Vernetze Fabrik Leistungszentrum
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Berlin Center for Digital Transformation at the Hannover Messe 2018

Bundled know-how for digitally networked production

Production work will be completely redesigned with the possibilities of digitalization in the factory of the future: Industry 4.0 opens up new opportunities for human-technology cooperation to increase the efficiency of work on production facilities. The exhibit oft the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation will be showcased at the Hannover Messe from the 23rd to the 27th of April 2018 in hall 2, booth C22. It shows how companies can successfully implement digital transformation by using future technologies.

Exhibit of the Berlin Center for Digital Transformation: Smart production environment

The core of the smart production environment is a robotic system that combines the innovative technologies „gesture-controlled robot programming“, „digital assistant systems for machine and process“, „simulation and synchronization via digital twins“, „in-factory visualization of information via augmented reality“ as well as „sensor technology and edge-based state monitoring“ as comprehensive and consistent support for productionoperations. The exhibit offers a real-life use case that shows the potential promised by integrating and combining new digitalization and networking technologies. Companies have an opportunity to test and experience suitable processes immediately on site.

Multi-media solutions for interacting and working with the production system are demonstrated in a mobile and context-responsive production and servicing scenario. The physical machines and processes are coupled in real time with their virtual digital images and models. User assistance systems are integrated in the production environment by adding suitable AR technology. Particular attention is paid to the provision of context-dependent information on the go to employees in their actual environment and in their specific jobs and to new multi-media and multi-modal ways of interacting with and operating the production facilities. One fundamental aspect is the integration and combination of virtual models and twins with the machines and processes in the physical world. The findings from these process and simulation analyses are then fed back with suitable visualization technologies into the active work setting and real-life environment.

Gesture-based robot programming

The trade fair demonstrator uses highly automated program generation. This enables fast parameterization of the robot path. The older robot model used is integrated into the modern production environment using a PLC and a software interface developed for this purpose. This allows the integration of modern image processing systems developed in high-level languages and thus provides the basis for the gesture-based programming environment presented.

Digital production and maintenance assistance

Both too little and too much information can stand in the way of efficient processes in production and servicing. Assistant systems that support their users interactively and in response to the given context can avoid this problem: They offer relief for non-value-adding activities and navigate the user efficiently through the process. At Hannover, a mobile assistant guides the expo’s visitors through the showcase, using information from the other systems involved.

Virtual factory twin

By adding VR components to the digital twins of factories, another crucial factor in the system can be integrated more immediately: people. By representing the factory twin in a VR environment, the plant designer can visit, experience, and interact with his work in the virtual realm. This makes it easier to account for the human factor, e.g. for questions of machine fitting or safety inspections, and to visually analyze the behavior of the plant and the goods processed within it.

Augmented reality and object recognition

We are using augment reality (AR) technology in combination with interactive and object recognition solutions. The system in the exhibit recognizes the exact position of a workpiece; the AR projection adds virtual information to the workpiece and the workbench, and the user can select where the robot should process the workpiece by simply pointing to the object.

A perfect-fit „Modular Sensor Kit“

For the quick and simple testing of hardware prototypes, the center can provide a modular sensor kit. Equipped to match the specific use case, fully functional modules are combined to form autonomous sensors at low cost and in record time. The modular system can include highly specialized sensors, such as radar sensors. The necessary module settings are configured and the system launched for use via an intuitive user interface.

Time-sensitive networks and edge computing

Time-sensitive networking (TSN), an open standard for deterministic real-time networks, has arrived in the industrial sphere and removes the need to reconcile multiple proprietary fieldbus systems. The exhibit shows how TSN allows a direct connection of the production environment with cloud and edge platforms (for integration with MES and ERP systems) – with low latency and a uniform network.