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Festo demonstrates how Industry 4.0 solutions might work

27 August 2017

What will the manufacturing processes of the future look like, and what will their defining features be? Food Processing finds out. 

Working together, Festo Didactic and SAP have created the Open Integrated Factory demonstrator to show how shop floor and a Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) will be linked in the era of Industry 4.0. The work pieces in Festo Didactic’s CP Factory are able to tell the machine how they should be processed.

The line is capable of producing two completely different products: One of which can be built in up to 16 variations. The work pieces contain information in the form of production parameters. “The parts know what they are and can communicate with the facility through RFID technology. After approaching the correct station, they tell it which part and variant they are, and request to be processed appropriately. Through the use of defined standards, product variations can be manufactured in any given order and quantity, all on the same production line. This shows that the production of a single product with exact customer-defined specifications, in line with Industry 4.0 goals, is now possible.

The basis of the Open Integrated Factory is Festo’s CP Factory. This cyber-physical learning and research platform is used to train a broad range of technologies – from plant networking to PLC programming, drive technologies, sensor systems, safety technology, robotics, assembly as well as value chain analysis and optimisation. For Industry 4.0 research and teaching purposes, the system can integrate with all open systems and communication standards, including OPC-UA. 

The CP Factory consists of a variety of individual work stations that can be configured for different production situations and can be linked to IT systems. The individual cells can be reconfigured in minutes to create new plant layouts. The work piece holder routing system allows each cell to operate individually and to quickly set up an operational production line.

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