Automation to fast-track manufacturers’ response time

Adaptable production allows manufacturers to react quicker to changing market demands, with modern technology making work easier, says global automation company, Bosch.

Automation - Many tasks that used to cost workers time unnecessarily can now be handled quickly and simply, thanks to digital connectivity - image courtesy of Bosch.
Many tasks that used to cost workers time unnecessarily can now be handled quickly and simply, thanks to digital connectivity – image courtesy of Bosch.

Bosch has unveiled a vision for what it describes as “industrial workspaces of the future”, leveraging modern automation technologies, fully connected systems and people and machines working more closely than ever before.

The first step in this vision is due to be unveiled next week at Hannover Messe (April 24-28) where Bosch will debut its ‘Workplace 4.0’ – a workstation that adapts to the worker. Features include the work surface positioning itself at the right height, and workers receiving their instructions as a projection set at customisable speeds.

Additionally, Bosch’s APAS inspector automatically detects when the surface of a production part doesn’t correspond to its specifications. The worker teaches the machine just once regarding how much deviation to tolerate and at what point a part is to be scrapped.

Thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), the machine can then apply those parameters to all subsequent quality audits and carry them out independently. A system aimed at ensuring a consistently high level of quality for all parts.

Bosch’s head of connectivity, Dr Stefan Aßmann explained: “Many tasks that used to cost workers time unnecessarily can now be handled quickly and simply, thanks to digital connectivity. Industry 4.0 makes an enormous difference in easing the burden of day-to-day work.”

Aßmann continued: “With a flexible production facility, companies can better react to the current needs of the market.” He cited Bosch’s multi-product line in Homburg as an example.

There, the company can reportedly manufacture 200 separate hydraulic motors from more than 2,000 different components. By leveraging digital connectivity, these components are automatically ordered in time.

The production line’s nine stations are connected by a smart network. With an RFID chip attached to each workpiece, the stations know how the finished product should be assembled and which steps are necessary. The work schematics required for assembly are automatically called up and displayed on the monitors as a photo or video. The display is customised to each worker’s level of training, and shown in their native language.

How to turn a workbench into Industry 4.0 – infographic courtesy of Bosch.
– infographic courtesy of Bosch.