process module, which needs to be controlled to ensure the job’s customer specifications are met. Intelligent product carriers – logistics capsules – then transport the finished products to the goods receipt and transfer zones at the specified time. The cyberphysical system – the logistics capsule – knows what products it contains and automatically loads the truck or is taken to another production plant.

The 4.0 factory controls and configures itself, with reconfigurable, scalable systems adjusting themselves automatically and impressing with their exceptional versatility and adaptability. The interaction between people and technology enables optimum use of decentralized knowledge and employee expertise, plus the creation of a stable, fault-free production system.