On the occasion of a VDMA press conference themed “ITMA countdown” in Frankfurt, speakers from member companies Lindauer DORNIER, Herzog and Mahlo showed how Industry 4.0 solutions are going to impact the textile process chain and what technologies visitors can expect to see at ITMA 2019. The products examples of the respective companies made clear that Industry 4.0 is no end in itself but helps to improve production processes and results and supplements the range of services.
Organic start with an app
Dr. Janpeter Horn, CEO of Herzog, the leading company in braiding technology, introduced the company’s latest Industry 4.0. product: An app-box with which the customer can easily access the data of Herzog and other machines, e.g. on a PLC (Programmable Logic Controller). The data can be visualised on dashboards created by the customer on terminals or others. The data can be processed, e.g. by creating key figures, alarms or analyses. Dr. Horn said: “Starting with Indstry 4.0 does not necessarily mean to end up in a huge project and to employ software and consultant teams. We are offering an organic start into Industry 4.0 scenarios.”
To realise this lean approach, the solution makes use of cloud technologies on the shop floor; open source technologies for inexpensive apps; no internet connection is necessary. The main advantage however is the “one-click” installation of apps which have been applicable only for smartphones and tablets.
Better production results with digital help
According to Rainer Mestermann, Managing Director of Mahlo, collecting and processing data for better production results is a basic idea of Industry 4.0. Mahlo develops and produces measurement and control equipment for the textile and nonwoven industry. A new platform from Mahlo realises the ideas of Industry 4.0 with digital technologies. In the digitization concept for all Mahlo products, the functionalities are grouped, optimized and standardized as “services”. This results in modular hardware and software function blocks that can also be retrofitted. There are modules e.g. for the acquisition and processing of measured values, for control tasks or for the long-term archiving, data logging and analysis. One example is the control module in Mahlo’s weft straighteners. The distortion control was revised and digitised. Optimised hardware and software resulted in a faster and more efficient controller. Mr. Mestermann explains: “Evaluations confirmed by customers prove that the control module regulates 20 percent faster and more precisely than before. Better straightening results reduce the production of second-choice goods and the need to pass the same fabric through the stenter several times.”
An addition to personalized services
“Even in a 4.0 future, personal installation and maintenance support will remain an indispensable part of services but the portfolio will be supplemented by digital solutions”, stated Peter D. Dornier, CEO of Lindauer DORNIER. The company is technology leader in weaving machines. At ITMA 2019, Lindauer DORNIER will present a new customer portal. The portal is based on state-of-the-art database technology and will provide an online shop with permanent availability for original parts for all product lines. Remote maintenance and networking of weaving machines – to improve run characteristics, for example – will also be possible in future via the new customer portal. The focus of this solution is on people: Its purpose is to make the job of machine operators and production planners easier.
Thomas Waldmann, Managing Director of the VDMA Textile Machinery Association, summarised: “The future success of the textile industry is more and more determined by Industry 4.0. As seen today, Industry 4.0 has many dimensions and possible fields of application. In Smart Services, Operations and Factory, key solutions are provided by the machinery industry. Today’s presentations are just a few examples for innovative Industry 4.0 solutions. At ITMA in Barcelona, visitors will have the chance to see the whole range of I4.0 and other innovative solutions offered by VDMA member companies.”