Drives and Controls Magazine
Digitalisation will be applied to LV motor production
Published:  27 February, 2017

A group of four German companies and organisations, including Siemens and the Fraunhofer institute, have embarked on a 26-month project aimed at developing technologies, interfaces and infrastructures for implementing digital industrial production. At the end of the project, the partners plan to test the concepts on a line assembling low-voltage motors at a Siemens factory in Nuremberg.

The Road to Digital Production (R2D) project, which started last September and is being backed by the Bavarian state government, aims to demonstrate that digitalisation will not only increase efficiency, but also help to optimise quality. It will work on new technologies for cyber-physical production systems and define principles and methods for manufacturing batches of a single item, and for assembling products. The multi-disciplinary team also aims to demonstrate how vertical digitalisation can be implemented using information from IT systems for order processing and engineering, to achieve paperless real-time production.

Smart tags with communications and localisation functions will accompany products along the production line. The aim is for the smart tag to recognise, log and control process steps. A key target is to decentralise and “dynamise” production planning and material provision, which were previously carried out centrally.

The project partners will try to verify not only the functionality of the system, but also its economy. After the project has been completed, they hope to transfer the concept to other production lines, plants and companies.

Technologies and concepts developed during the digitalisation project will be applied to the production of Siemens low-voltage motors

Siemens is working with the Fraunhofer IIS (Institute for Integrated Circuits) and the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Research on SCS (Supply Chain Services) to develop the cyber-physical production system and the smart tags. Another partner, Kinexon, will work on a precision real-time system for 3D localisation and motion sensing, while an app specialist, iTizzimo, will integrate software using smart devices.