The tablet, smartphone, and smartwatch are the new intelligent assistants in the modern smart factory. Mobile devices are indispensable for reducing costs, improving energy efficiency, and increasing the availability of production machines. At the HANNOVER MESSE in Germany, the world’s leading industrial show, in-tech is demonstrating live in hall 9, exhibition stand F81 with a practical example of how smart mobile assistance systems optimally support the operation of heterogeneous production facilities.
The exhibit illustrates linking the in-tech solution with any production plant: The application analyses the machine data and uses this to generate tasks for operating personnel, production figures, and warnings. This information is clearly visualized on a tablet, smartphone, and smartwatch. The production monitoring solution delivers context-specific information depending on the user – tasks and warnings for the machine operator, current production figures for the production manager, and maintenance notes for the service technician. This means problems can be identified and corrected more quickly, downtime is reduced, and plant efficiency improves. The exhibit is also being presented as part of the HANNOVER MESSE Guided Tour – Industrial Automation & IT.
Generating information in real time
The engineering specialists are emphasizing how different roles on the shop floor are supported by the real-time delivery of context-specific information, active notifications of deviating KPIs in production, and specific assistance for determining and eliminating the causes. The employee is also informed promptly of new tasks and assisted with efficient resolution through context-specific instructions. When urgent new tasks come up, the mobile device such as a smartphone announces them with a corresponding message.
Solution transferable to other systems
The system can be connected to any existing (data) interfaces or via additional (non-invasive) sensors. User examples include electronics production, metal processing, and also measurement systems. The showcase – operator notification in particular – is tailored to production machines and plants. The solution – KPI monitoring in particular – can also be applied to other facilities and systems. Managing Director Christian Wagner: “We have the flexibility to connect existing, heterogeneous systems, that is to say machines from various manufacturers, to our solution and therefore to analyze information across heterogeneous systems.” Information from the machines is for example obtained over OPC UA interfaces, PLC control APIs, MTConnect interfaces, or proprietary interfaces such as REST. All data can be accessed using both iOS and Android devices. A Windows Phone extension is currently under development as well. “The server (back-end) solution can be operated on all common cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, etc., and also on-premise on a server in the production plant,” Mr. Wagner explains.