Efficient Plant June 2018 - 14

feature | plant profile

WHAT'S NEXT?

vehicles. Besides material logistics, there
are numerous standards for work materials.
Employees select their own office supplies
or tools from a standard work system.
The Scharnhausen Technology Plant is
subject to continuous, dynamic change. The
company is faced with new challenges in the
global competitive automation arena with
employees who are ready to learn and open
to change. Festo management understands
a harmonious triad composed of intuitive
human-machine interfaces, training and
qualification, plus innovative technologies.
This complexity has to be managed today in
terms of future sustainability.
"Automation and Industry 4.0 are key
drivers for this plant, but the main thing
is the products," Kubis said. "We are the
best customer for Festo because we are the
plant that can test the new Festo products.
Because of this, I always start prototypes
and testing phases with digital solutions
such as QR codes on the machines, and a
digital logbook system that eliminates paper
documentation. The next step is data analysis. We have a lot of information. We can
assess patterns and situations to recognize
problems before there are breakdowns."
While Festo is invested in the humanmachine interface, Kubis said he doesn't
think machines will ever fully replace the
humans. "Someone still has to program,
design, and repair the machines. With
Industry 4.0, you need more and more
well-trained staff to plan and produce and
maintain these systems. The teams will become bigger. A machine from the future has
more than just technology; it has communication built in. This requires more and more
engineers and technicians." EP

Suppliers are also firmly integrated in the
factory processes. They are responsible for
delivering materials according to defined
inventory limits. Their link is established,
whenever possible, by means of standardized and cyclically synchronized delivery

Michelle Segrest is president of Navigate Content Inc. She specializes in creating content
for the processing industries If your facility
has an interesting efficiency story to tell, contact her at michelle@navigatecontent.com.

Valves, valve terminals, and electronic components are manufactured at Festo's Scharnhausen Technology Plant, which is characterized by lean and energy-efficient processes, top quality, and a pronounced
customer focus, along with sustainable and green production.

tion can now be individually determined for
each unit. Possible leaks are automatically
detected, while pressure and flow rate are
continually monitored. Locally employed
valve terminals reduce the consumption of
compressed air on the machines considerably. Thanks to cameras and laser sensors,
each separate assembly step is inspected
without delay. Barcodes and RFID (radio
frequency identification) chips are used
across the entire production process and
beyond-from the supplier to the customer-to record batch data, process parameters, and all test results. Unfavorable trends
in production can be identified early.

COOPERATION
The adaptability of the automation process,
combined with an intuitive human-machine
interface and the qualification of employees,
make up key aspects of the production of
the future, Kubis said. Special machines-or
a robot-can take over pre-assembly jobs
that are not ergonomically effective for
people. The robot grips a housing, joins cartridges and frame together, and ultimately
passes the component on to the worker for
further processing. This teamwork poses no

14

| EFFICIENTPLANTMAG.COM

risk for the person. Sensors monitor all robot actions. As soon as an employee comes
too close to it, the robot slows down or
simply stops. Thanks to safety mechanisms,
the robot doesn't have to be behind bars.
Another special process is the maintenance system. A maintenance technician
will receive an order that a machine is
broken. In the past, he would go to the
machine and check it, then he would obtain
the documentation, retrieve the spare parts,
then work on the machine-all creating a
lot of wasted steps and wasted time.
"We developed an iPad solution called
Mobile Maintenance," Kubis said. "Every
maintenance employee has an iPad that
contains everything needed to repair a
machine. He can take photos and add notes,
and finish the order. He can then get his
next order. This saves 10 minutes per order."

JUNE 2018


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Efficient Plant June 2018

Efficient Plant June 2018 - Cover1
Efficient Plant June 2018 - Cover2
Efficient Plant June 2018 - 1
Efficient Plant June 2018 - 2
Efficient Plant June 2018 - 3
Efficient Plant June 2018 - 4
Efficient Plant June 2018 - 5
Efficient Plant June 2018 - 6
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Efficient Plant June 2018 - Cover3
Efficient Plant June 2018 - Cover4
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