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Robots, sensors, big data and algorithms - World of Industry 4.0 in BOSCH Group

  • 09.03.2017

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If you correlate Robert Bosch with power tools and automotive parts you should probably know that in a meantime our company became one of the most aggressive and innovative player in Industry 4.0 space. Industry 4.0 – an exciting topic mixing IT with engineering, logistics and manufacturing. According to google trends, in Germany this phrase became popular in 2015 and continues its growth until today.

 

In Poland, it had it’s ups and downs but it gained true momentum in the middle of 2016 and didn’t slow since then.

The fourth industrial revolution, integrates people and digitally-controlled machines with the internet and information technology. People are key players in this concept, and their work is facilitated to a greater degree than ever by software-based systems. This involves the entire value stream: objects being pro­duced or used in manufacturing are always uniquely identifiable and communicate independently with one another. Information flows vertically from the individual components all the way up to the company’s IT platform and the other way around. Information also flows horizontally between machines involved in production and the company’s manufacturing system.

 

Bosch goal is to identify areas where innovative solutions can be applied in order to increase efficiency, save costs and bring new type of benefits to the customer. This is a bumpy road, but no one said that being a true pioneer is easy. While some of the ideas end as a proof of concepts others become a top selling product across all Bosch manufacturing plant and external customers. However, in both cases, creating a solution is an extremely creative process that requires specialist in IT, engineering, management and more.

 

Running i4.0 solutions:

Maintenance Support System (MSS) is an IT system created to support the operator and the maintenance engineer, in order to increase the speed, effectiveness and sustainability in corrective, preventive and autonomous maintenance.

While the classical maintenance process is characterized by wasted resources and wasted time for diagnosis, the Maintenance Support System contains all relevant functions for a real time data based service.

When using MSS, once a problem is detected, a service order can be placed directly with a tablet. The service call contains all the relevant information needed to the service and an availability check of reserve spare parts can be also done immediately. The maintenance engineer can display all documents, images and Videos of the machine directly and mobile. When the job is finished, the order can be directly closed through smartphone.

Smart Replenishment System (SrS)

Two assembly machines in a plant talks to each other:

"I plan to produce 50 more such parts – for this to happen, could you please send me 50 pieces of type-parts-number 0721.000.479?"

"Sure, you’ll get it in 3 minutes."

Too good to be true? Actually not.

That’s just a ‘typical conversation’ of machines using Smart Replenishment. This I4.0 solution solves an important use case: refilling of materials so the automated production can happen - on its own. What is mentioned above is exactly what it sounds like when one machine orders its supply. What once took several people and time and was analog, now is less error prone, transparent, digital, continuous, much more flexible, lean … and most important - automated!

The secret of the transformation is the comprehensive connection between machines, relevant IT systems and the workers’ console terminals – a true Industry 4.0 in its full meaning

 

Prototype i4.0 solutions

iGlove

With embedded Bosch MEMS sensors, iGlove can sense the movements of fingers and hands. The data of sensors is transmitted wirelessly to computer for gesture recognition.

This ability is used to:

  • Support operators via connectivity and information sharing between people and machine
  • Realize the real human machine interaction for Industry 4.0, with more integrated functions
  • Enable potential application of industry big data mining

Augmented Reality

The focus of this project is to speed up the training process and make it more flexible in handling. In production and assembly areas where processes change with time, it is very costly and inefficient to conduct trainings for all associates for every change. At the moment, the Augmented Reality project uses smart glasses and a workplace integrated tablet solution.

 

Benefits:

  • Ensuring of process quality during the training
  • Creation of process specific training documents
  • More flexible and faster in teaching working sequences
  • Associates have the possibility to learn work processes by themselves

Autobods

The AutoBod is a smart, autonomous transport system designed for dolly transportation. It enables a paradigm change in intralogistics from cyclical material supply by milkruns and point-of-use providers (city bus) to an autonomous and on demand supply by small robots that are linked to the MAE (taxi). The result is a massive reduction of replenishment time and lot size that lead to great saving potentials.

  • Autonomous loading and unloading of standard dollies
  • Simple integration in existing infrastructure of plants
  • Solid autonomous laser navigation in dynamic plant environment
  • Cooperation withother robots through I4.0 central control module

 

Authors: Piotr Białek, Paweł Keller (Industry 4.0 Solution Managers)