Intelligent, networked and resource-efficient production – that is part of the vision of Industry 4.0. However, the change to cyber-physical production systems is not possible in a single step.
The MetamoFAB project – funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the research programme “Research for the production of tomorrow” – e.g. researches solutions to enable the metamorphosis of existing operations in production into intelligent and networked factories. When it comes to this metamorphosis, all the participants and things involved, such as people, machinery, workpieces, IT and building infrastructure, must be incorporated. This change can only be managed one step at a time, as a comprehensive changeover interrupts production operations and high investment costs are necessary. The transformation process must therefore take place in steps, so that the switch to the factory of the future is gradually achieved and the latests methods and technologies are implemented. Thus, the MetamoFAB project aimed at describing phases of the transition and finding ways to implement it, in order to integrate successive cyber-physical systems with existing modernisation and development plans, enabling the metamorphosis into intelligent and networked factories. Several use cases in factories of Infenion, Siemens and Festo have been researched.
Festo worked in his use case on the Energy Transparency System (ETS) at its Scharnhausen Technology Plant. The developed ETS is now used to catch resource and energy saving potentials in the factory. The concept includes two dimensions. On the one hand an organisational part, to give clarity about objectives, responsibilities and ensure the application of saving measures. On the other hand, the physical assets in the factory are measured regarding their energy consumption. These assets range from technical building services to machines on the shop floor. The virtual representation of the consumption allows a specific allocation of energy costs. Within this frame, pilot machines were advanced to energy transparent machines to give a detailed image about their consumption states. The information about the systems is visualized and provides opportunities for the operators on the shop floor to be immediately informed about deviations. The installed equipment provides the option to be used in future phases as a base for local decision making to increase energy efficiency of machines, and in the end to achieve the energy targets for the whole plant.