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Taneli Jokela
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Tero Lahtinen
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IT-supported individual product assembly and process optimization

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01.05.2018 9:11


In the factory of the future, business and production processes are growing ever closer together. Bosch Rexroth supports the essential flow of data from IT to individual assembly stations and back from the production line to IT with the two system solutions ActiveAssist and ActiveCockpit.

The intelligent ActiveAssist assembly assistant system guides employees through multi-variant assembly tasks all the way to batch sizes of 1. The interactive communication platform ActiveCockpit collects, filters and processes data from complete production lines in real time for systematic process optimization. Both system solutions are driving the evolution to the data-based factory of the future.

Shorter product life cycles and increased product variance lead to ever smaller batch sizes and higher demands for flexibility in production. Individually configured orders are already stored in the enterprise IT system. The ActiveAssist assembly assistant system now automatically links this ordering information with actual assembly on the shop floor. Employees are guided through the assembly of individual products by the integrated assistance systems using visual work instructions. Projectors project work instructions directly onto the work surface and indicate the corresponding grab containers. 

Even during assembly, sensors and cameras detect the correct execution of the assembly work and provide information on how to rectify faults. Practical experience from the first applications shows that ActiveAssist reduces error costs in multi-variant assembly by up to 40 percent and reduces training times by up to 20 percent. The assembly assistance system software and hardware is modular and freely configurable. Users can equip each assembly station with different assistance functions. In addition, the open software integrates sensors from various manufacturers and provides interfaces to MES and ERP systems. 

Connecting production to IT: Configuration instead of programming 

ActiveCockpit takes over the flow of information in the other direction, from the individual workstation up to IT. The interactive communication platform with its new apps collects all relevant data of the connected production facilities, updates them dynamically and makes them available in real time. This is the basis for continuous optimization of all processes and an increase in availability. As a link between production, corporate IT and people, the software already enables fully networked production as it will be standard in the factory of the future. 

The system simplifies the fast connection to backend systems with ERP and app interfaces. Commissioning the software does not require any programming. Instead, it’s enough just to configure to the current environment and select the app-based functions. 

The interactive communication platform ActiveCockpit accelerates decisions and solutions, since the optimum value-added process can be derived from the data at any time. For this purpose, it makes the production data available to the employees on site in real time. This increases the transparency of the processes, as ActiveCockpit instantly displays deviations. Employees can immediately initiate optimization measures. All decisions are reported straight away in the automatically generated log and forwarded to IT to set the new standard.

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