Production Cycle 4.0

The digitalization of the production cycle makes use of the master data released from the development cycle and enriches it with additional information. The Production Cycle is transaction-oriented and comprises ERP System for order management, Management Execution System (MES) for shopfloor management, Warehouse Management System for in-house logistics, real-time production management with the help of a holistic digital shadow featured in a Smart Factory solution as well as creation and tracking of qualitative feedback in a Ticket Management System.
Smart Digital Twin with EPLAN and PTC

The case of an automated warehouse system highlights the potential of digitalized and connected operating resources for production and maintenance. Based on the PTC’s ThingWorx platform, ECAD data from the EPLAN authoring systems is joined with MCAD data. This opens the possibility to obtain information on the wiring diagram as well as the construction plan in one single app. For maintenance, this leads to an enormous time advantage when identifying and replacing defect mechatronic components. This in terms leads to significantly decreased downtime of machinery. Augmented reality supports maintenance staff with respect to both the identification of the defect component as well as the layout of the switch cabinet.

Smart Assembly Station – The Internet of Production enables a flexible One-Piece-Flow

In cooperation with the member companies Miele, PTC, Bossard, Elisa, and Atlas Copco, the E4TC developed an One-Piece-Flow 4.0 for assembly. The project is realized at the demonstration factory at the RWTH Aachen Campus.

Equipped with location sensors, a digitally connected assembly tool can be used at each assembly station. Product, tool, sensor data, bill of material and process plans are integrated through an IoT platform. The smart tool retrieves the correct parameters at each assembly station automatically. All assembly steps are reported and documented without the need for manual intervention. The location tracking ensures that the assembly tool can only be used at the designated assembly stations. The smart assembly station minimizes waste and increases both flexibility and quality of the assembly process.

Augmented Reality in Laser Cutting – Increasing handling efficiency in multi-order cutting processes by AR

Laser cutters used in industry cut up to 300 parts into a single large sheet metal. To ensure sustainability the amount of waste should always be kept at a minimum In order to do so, parts usually are spread randomly all over the sheet metal rather than sorted. While this optimizes the amount of waste, it makes it more difficult and time-consuming for a worker to identify all the parts and sort them accordingly. The parts on the sheet might differ from one to another and can even belong to different orders or customers.

Together with PTC and Trumpf, we developed an Augmented Reality-based (AR) app for operators to distinguish the parts and thereby speeding up the sorting process. (learn more)

Optimize Digital Quality Control in Manufacturing at e.GO Mobile

At the e.GO series factory in Aachen, the end of line quality inspection is supposed to follow the assembly cycle time of 10 minutes per station. At the same time, information from the quality check and inspection results have to be documented and stored digitally. With around 400 relevant quality aspects being tested, an efficient process is only possible with the help of a digital tool.  (learn more)

Optimizing Order Flow by Smart Tracking Analytics

A high degree of transparency is needed in modern manufacturing sites. In execution planning, for example, all individual production steps need to be planned down to the finest detail. This requires constant knowledge of the location of equipment, tools and materials. The combination of an asset tracking solution that is standardized and hardware independent, with the opportunities of data analytics offers not only real-time insights into order flows but even make it possible to predict situations on shop floor. This optimizes the entire order flow and value chain within a production site. (learn more)

M6LO-1024x570
Production planing and production management (PSIpenta)

e.GO Mobile AG uses PSIpenta as their ERP system. Through an interface, the manufacturing bill of material (mBOM) and the bill of process (BOP) are automatically transferred from the PLM system to feed the ERP master data which are enriched with additional information. Customer orders are sent to PSIpenta from a webshop that is linked to a sales product configurator. The ERP System that schedules the customer orders based on resource availability. All material necessary for production is calculated, ordered and managed in the system.

M6RU-1024x570
Disposition and sequencing

Based on the production orders from the ERP, the production management tool ASM allows for manually sequencing the production orders within a shift or a day. The execution of this defined sequence is supported by the MES system for work instructions and recording feedback.

M2RU-1024x576
SCADA (PSI MES)

The sequenced and running production orders for pre-assembly and final assembly stations are visible in a bird‘s eye perspective on the SCADA screen. Based on real-time data from the manufacturing execution system (PSI MES), the SCADA screen offers an overview of current assignment as well as status of all assembly stations. The order numbers show which order is currently at which station. An intuitive colour coding signals whether interventions are necessary.

M2LU-1024x576
MES Worker Cockpit

e.GO’s pre-assembly and final assembly workers have monitors in their stations to receive their task list for each production order. The MES displays the tasks resulting from the bill of process (BOP) per production order and the planned order sequence. This covers all production steps and their cycle times. On the touch screens, workers can sign off on every step. Together with additional automated feedbacks from connected equipment, the seamless documentation of the whole production process, meeting regulatory requirements, is ensured.

M6RO-1024x570
Warehouse Management System

PSI WMS controls all flows of materials within the e.GO series production plant. This includes material in stock, consumption on the shopfloor, commissioning as well as re-stocking of material along planned routes. Through small android-based scanning and display devices (MDT), logistics workers are guided step-by-step, while the system automatically priorizes the orders in the background. Workers use MDT to enter completion notes and feedback back to the system.

M6LU-1024x576
External C-parts management with Bossard

Bossard does not only offer fastening solutions, but also automated replenishment services based on the „availability-to-line“ business model, i.e., outsourcing the C-parts-management from the manufacturer. Bossard‘s software ARIMS is the backbone of this digital business model. The system is driven by smart bins that constantly monitor stock with the help of integrated weight sensors and trigger replenishment automatically.

M2LO-1024x576
Digital Shadow based on Elisa Smart Factory

The Demonstration Factory Aachen applies a multitude of sensors, IT systems and connected machinery. The digital shadow creates a digital representation of all connected processes. Smart Factory, the cloud-based internet-of-things-platform by Elisa visualizes monitoring and system data in a three-dimensional mirror image of the site allowing for drill-down into process and equipment details. This enables real-time monitoring of any  factory or production line through intuitive apps based on 3D visualization.

e_lab_battery_production-555x279
Condition Monitoring and Root Cause Analysis in Battery Cell Production

The Aachen eLAB owns a battery cell production line that is equipped with sensors and cameras. Minimizing scrap is very important, as defect battery cells can only be discovered post maturation, some weeks after the start of the production process. Optical monitoring with a high performance camera, and the real-time analysis of relevant process parameters such as temperature or coating density allow to understand this context and enable targeted process improvements. This E4TC project combines Elisa, HPE and PTC solution elements.

Jira_Status_E4TC-1024x497
Ticketing System (JIRA) for Continuous Improvement

For the production ramp-up of the e.GO Life, it is crucial to identify and document all emerging problems and challenges on one dedicated platform that communicates with all relevant stakeholders.  Problems and their respective solutions can be traced one-by-one. This provides online status and content for improvement execution and regular status meetings.