Experts in Man & Machine
Trends 05.12.2016

Industry 4.0

Stäubli robots central
to the smart factory


Industry 4.0 becomes the new model of the global manufacturing industry.
In the factory of the future, robots, more and more intelligent, carry out particularly sophisticated missions, beyond the simple assembly. To meet the new requirements, Staübli Robotics creates robots that have the ability to communicate with each other and adapt production to demand, with the greatest flexibility.

Industry 4.0 is the way of the future for industrial players and how they operate, accelerating the convergence of the virtual and real worlds.

In recent years, factories have increasingly digitized their work tools. The result: the entire industrial process, from manufacturing to warehousing, distribution, and sales, is becoming networked and communicating in real time.

By bringing virtual reality into the factory, Industry 4.0 is becoming the new model of industrial manufacturing around the world. And industrial robotics has a key role to play in this “smart factory” model. Robots, central to the factory of the future, are getting smarter and smarter and can perform ever more sophisticated tasks that go beyond simple assembly.

With its TX2 line of robots, Stäubli Robotics will play a pivotal role in tomorrow’s factories.

Towards smarter electronics

To meet market needs, industry players have to be able to diversify their products. The more varied the product line, the more competitive it is.

But varying products or changing their design takes a flexible process. This level of flexibility requires downtime for recalibrating and retooling equipment, operations that can sap productivity and increase costs.

Smarter electronics can improve the manufacturing process by helping control the costs of flexibility and optimizing quality, reliability, and safety.

If smart equipment can be used to manage product variations automatically, manufacturers will be able to produce short runs without too much of an increase in production costs. In the factory of the future, not only will it be possible to vary production, but also to shorten product life cycles as needed.

TX2, interconnected robots that communicate

“Faced with these new challenges, Stäubli designs robots capable of communicating with each other and adapting production to demand with the greatest flexibility,” says Gerald Vogt, Director of Stäubli Robotics.

Because the system is fully interconnected, users can personalize production based on their needs.

In fact, the TX2 line is the new generation of robots designed with the smart factory and Industry 4.0 in mind. These interconnected robots enable “machine to machine” communication and the exchange of data between robots.

With the TX2 robot series and CS9 robot controller, Stäubli Robotics allows for greater cooperation between humans and machines. With TX2 robots, every movement is controlled by sensors for maximal safety, making them ideally suited for interactions of all kinds: operations without physical safety barriers, applications where human and machine share the same workspace, or even tasks that require man–machine cooperation.

TX2 series robots are perfectly compliant with Industry 4.0 criteria and can adapt to all communications standards in force to provide relevant data in real time. Stäubli’s six-axis machines are already capable of relaying production data to computer systems upstream of the production chain.

TX2 robots lay the foundation for a networked production process that’s connected to the digital world.

Remote maintenance

These ultra-communicative robots are equipped to provide data for use via smartphone, tablets, and other devices.
“With the Internet technology of our CS9 control system and its corresponding apps, Stäubli customers can control their robots anywhere in the world by phone, tablet, or laptop,” stresses Gerald Vogt. “We even offer a standard remote maintenance model that lets you monitor the status of our robots and manage maintenance remotely. Any defects that may arise will be identified online by our Stäubli service team.”

Optimize Lab

An integral part of Industry 4.0, this big data analysis solution integrated into all Stäubli machines makes it possible to quickly modify the robot’s settings and provide customers with real-time reports online that include support tips from Stäubli technicians to help them make the right decision.

A fully connected world The concept of a world of “connected things” is spreading, with applications emerging in every field, from the home to the office and industry.

Here is a technical definition of the concept:

« The Internet of Things is a network of networks that uses standardized and unified electronic identification systems and wireless mobile devices to identify, directly and without ambiguity, digital entities and physical objects, making it possible to retrieve, save, transfer, and process associated data without any discontinuity between the physical and virtual worlds.»

Source: L’Internet des objets, by Pierre-Jean Benghozi, Sylvain Bureau, and Françoise Massit-Folléa (Edition MSH)

A simpler definition:
Connected things are wirelessly connected electronic objects that share information with a computer, tablet, or smartphone…and are capable of perceiving, analyzing, and acting based on their situation and environment.

Source: L’Usine digitale

Man and machine - tx2touch

Industry 4.0—from concept to real-world applications

man and machine-sap

It’s no secret: mass customization of personalized goods is a growing trend. And with individual demands for product variety increasing, the manufacturing industry is turning more and more to digital technology and powerful manufacturing systems to ensure efficient production.

No one knows this better than SAP, the market leader in enterprise application software. During the 2016 Hannover Fair, SAP showcased a fully functional, Industry 4.0 production line. The objective: demonstrate the rapid and efficient manufacturing of a custom-designed key ring.

As one of SAP’s seven co-innovation partners, Stäubli robots play an integral role on the production line by picking the raw materials and assembling them according to the individual production order.

The solution includes simplified system architecture, connected processes (everything from the customer’s order to quality control), and streamlined factory systems that eliminate the need for middle-level software. The result is a fully integrated, intelligent production network that facilitates the mass production of individual, customized key rings. This project by SAP perfectly illustrates a real-world application of Industry 4.0 at work today.

See the video to find out more

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