From CAx to MES – the digital factory makes product data available to all systems over the entire life cycle. Experts explain how the software interacts.
Everyone is talking about “Industry 4.0 – in other words, the vision of a fourth industrial revolution. In the near future it will provide intelligent, networked products from networked, systems that to a large extent operate autonomously,” says analyst and technical author Ulrich Sendler. “However, there is one major condition to Industry 4.0: all types of digital products and production data need to be merged with the real world.” For the PLM expert this means “that the many systems which are currently being used as islands need to be networked in the future in order to provide real data integration for the entire life cycle of the products.”
Modern production relies on data from products, production planning and manufacturing engineering. “The continuous availability of development data during production and assembly is required for a minimum error rate,” explains Olaf Daebler, Digital Factory Director at Hannover Messe. “Only then is it possible to quickly correct any construction faults which are observed during production.”
Data integration is the theme that links all the exhibition showcases at Digital Factory, the leading trade fair for integrated processes and IT solutions at the fair.
Development data from engineers exists in CAx, M-CAD, E-CAD – the corresponding design software is provided by Digital Factory exhibitors such as AUCOTEC, Autodesk, and EPLAN Software & Service. PLM providers such as Parametric Technology (PTC), Siemens PLM and Dassault Systèmes also carry it in their product range.
CAE systems are used to test and validate development data – such as those provided by CADFEM. The management of all technical product data during the entire life cycle – from development to production to utilization and service is carried out by PLM. Along with Dassault Systemes, Parametric Technology (PTC) and Siemens PLM Software are also present at Digital Factory, representing three of the most important providers.
MES, backed by previously developed data, are responsible for the actual production and assembly. Important exhibitors of these systems include FORCAM and MPDV. A further link in the data chain is ERP software for order processing. Here companies such as Infor, PSIPENTA Software Systems and SAP Deutschland provide coherence.
Furthermore, at Digital Factory you can find exhibitors who focus on integrating data regardless of department. IBM Deutschland and PROSTEP are typical examples of this. First-time exhibitors at this leading trade fair include PROSTEP, a PLM integration specialist in product data integration that specializes in additive manufacturing processes, the young company 3D Fab and SALT Solutions, a specialist for software solutions in production, logistics and retail.
Digital Factory, the leading trade fair for integrated processes and IT solutions in Hall 7 at Hannover, showcases innovative products and IT solutions for industrial automation and IT. How are products developed virtually? What is the best way to use virtual reality to manage and depict all product data and processes? How does 3D printing revolutionize the construction of prototypes and component parts and how can it efficiently integrate subcontractors and customer service? These are questions that will be answered at Digital Factory.
One of the highlights of Digital Factory and the Industrial Automation trade fair, which is held simultaneously, is the 6th MES Conference focusing on manufacturing execution systems. It will be held on April 9 and 10, 2014 at the Convention Center (Room 3 A, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.). With its motto “Speed, Flexibility, Transparency” it will demonstrate how manufacturing and assembly processes can be made more efficient with the help of MES. The first day of the event will address manufacturers and users in the manufacturing industry and the second day will focus on the process industry.
Data integration is also the focus of the CAE Forum (Hall 7, A47). Here industry leaders will showcase software to simulate future products and production. Exhibitors include Aucotec, Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, Eplan, Forcam, Fraunhofer, IBM Deutschland, IGE+XAO, MPDV Mikrolab, PTC, PNY, PSIPENTA, SAP Deutschland and Siemens Industry Software.