Robots and humans work hand in hand. Processes and data are digitally accessible to everybody. The Internet of Things (IoT) has arrived in industry, and the digitization is well advanced. With its products and digital services, KUKA shows how companies can benefit best from Industry 4.0.
What is Industry 4.0?
Industrial Internet of Things, Industry 4.0, smart production - the names may change, but it is always about the seamless connection between the digital and real world. Using digital processes in industry allows manufacturing products in a more flexible, energy-efficient, resource-saving, individualized and inexpensive manner. KUKA is significantly driving this transformation towards connected and intelligent production. That is the digitization in industry.
Robots as a key component of Industry 4.0
To assert themselves in the connected world of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Industry 4.0 manufacturing machines have to do three things above all: do their job as efficiently as possible, adapt quickly to new conditions - and share this knowledge with other systems.
This is possible with IIoT solutions and the cloud through which machines can communicate with production, workpieces and other devices. These can be 3D printers, CNC machines or robots - the most generic and versatile machines ever invented by humans.
Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things affect the robots themselves. They become more sensitive, more autonomous, more mobile and easier to use. More and more, they develop into everyday assistants in the factory halls.
Digitization in Industry 4.0: intelligent production by big data
Cloud computing and big data accelerate the digitization process considerably. Systems are able to learn quickly and to evolve. Extrapolated to production, this creates whole new production worlds. Platforms will become available, which will flexibly control and autonomously optimize production processes, and adapt them to external influences.
Industry 4.0 at KUKA: HRC and corobots
For years KUKA has been driving the future fields of human-robot-collaboration (cobotics) and mobility. Mobile cobots are already reacting intelligently to their environment and can be applied universally. The “robot colleague” is a reality at KUKA.
Cobots play a crucial role in Industry 4.0. On the one hand, they are part of modern production. On the other hand, they collect data which forward all relevant information to the IT systems in real time. These immediately process the information and feed it back to production. Hence, companies are gradually optimizing manufacturing. There is currently no other component in the production process that can fill this crucial role as well as modern robot systems.
In the factory of the future, fields of application are almost limitless. The cobot KUKA LBR iiwa proves that the visions of Industry 4.0 can be implemented in reality. Robots are already working hand in hand with humans: so that workers can do their tasks more efficiently, ergonomically, precisely and more focused.
“Orange Intelligenz” as a success factor for digital transformation.
At KUKA, the interdisciplinary interaction of the most diverse competencies and areas creates added value. Regarding the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0, technological expertise on the web, in the cloud and on mobile platforms are examples of these. The perspectives merge with the existing mechatronics and automation expertise. On this basis, intelligent manufacturing solutions push the existing boundaries between the digital and real world: the “orange Intelligenz” of KUKA.
Industry 4.0 at KUKA: How digitization in companies works.
Digital services at KUKA: more than consulting about digital transformation
Industry 4.0 opens up new horizons in production. With KUKA’s digital services, companies can evaluate data from their machines and robots individually. On that transparent basis, they optimize processes, make individual tasks more efficient, and thus save costs.
Despite the differences in digital service solutions - they all have one thing in common: They are all part of anIndustrial Internet of Things. The production machines are interconnected and monitored using remote diagnosis tools. Depending on our customers’ requirements, different versions are possible: incoming data can be stored and evaluated in a cloud or on-premise, directly at the customer’s or a commissioned data center.
Benefits: IIoT intelligence at KUKA
… allows for digitally and globally harmonized processes and IT tools.
… develops successful, profitable and innovative service products.
… drives market-based IIoT solutions hand in hand with the customer.
… creates inspiring simulations that demonstrate KUKA’s capacity to the customer.
KUKA’s simulation software makes projects predictable, and thus an efficient factory 4.0 possible.
KUKA’s digital services at a glance
KUKA.Sim: Planning security
The smart simulation software lets companies plan their system and robot concepts individually using offline programming. The projects can also be presented virtually using VR hardware.
KUKA Xpert: Time savings
In the digital knowledge database, companies can find all relevant information about KUKA products. Due to the clear explanations, planners, operators, and programmers will be able to solve most problems quickly and independently.
The IIoT software package provides all robot data and file information. This enables companies to better implement their application scenarios, correct errors quickly and use their systems to optimal capacity.
KUKA VCS: Transparency
The KUKA VCS tool is an IIoT monitoring solution and supports the optimization of production and assembly lines. By capturing and processing automated signals from PLCs and robots, it significantly contributes to the transparency of all relevant system parameters. This allows for the optimization of the production line’s performance, e.g. through cycle time analysis.
Artificial Internet of Things: with AI in the center of the future
Since the beginning of 2020, KUKA’s subsidiary Device Insight and Swedish AI specialist Sentian have been tracking the use of AI features in the Industrial Internet of Things. They came up with the term “Artificial Intelligence of Things” (AIoT). This will improve the intelligent automation of industrial manufacturing processes even more - and with it the potential for more efficiency and quality in the future. Industry 4.0 will soon become Industry 5.0.