New TruConnect modules optimize availability and utilization of connected laser systems – monitoring system makes processes transparent
An essential prerequisite for success in Industry 4.0 and connected production is the availability of a flexible production resource that can handle all manufacturing processes. To put it another way, lasers are the ideal tool for Industry 4.0 applications. Be it for casting, reshaping, cutting, joining, altering material properties or coating, lasers can be universally deployed in all facets of industrial manufacturing. Efficient and economical laser manufacturing requires stable and robust laser processes. Here, a wide range of sensors work to collect condition data and process parameters. With its new Condition Based Services, TRUMPF provides a way to read out sensor data and further increase the technical availability of lasers.
Condition Based Services are a modular component of TruConnect, the TRUMPF technology for connected manufacturing and Industry 4.0. The aim of these new services is to increase the availability and productivity of connected laser systems while identifying potential cost savings. Condition Based Services are composed primarily of the Factory Gate, Smart View Services and Condition Monitoring modules.
Always keeping an eye on current operating conditions
Factory Gate is a software module that allows selected and approved condition and process data from lasers and their connected sensors to be transmitted to TRUMPF technical service experts in an encrypted and secure fashion. With Condition Monitoring, the service experts can then perform an algorithm-based trend analysis on the collected data to determine possible failure risks of the laser and reduce unplanned downtimes. In plain English, this means that if a laser is at risk of failure in the near future due to causes such as falling coolant levels or a dirty filter, the Condition Monitoring system will signal an alarm. These analyses and forecasts form the basis of maintenance and repair strategies that guarantee high availability of the lasers throughout the entire product lifecycle.
Using graphical software interfaces known as dashboards, Smart View Services display the current status of all connected lasers at a glance. Here it is also possible to access more detailed information such as the current utilization level of the lasers, upcoming repair and maintenance tasks, and changes to the laser programming. For the first time, this consolidated information can be used in order to derive specific measures for increasing availability and productivity, in addition to reviewing such measures with respect to sustainability.
Data services are another constituent module of the TRUMPF Industry 4.0 product solutions. They offer a variety of versatile storage options for a wide range of data, such as process data used in quality assurance. As a result, staff can clearly track laser-processed workpieces, as well as restore and reproduce manufacturing parameters as needed.
Image Credit: Trumpf