Industry 4.0 – our future
The fourth industrial revolution represents our future.
Digitisation, networking and the Internet of Things constitute megatrends that are also changing industry. Discover how and work with us on designing the narrow fabric production of tomorrow.
Industrie 4.0 with Müller machines
At the Digital Capability Center (DCC) in Aachen, Germany, industrial process digitisation has assumed concrete form in the shape of an intelligent armband manufactured on Jakob Müller AG machines.
How can we shape the digital transformation at our company? This question is currently occupying managers around the globe and is set to continue to do so for some time to come. As a help, since April the newly opened Digital Capability Center (DCC) in Aachen has been providing suggestions and answers in this connection. The DDC is operated jointly by the consultants McKinsey & Company and the Textile Technology Institute of the Aachen University of Technology. In addition, Jakob Müller AG is playing an active role as an industrial partner, while other companies from the fields of sensor technology, data logging and processing, and machine-machine and machine-human communications are also acting as project partners.
Research, learning and practical application
The DCC is based on a convincing concept, as in a real production environment, the so-called “learning factory”, Industry 4.0 topics can be visualised using practical examples. At the same time, various scenarios can be played out and for this purpose, the DDC offers application-oriented workshops, training and events, which can be booked by interested companies for their specialists and managers. At the same time, the DCC pursues research and development and is to be one of a number of “learning factories” of identical design, which are planned for Singapore, Peking, Chicago and Venice.
An intelligent armband in a batch of one
The product currently being manufactured at the DCC in Aachen consists of an intelligent armband with integrated RFID chip, the size, design and electronic functions of which are customised to meet the individual needs of the user. The workshop visitor can configure the armband via a Smart Phone or app and then watch its production unfold along the manufacturing chain, from the threads to the packaged end product. When the armband is subsequently worn, it is recognised by the production machinery and communications can then ensue.
Production on Müller machines
he production line for the intelligent armband is comprised largely of machinery from Jakob Müller Deutschland GmbH and Jakob Müller AG Frick. This consists of a MW700 warping machine, an NH2 53 6/42 narrow fabric loom, a MÜTHERM thermofixing machine, a MÜPRINT MDP2E printer and a UV20 cutting machine. Finishing at the end of production takes place using Dürrkopp sewing machines. The armband is provided with the requested design on the printer and at the same time receives a QR code. This allows its clear identification during subsequent processes, in order that it can be sewn together in the correct size, fitted with the desired electronic functions and be allocated the right packaging.
Learning for and with customers
As production and research at the DCC are being carried out using Müller machines, systems and processes, we have an opportunity to adapt these to Industry 4.0 and thus make it easier for our customers to employ the new technologies in their companies. Interesting topics in this regard include:
- Preventive warning
- Self-setting machines
- The traceability of the entire production procedure from the finished article to the individual threads
- Digital assistance systems for operational and maintenance personnel
- Batch sizes of one – the highest level of individualisation
Offers to industry
The offers made by the DCC Aachen fall into four main categories:
- Do you have questions regarding topics in the Industry 4.0 field or digital transformation?
- Are you still uncertain as to what digitisation means for you and your company in real terms and the economic benefits Industry 4.0 will bring for your industry?
The DCC offers information events that can be tailored to your requirements.
- What does Industry 4.0 really mean in practice?
- How is a real production line actually digitised?
Answers to these questions are provided in the course of demonstrations on a genuine production line at the DCC.
- Do you wish to digitise your company?
- Would you like to improve the standard of qualifications at every level within your company, in order to be able to decide independently which digital solutions would make sense for you?
In the course of training and workshops at the DDC Aachen you become acquainted with digitisation thought patterns. You discover which business models can back digitisation and what framework conditions have to be created at your company en route to Industry 4.0. You can also join in work during practical units and digitise the DCC Aachen production line.
- The path from data to visualisation
- Intelligent maintenance with condition monitoring
and these serve to qualify you for the digital transformation at your company.
If after participation in a workshop you are interested in how a pilot project at your company might look, the DCC specialists help you to pinpoint your needs and prepare a possible implementation scenario by means of a digital operational diagnosis. They also assist you on the road to implementation and validation at your company. Moreover, exemplary pilot projects can support the introduction of assistance systems, the selection and integration of sensor technology for process surveillance and the development of visualisation solutions. Workshops or training for the personnel of our customers should have an especially effective learning effect, as the Industry 4.0 scenarios are played out using machines and processes with which they are extremely familiar.
Are you interested in implementing an Industry 4.0 project with the DCC Aachen and in further information? If so, simply get in touch!
Dr.-Ing. habil. Roland Seidl
Jakob Müller Institute of Narrow Fabrics, Frick