What are the four factors driving Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things? These are primarily networking, adaptability, energy efficiency and new business models. With the IoT gateway CPX-IoT, Festo is paving the way for a secure cloud solution which will enable machine and system builders and end customers to significantly improve their overall equipment effectiveness. One of the first networked components is the energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M, with which a lot of money can be saved.
Fully networked “things” will simplify business life in the future. Festo is shaping this future through six key measures. Products and solutions that are fit for Industry 4.0, such as digitised pneumatics with the Festo Motion Terminal, take centre stage. These are the result of continuous research and development carried out in the company, in research networks and in the Bionic Learning Network. Optimising the supply chain makes production processes more efficient. However, Industry 4.0 could fail if the people affected by digitalisation are not prepared for it or for their role in it. It therefore makes sense to launch “Training 4.0” and “Working Environment 4.0” as well.
The goal of all efforts to make Industry 4.0 a reality is the integration of different functions across system boundaries. “That is why Festo is working closely with other companies in the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association and on the Platform Industry 4.0 project to create a common reference architecture,” explains Dr Michael Hoffmeister, Management Expert at Festo in the newly created Digital Business section.
Festo Product Key
As part of this, Festo is using digital twins to embed its products and solutions in the common administration shell of this reference architecture (RAMI). All Festo products are provided with a product label including a data matrix code, known as the Festo product key, which gives access to a wealth of information. This is the key to the world of Industry 4.0.
In future, a Festo product will receive constant digital upgrades as the Festo product key will be linked to the newly created Festo App World. With the Festo App World upgrades and services for a specific component can be bought. It includes mobile apps, for the Festo Motion Terminal for example, web apps for the cloud, desktop apps, apps for programmable logic controllers and firmware apps.
IoT gateway to data analysis
Back in the here and now, Festo is already presenting the first turnkey solution for IoT-ready components and dashboards. The CPX IoT gateway connects components and modules from the field level, such as the Festo Motion Terminal, the energy monitoring module MSE6-E2M or handling systems, to the Festo Cloud via their OPC UA interface. The cloud makes it possible to process and monitor the data; this in turn enables trend analyses to be worked out and early warning systems and automatic notifications to be set up in the event of incidents. The IoT gateway connects the cloud to a controller and ensures that the relevant information is communicated in the right format at the right time.
With the IoT gateway CPX-IoT, it is possible to have preconfigured dashboards for each Festo component – with additional customisation. The dashboard is viewed in the web browser and includes diagrams and traffic lights. Specific widgets – user interface components and graphs for energy monitoring and preventive maintenance, as well as key performance indicators for the process and for the improvement of overall equipment effectiveness – provide clarity. The condition monitoring solution improves error diagnostics and fault identification, creates transparency regarding energy consumption, delivers clear information in graphical format and offers historical data.
A smart way of reducing energy consumption
One of the first automation components that can link the IoT gateway with the cloud is the energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M. It makes saving energy in compressed air systems extremely easy. This intelligent service unit system monitors and regulates operating parameters in new and existing plants fully automatically.
The energy efficiency module MSE6-E2M, or E2M for short, can do much more than a conventional service unit component. By actively intervening in the air supply, particularly during stand-by operation, the consumption of compressed air can be reduced. At the same time, the automatic monitoring of important operating parameters such as flow rate and pressure ensures a reliable production process - making condition monitoring easy!
Automatic leak detection
When the E2M is in shut-off mode, it checks the installation for leaks. If the energy efficiency module detects a pressure drop equal to a critical value predefined by the user, it signals this to the plant control system. The E2M independently detects leaks in a piping system, enabling the user to carry out maintenance as and when needed. The module also has an option whereby the compressed air supply can be switched on and off manually. In the case of particularly complex production processes, automatic stand-by detection can be deactivated so that plant operators can specify themselves via a PLC whether a machine is in production operation or not.
Measured values for flow rate, air consumption and pressure can be called up at any time. Plant operators can use this information as the basis for continuous intelligent energy monitoring of a machine. With the E2M it is possible, for example, to determine whether a plant is consuming more air now than a year ago, how much compressed air is needed for a production batch, whether the pressure is correctly adjusted or how high the pressure and flow rate were at the time of a machine failure. The dashboard displays all the required data.
Festo AG is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 40 industries. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 20,100 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €3.1 billion in 2017. Each year around 8 % of this turnover is invested in research and development. In this learning company, 1.5 % of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Yet training services are not only provided for Festo's own staff – Festo Didactic SE also supplies basic and further training programmes in the field of automation technology for customers, students and trainees.