As part of Industry 4.0, companies face the challenge of equipping their production with new technologies and adapting their organisation as well as their employees’ training accordingly. In the joint ADAPTION project, Festo is researching, together with other partners, how a transformation to a cyber-physical production system can be successfully carried out.
Discussions about Industry 4.0 are often very technically oriented. Production systems involve sociotechnical systems, however, where people have to work together with the technology. Besides technology, therefore, the organisation and personnel dimensions are also essential for the successful implementation of concepts for Industry 4.0.
Adapting to the complexity of these processes of change, overcoming them and coordinating the areas of action – both technically as well as in a human-centred, economically efficient and organisational manner – is a major task for all industrial companies, but in particular for small and medium-sized businesses.
The ADAPTION research project is therefore concerned with supporting companies so that they can manage the change to a cyber-physical production system (CPPS) and develop their own vision of Industry 4.0. The focus here is on work planning and production control.
Aim of the project
The aim of the project is to develop and test a maturity-based procedure model that helps companies when it comes to changing to a cyber-physical production system. The target state and the associated maturity levels are determined individually for each company according to benefits and cost-effectiveness. The project is based on a holistic approach to the constitutive dimensions of technology (T), organisation (O) and personnel (P).
In order to support the practical implementation of the maturity and procedure model in the operations, these are implemented in a software application. This interactive tool is intended to enable the actual state of the company to be recorded across the board and to help the persons responsible when it comes to deriving and implementing the necessary measures to achieve the individual target state.
The pilot area at Festo is part of the production of variants at the Rohrbach site. Here, above all short-term and individual orders with very small batch numbers are made, which have to be produced quickly. The requirements of planning and control systems, as well as needs-based data that is relevant to decisions, are accordingly high. This requires seamlessly networked production plants and systems that guarantee an appropriate information exchange and control process.
The other application partners in the project – Bernard & Reiner GmbH, Jacobi Eloxal GmbH and Georg Zwetzsch GmbH – are faced with similar challenges. All three companies are anchored in the Festo value added network as suppliers. More effective flows of information and data as well as improved interfaces are expected to improve planning and process reliability and minimise bottlenecks, so as to also make it easier for suppliers to plan orders.
Before actual targets are set, the starting situation for each application company must be recorded in order to pinpoint the potential of the companies to tap into Industry 4.0 at an individual level. To categorise the recorded actual state and the defined target states, a specially developed maturity model is used which makes up the core of the research project.
In order to achieve the target state, economically viable measures are derived in a next step. These measures are used on the one hand to determine the organisational procedures and technical adjustments. On the other hand, employees are instructed on the technical and organisational changes accordingly and, if necessary, given training. The steps described (Industry 4.0 audit, determining the target state and maturity level, implementation) are carried out at the companies periodically until the desired target state is reached in each case.
ADAPTION is a joint research project within the framework of the funding initiative ‘Industry 4.0 – research on the operational factory floor sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.
Source: Research Projects at Festo https://www.festo.com/group/en/cms/12997.htm