IIoT Spotlight: The Job Shop
As IIoT solutions become more readily available throughout the manufacturing sector, challenges continue when you start looking specifically at the job shop. In addition to the feature article, “Pardon the Disruption,” in the January/February 2018 issue of Gear Technology (https://www.geartechnology.com/issues/0118x/disruption.pdf), the GT Editor’s Choice Blog will continue to cover emerging technologies on the GT website.
Marco Kampka, program manager at the Gear and Transmission Technology Group, Fraunhofer CMI, recently discussed how the infrastructure to apply IIoT solutions can be applied to the job shop. And yes, it’s fair to ask if the very notion of “big data” is even viable in a job shop setting.
“This was a challenge targeted by the VDI in Germany when they originally introduced the Gear-Data-Exchange-Format (GDE). The system basically needs a “translator” for each machine tool to communicate with the single source,” Kampka said.
This is difficult to accomplish in a job shop where a diverse product and machine tool mix regularly comes into play. For example, older machine tools and their control units will most likely not be compatible to newer software solutions, so the upgradability is limited, according to Kampka.
The only way IIoT solutions will find their way to job shops are through platform-independent plug-and-play solutions. They either need to be integrated in the machine tools or be available as external software solutions.
“This may not achieve a comprehensive solution in the beginning, but it will be the right step towards smart manufacturing,” Kampka added. “Since job shops by definition have a high number of changing parts and often smaller lot sizes, they often don’t get the number of parts needed to analyze any data they might gather during manufacturing using generic big data approaches.”.............
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Fraunhofer CMI Gear and Transmission Technology Group