How we work on Industry 4.0
Until now, it has always been common practice to build production plants in a way that allows similar products to be manufactured for many years using the same technology. Examples include certain liquid crystals and OLED materials for all kinds of displays. Yet market demands and consumer habits have rapidly changed. The product life cycles of electronic devices are getting shorter, which means that the batch sizes are getting smaller. Building a new production plant to meet every demand is no longer an option these days. The key lies in flexible, effective plants.
We now have entered into a project partnership with Siemens to take a major step forward here by developing a standardized process control system for modular production. The aim is to complete a digital plant in Darmstadt by 2022. There is also backing from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, because the modular, flexible, and efficient technology can reduce the size of the carbon footprint in the area of production.
"It is all about flexibility, networking, and efficiency in the intelligent factory of the future."
“The time that elapses between the idea for the product and the point at which it is ready for the market is a critical success factor. The resulting technology platform for standardized modular production can later also be used in product development, enabling us to take decisions based on data in the product development phase. In the future, we will then be in a position to react quickly and flexibly to high customer demands.” says Kai Beckmann, member of the Executive Board at Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany and CEO of Electronics.
The joint plan devised by Siemens and us involves setting up a complete control system for the modular production of the future. On the basis of an electronic model used to define process modules, various modules are combined to create one process using process orchestration layer (POL) technology – without the need for any additional programming. We are responsible for the production infrastructure, Siemens for the POL technology.
With the new technology platform, production plants can be adapted quickly and flexibly to ever changing demands, saving the industry time and resources and making a valuable contribution to sustainability.
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