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03/15/2024|Trends in Production

Automation creates innovation: connected machines for industry 4.0

As the Industrial Revolution progressed, machines began to take over more and more manual labor. The introduction of machines and the associated automation went hand in hand with the continuous development of products. It is not surprising, therefore, that the 20th century saw a veritable flood of innovations that touched almost every aspect of life. Computers played a central role in this, as their use greatly accelerated automation in manufacturing and other areas of industry, paving the way for the age of Industry 4.0. Automation in industry has been evolving for more than 100 years and is becoming more efficient, thanks in particular to digitalization. More than ever, the focus is on people. They are responsible for controlling, monitoring and optimizing automated processes.

Today's manufacturing plants are no longer just about fully automating recurring processes and setting up automated mass production. Intelligent automation opens up new opportunities for companies. It can improve plant utilization and reduce lead times. After all, the primary goal of the manufacturing industry is to use all available resources as efficiently as possible to maximize productivity. Instead of a single machine, it is now often an entire machine park that contributes to improved quality. For companies, industrial automation is a critical factor in keeping pace with ever-increasing competition.

Competitive factors: industrial automation & digitalization

PH CELL from DMG MORI - modular design and optimum accessibility
The highly flexible PH CELL from DMG MORI has a modular design and offers optimum accessibility.

Modern automation technology can adapt to the most diverse requirements in the process chain. With the new production solutions, production is becoming more and more individual and varied, right down to batch size 1. The use of modern production and information technologies is particularly important in the industrial production of customized, made-to-measure items. A high degree of flexibility is also required of manufacturing companies today. Rigid structures get in the way of new solutions. If you want to increase your productivity and at the same time produce economically, you need to be flexible and take advantage of digital tools.

Use of AI for process optimization: valuable assistance in analyzing data

The industrial production of the future is a combination of targeted automation and digitalization. An important component of the increasingly complex process chains is the optimal coordination of the individual areas, for example between order management and material procurement. This is the only way to ensure just-in-time delivery to customers. Intelligent algorithms provide welcome support here. Even large amounts of data can be analyzed using artificial intelligence. As a result, processes can be continuously monitored and optimized based on the data obtained.

Robotic process automation: On the road to industrial automation

Based on innovative digital solutions, fully autonomous processes in industrial production facilities are evolving into a new form of automation: robotic process automation, or RPA. RPA uses digital software robots to automate structured business processes. This technology is particularly useful for repetitive, well-structured tasks performed by humans. The bot takes on the role of the user and interacts with other software systems. Manual handling and routine activities can be reduced through the intelligent combination of digitalization and automation. Robotic process automation involves software applications that mimic human interaction with interfaces. The software robots or RPA bots are therefore not machines in the true sense of the word. Not all processes are suitable for RPA. A comprehensive process analysis is essential for all RPA projects. Where developments in this area of robotic automation will go in the future remains to be seen.

The Robo2Go MAX is designed to handle components up to 115 kg in weight and 40 to 400 mm in diameter.

Future concepts

automated production of complex parts with Robo2Go
With Robo2Go, users can achieve highly flexible, automated production of complex parts without any robot programming knowledge.

Regardless of project or industry: If you want to evolve, you need to test your processes regularly. The results provide valuable insights that lead to increasingly sophisticated automation concepts. In the machine tool industry, this is the best way to tailor the right manufacturing solution for every customer, every batch size, and every budget.

As a technology leader in the machine tool industry, DMG MORI has focused strongly on the future topic of industrial automation and is driving development at all levels of its portfolio. More than 150 different machines from all technology areas can now be equipped or upgraded. Ease of operation is always at the heart of CNC automation. This is also the case with Robo2Go, which allows the user to realize extremely flexible, automated production of complex workpieces even without prior knowledge of robot programming.

DMG MORI Excellence Factory

The monoBLOCK Excellence Factory at DMG MORI's Pfronten site is impressive proof of the potential of industrial automation and digitalization. The entire model mix of monoBLOCK machining centers is manufactured in the Excellence Factory in an automated flow assembly process, in which the machines are autonomously moved through the individual assembly stations by a driverless AGV transport system. The future-oriented assembly concept leads to a significant increase in productivity and efficiency, which is ultimately reflected in the price of the CNC machines.