Cloud connectivity for the factory floor
Versatile uses of cloud-based solutions can already be found on factory floors and in automation. The possible uses vary greatly: From the quality control of products to the maintenance of the necessary machines to the manufacture of personalized products that customers themselves have designed. The foundation for all these applications is the provision of data from the field level to cloud-based servers.
Find out more about the necessary steps and considerations for implementation!
Turn data into added value
Shorter development cycles, higher productivity and improved quality – cloud computing is an important prerequisite to benefit from the benefits of digitalization in industry.
All this can work only if the cloud receives valid data from the field. Power consumption, temperature, vibration, traversing speed, and corresponding time curves provide indications of plant conditions and process quality. When combined with further information – such as the type of material used, the specific suppliers or tool condition – this opens up completely new possibilities:
- Improved product quality through Big Data analysis of all relevant parameters
- Automatic process optimization through evaluation of movement data and turnover rate of mobile assets
- Predictive maintenance – through evaluation of key machine or robot metrics to increase availability
CloudConnect connects machine developers, engineers and plant planners to the future – unbelievably simply, quickly, and securely. You can thus profit from forward-looking IIoT applications to suit your own individual requirements.
Simple data transfer to all common cloud platforms
The open Message Queuing Telemetry Transport (MQTT) protocol is used as the cloud protocol. This established standard enables the transfer of data to MindSphere, the IoT operating system from Siemens, as well as to all common cloud platforms like Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Professionalism has many facets
From the sensor to the cloud – professionally. CloudConnect also means that users can use existing engineering data. That’s particularly important with existing plants because no changes to the project landscape are required. Integration in the TIA Portal with SIMATIC S7-1500 enables fast and error-free engineering. To reduce data volumes, the transfer can be performed on a cyclical or event-driven basis – always taking into consideration logical plant and machine contexts. For example, if the machine is actually in RUN mode and not just on standby.
Can the production time for workpieces be reduced by omitting the final quality check? What was previously unthinkable can be realized through “predictive quality.” The idea: Already while in the production process, measurement and test data is collected, evaluated in the cloud – combined with information from other IT systems: Data on product returns, information from suppliers of individual components, and much more.
This result, though, must also be communicated back to the production line in order to sort out a questionable workpiece and to analyze the problematic parameter more precisely again. The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) therefore does not remain a one-way street when it comes to real benefits in terms of cost, cycle times, and product quality.
Transforming your own businessThe Schaeffler Group-owned special machinery department, a globally operating automotive and industrial supplier, is one of the major manufacturers of customized production facilities, also in comparison to the external market. In order to continue to be successful, the special machinery must evolve from pure mechanics to mechatronic systems to IT-integrated solutions.
Scalable solutions adapted to the application
A decisive advantage for Schaeffler is to standardize the global concepts for digitalization and connectivity. For this, data is the key element to generate added value.
As both supplier and part of the customer and operator, Schaeffler has practically unlimited access to all data. Important for the connection to cloud systems are both integrated and complementary solutions for new machines and especially existing installations. However, “production first” always applies – the cycle times of the machines must not be affected.
A solution that connects
A number of technologies are available for automating goods identification in intralogistics. In mixed operations, human- and machine-readable labels are used alongside RFID for input/output, and RTLS onsite. This brings with it challenges in multi-vendor communications. OPC UA provides a standardized interface and can thus serve as a universal language.