This year at EMO Hannover, a big focus will be on exploring new approaches for strengthening mutual feedback between the academic and business communities. In line with the EMO’s motto of ‘Connecting systems for intelligent production’, the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association (VDW) is organising the Industry 4.0 special show area, on which Fraunhofer and university-affiliated research institutes of the German Academic Society for Production Engineering (WGP) will be showcasing the latest advances in networked production technology.
Besides the WGP (a grouping of leading German mechanical engineering professors), representatives of the industrial sector will be showing what solutions they have already implemented in practical form. In an accompanying presentation forum, eminent academics will be elucidating their latest research results, and firms will be spotlighting their competences in regard to the smart factory concept.
Academia goes public
The approximately 650m2 of the Industry 4.0 area are located in Hall 25. On more than a third of this area, nine prestigious WGP institutes will be presenting examples of their research projects and providing insights into the factory of the future. With its total of 39 institutes, the WGP exhibits expertise covering the entire field of production technology.
Academics from Munich and Stuttgart, for example, will be showcasing the ‘BaZMod’ project financed by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The motto of ‘Component-Friendly Machine Configuration in Production Operations Using Cyberphysical Additional Modules’ (in German abbreviated to ‘BaZMod’) involves expanding the presently known interfaces, for example. Up to now, interfaces between an intelligent tool and a machine’s control system have been executed differently by each manufacturer. In the shape of ‘BaZMod’, the academics will be presenting solutions for a standardised interchange of data and energy between a smart tool and the production environment.
Results from the specialised research field of ‘Gentelligent Manufacturing’ will be spotlighted by researchers from Hanover, who will be showcasing a ‘feeling’ machine tool and new approaches in the field of sensor technology, like modularised microsensors and sensor-based clamping technology. Magnetic magnesium alloys, an innovative high-frequency communication system for the production operation, and teaching-free process monitoring will also be spotlighted at their stand.
Simulations simplify procedural complexities
In the field of simulation, academics from Kaiserslautern will, for example, be showcasing results from the BMBF’s ‘mecPro2’ project, which was completed at the end of 2016.
Cybertronic products (CTPs) are complex systems, whose development is still often document-centred even nowadays. The transfer of product-related information to the production people, too, is frequently document-centred and is often delayed until an advanced phase of planning for the CTP.
This makes it more difficult and time-consuming to plan the cybertronic production system (CTPS). Within the framework of mecPro2, a model-based systematised planning methodology has been developed for CTP and CTPS, enabling integrated planning to be assured for both product and production.
Man-machine interactions will be spotlighted on the stand of the team from Aachen, who will be presenting the results of various government-funded research projects, e.g. on augmented reality and man-robot collaborations, plus radio-based application-friendly technologies. The exemplary process will, for instance, show interaction with a lightweight robot, the creation and production of an individual order, and the continuous provision of information by means of innovative interfaces.
Firms will be showcasing practical solutions
Besides research, plenty of space will also be devoted to practical applications in the Industry 4.0 area. On around 400m2, firms will be presenting to the public their very latest solutions. Here, too the bandwidth is broad, ranging from machine tools and logistics to the relevant software.
Exhibits will include a data processing solution based on machine learning, suitable for integration with industrial communication protocols. A demo robot cell featuring a virtual display of a software package for automation solutions, including a control unit, will be exhibited. A tool dispenser system and a pallet handling system in conjunction with a bookkeeping software package will also be on show. And not least, the Industry 4.0 areawill be focusing on digital business platforms as well.
The multifaceted products and solutions from exhibitors in the Industry 4.0 area will do more than merely provide visitors with a glimpse of production technology’s future; they also guarantee specialist mutual feedback with experts of an international community.