FH Aachen – Car Manufacturing Cube Industry 4.0 Demonstrator

igu-award-adm | July 23, 2020

CMC – Car Manufacturing Cube

The “CMC – Car Manufacturing Cube” Industry 4.0 Demonstrator has been developed for the Aachen University of Applied Sciences Industry 4.0 model factory. The project’s focus is the representation of Industry 4.0 ideas, developments and solutions, by means of standard industry automation components. As part of CMC, a system solution has been developed based on the RAMI 4.0 reference model, taking into account all elements of the digital factory relating to Industry 4.0 and implementing them in a compact Industry 4.0 system for customised model production.

An igus® flat linear robot was selected for the application to ensure practical implementation and an industry-relevant training process. An open-source web shop solution was used for data management and business process mapping. A suitable adapter and a service expansion gave rise to an Industry 4.0-compatible application that implements the entire process: from storage, to ordering, to financial services, to production so that it can accommodate multiple clients. Only proven protocols are used for communication. Hierarchical communication was implemented at the production level as well. It distinguishes between real time and non-real time and meets the relevant IT security standards.

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Problem:

Industry 4.0 is the challenge of the 21st century. Interplay among industry associations and representatives of politics, industry and science is revolutionising the interaction between humans and technology. Integrated, digital production with intelligent workpieces and means of production in virtual corporate associations, allows maximum production flexibility with the objective of one-unit production at mass-production price. This will keep Central Europe attractive as a production location. The holistic implementation of Industry 4.0 requires a broad range of technologies and abilities that go beyond the individual disciplines of mechanical engineering, automation and control technology and business administration. Only generalist approaches will return acceptable solutions.

The RAMI 4.0 reference model provides an approach to developing best practices for Industry 4.0. The model is rarely holistically implemented, however, since there are few practical automation technology examples. The objective of this project is therefore to familiarise students, corporate representatives, and technology-oriented individuals with the shift to automation technology. The Demonstrator serves as a basis for discussion in this context.

The mechanical challenge for the development of the Industry 4.0 Demonstrator, was the necessary spontaneous system availability (production at irregular intervals), transportability, practicability, proximity to industry and use in instruction. That is why, overall, a cost-efficient development offering various functionalities in the long term was required.

Solution:

The use of the igus flat linear robot in the model factory and training, provides an efficient, low-cost representation of typical automation components. Representatives of mid-sized companies are especially familiar with the igus flat linear robot, and its use in the model factory provides them with practical experience of the connection between current automation technology and Industry 4.0 software solutions.

The system’s robustness and reliability has already allowed exhibition of the Demonstrator, described at several trade shows (including the Hannover Messe) and events (including the Aachen University of Applied Sciences Tag der Forschung or Research day).

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For the ROIBOT Award we were looking for clever low-cost robotics applications based on igus® components with a fast payback time. We thank all participants for the numerous entries!
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