Experience and grasp Industry 4.0
Industry 4.0 is one of the major trends in the manufacturing industry. “Many approaches are still rather theoretical and less pragmatic,” says Gisela Lanza, professor at the wbk Institute for Production Technology at KIT. In order to make the most diverse Industry 4.0 applications directly visible and approachable, wbk has set up a production-technological laboratory: At numerous test bays and plants that deal with both manufacturing and assembly, the scientists develop appropriate solutions under industry-related conditions.
For example, wbk shows how companies can upgrade their old machines accordingly: For Industry 4.0, plants require intelligent components that can provide information about their current state. However, many of today's production plants are not equipped with appropriate technologies, but are still too new to be replaced “only” for Industry 4.0.
In the learning factory "Global Production", wbk demonstrates a wide variety of assembly applications and makes them tangible in game rounds. The factory consists of a real industrial assembly line for electric motors, equipped with Industry 4.0 elements: Depending on requirements, the assembly steps can be designed manually or automatically, there is a decentralized safety and control system and a station for human-robot collaboration. The digital shop floor displays recorded data and information directly and analyzes them.
Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg has named the wbk production-technological laboratory as one of the 100 locations for Industry 4.0 in Baden-Württemberg. Above all, the jury emphasized the learning factory: As the worldwide only one with this thematic focus, it deals with challenges that characterize production on global networks, such as how individual locations differ in terms of cost structure, degree of automation or employee qualification.
In total, the Allianz awarded 28 companies and institutions that have successfully implemented digitization solutions in their day-to-day operations. The competition "100 Places for Industry 4.0 in Baden-Württemberg" honors innovative concepts from the economy that successfully intelligently link production and value-added processes. An expert jury assesses not only the degree of innovation but also the practical relevance for Industry 4.0.