Modularity, energy efficiency and the use of OPC UA as a communication standard are further features of Industry 4.0, and are already implemented by Festo in decentralised automation solutions and mechatronic subsystems. This has enabled the company to create, for example, a flexible loading module for end of line packaging. The automation expert offers answers to key questions about Industry 4.0, especially with regard to dynamic loading processes with fast format changeovers.
In this application, the linear gantry EXCT permits horizontal and vertical motion, as well as accurate positioning. The stationary motors and the resultant minimal moving mass ensure outstanding dynamic response. The complete package includes all components from a single source – from suction grippers and electric axis systems right up to CODESYS controllers. Dynamic loading processes with fast format changeovers can be easily implemented with this combination.
Lean and intelligent
The application is controlled by a CODESYS controller CPX-CEC with IP65/67 protection for compact on-site installation – without a control cabinet, neatly integrated into the system. All fieldbuses or Industrial Ethernet, as well as the Industry 4.0 OPC UA standard are available as interfaces. Vision sensors read data matrix codes and control intelligent workpieces and processes. Festo provides users with additional support in the form of reliable services – from engineering and commissioning right up to system operation with software tools, online offerings and advice.
Generating more data is one issue, but interpreting them and arriving at the right conclusions is another. Employees in industry as well as students at vocational colleges and universities will therefore need to be trained specifically for Industry 4.0.
An understanding of fully automated digital production technologies and knowledge of the layout and programming of digital system networks are in demand. Otherwise tomorrow’s employees will not be capable of operating and optimising complex networked systems or developing flexible, intelligent components, and thus of making a contribution to the necessary versatility and adaptability of the systems.
Festo Didactic offers a cyber-physical learning and research platform in the form of the CP Factory. This platform models the stations in a real production plant. Learning content includes, for example, systems programming, networking, energy efficiency and data management. The platform also enables flexible software solutions to be developed and tested so that they can be used in production.
Being once again the driving force behind automation, Festo is at the forefront of Industry 4.0 – from learning to initial applications, from products and solutions to revolutionary research on BionicANTs. It is helping its customers on their way to ground-breaking, forward-looking solutions and significantly improved productivity.
Decentralised intelligence, quick availability and analysis of all relevant data are essential basic prerequisites for the success of Industry 4.0 – for more individuality and flexibility, as well as greater system availability and thus increased productivity. Cyber-physical systems will be forming the new basis for this future reality.
Festo AG is a global player and an independent family-owned company with its 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 200 industries. Our products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 18.700 employees in 61 companies worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €2.64 billion in 2015. 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.