The fourth industrial revolution, or industry 4.0, has completely changed the way in which industrial companies operate in the market, and this has forced the ecosystem to adapt. The fourth industrial revolution is based on the automation and digitalization of production processes, in order to reduce cost and time. Through different digital technologies (Internet of Things, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence…) it tries to improve the productive process thanks to interconnection between the different systems that take part.
The competitive advantages provided by Industry 4.0 are innumerable:
- Time reduction in production processes.
- Increased quality of the manufactured goods.
- Considerable reduction of production costs and returns.
- Increased competitiveness in the market.
What is a Smart Factory, and which are its benefits?
In this context, Smart Factories are systems that independently adapt to their new environment, learn from trends in real time and automatically carry out complete productive processes. In other words, it is an industrial system in which are involved the most relevant Industry 4.0 technologies, and thanks to this, the day-to-day running of the production plant and its results are optimized.
The biggest of the benefits the Smart Factory brings to industry 4.0 is, without any doubt, the capacity to evolve and adapt to the needs of the environment in which it operates. This way, we are facing a more efficient system that reduces downtime in the production process, in addition to being able to predict and adjust to the changes the company may experience.
The result is clear: increased competitiveness in the market.
By being able to detect the defective tendency of the parts in advance, preventive and corrective actions are carried out faster. This way, workers’ efficiency is increased since it allows them to focus their efforts on relevant actions.
As for the advantages Smart Factory brings to the quality area, there is a better management of non-conformities. Thanks to the real-time access, product and process quality is increased, as well as being able to adapt and configure the production process based on different analysis.
In addition, process digitalization is always a clear benefit for all the implied areas: saving management time by showing the most important discrepancies in the process. Working paperless always turns to an increase in the team’s efficiency.
The traceability provided by the control machines in the Smart Factory is another of the strengths of these new systems. By monitoring the whole process, both from inside and outside the production plant, traceability of operations and process auditing are increased, which is the key to continuous improvement.
It is clear that the Smart Factory is the solution for the future of Industry.
And in terms of industrial metrology, no wonder.
More and more companies in the industrial sector have bet on integrating industrial metrology into their manufacturing processes, carrying out dimensional verifications in each phase of the process. The integration of the latest industry 4.0 technologies in the industrial metrology processes has not been left behind, and the benefits are becoming more and more notorious.
Last June 13th at the BIEMH we presented for the first time in Spain Mitutoyo’s automated cell designed for the smart and connected factory.
This cell integrates different measuring equipment from Mitutoyo:
- 1 MiStar 555 compact CMM.
- 1 MiSCAN 302 latest generation vision measuring machine.
- 1 Formtracer Avant FTA-H4D44000 for contour and roughness measurement.
- 1 HR-620B hardness tester.
- 1 Tag lens vision equipment for error detection.
In addition, this equipment is fed by three FANUC automatic robots, a conveyor belt for moving the parts and parts transfer pallets (which do not leave the conveyor belt).
This intelligent inspection cell has RFID sensors for the identification and traceability of parts, as well as numerous sensors to ensure the security of the cell. It is all commanded by a PLC that is responsible for managing the line’s functioning and an IoT platform that is used to monitor the machine and data management.
This fully automated, Smart Factory-focused solution allows for immediate reaction to the environment’s changing conditions, both on production and quality basis. It can be controlled via the Internet, which allows flexibility of control, as the results can be analysed from the technical office.
A PC controls the entire robot system and performs all the internal processes based on the environmental conditions set via the Internet. If conditions changed, the systems would react immediately and would adjust to the new configuration.
In Metrologia Sariki we have an engineering and project area that is in charge of developing turnkey projects. We propose automated, intelligent and in-line metrology solutions.
We have an expert and multidisciplinary team to develop this kind of projects that will allow you to move your factory towards its Smart Factory version.
Get in touch with us now!