Award-winning world innovations and digital solutions
At the Dürr Group, digitalization is not a trend, but everyday practice. This became evident at the ceremony of the 18th Heinz Dürr Innovation Award (HDIA). Five teams of employees were presented with the traditional accolades and a financial reward. A panel thus recognized their excellent achievements in developing products and improving production processes – among them two world innovations. Dr. Ing. E.h. Heinz Dürr, Honorary Chairman of the Dürr AG Supervisory Board, congratulated the winners in person.
With what innovations did the award-winning teams impress the panel?
The HOMAG Group launched the “Virtual Commissioning” project together with all of its business units. The Basic R&D and Digital Factory divisions of HOMAG are also involved. Until now, machines and systems were commissioned at various HOMAG locations and then delivered to customers. This was very time-consuming, took up space, and continued to present the Logistics and Production departments with new challenges.
Virtual commissioning involves creating a “digital twin” of the system. All tests and validations—mechanical, as well as electrical and software-related—can be performed on a PC in the office while the individual machines are being designed and built. Problems can be solved quickly and easily and without interrupting construction. The complete system is only assembled on-site at the customer’s premises. The fact that the setup at HOMAG is omitted and that work is automated and conducted simultaneously results in quicker and on-time delivery. The ramp-up phase for the system at the customer can also be planned and adhered to with greater precision. This increases production efficiency and customer satisfaction.
The analysis software → DXQequipment.analytics was developed at the Dürr Digital Factory. It records all data from the painting process continuously. This way, each painted body has a “digital fingerprint”. For example, it contains information on the movements of the robots, the paint consumption, and the exact position of the car body during painting. If a quality-related problem occurs, its cause can be determined immediately using the recorded data.
The streaming analytics function of DXQequipment.maintenance is based on the IIoT platform ADAMOS and is used for online quality control when painting cars. Algorithms analyze data from the painting process, for example the paint flow, in real time and indicate anomalies. As a result, the operator can react immediately, thereby preventing other bodies from being painted incorrectly. This ensures a high level of product quality and a high first-run rate. The batch analytics function allows DXQequipment.maintenance to analyze historical data, detect trends, and use artificial intelligence to develop predictions and recommended actions. This ensures consistent product quality and helps detect maintenance requirements at an early stage.
This was the first time that two Dürr companies collaborated on a development project across different locations and divisions. The development is based on the ADAMOS IIoT platform and enables product and process data to be filtered, evaluated, and compared. Although the fields of application appear completely different at first glance, both companies require the same basic functions. Their cooperation formed the basis for the Somac Process Analytics app and for the Ecopure® LifeCycle Assistant of the Dürr Systems Clean Technology Systems division.
At Clean Technology Systems, the focus of this project was on key figures of air pollution control relevant for the authorities or relating to material or energy. The required reports for authorities can be created more quickly with the Ecopure® LifeCycle Assistant, and there are suitable visualizations for process analyses.
Dürr Somac focuses on quality control when filling a vehicle. The result is the Somac Process Analytics app that can be used to monitor the quality of the filling processes of a system or entire filling areas on an assembly line in a quick and efficient way.
This joint development will be used as an additional model at Clean Technology Systems, while at Somac it forms the basis for the app. In both cases, preset parameters enable the user to analyze the process more easily. More in-depth knowledge of process engineering is not required. The customer saves time when reporting to authorities and when monitoring processes. The jury honored this project with the special “Dürr Group Collaboration Award”.
A well-named manufacturer involved Schenck RoTec in the development of a new electric motor for a wireless hand-held vacuum cleaner at an early stage.
Because the standard machine was not able to meet the customer’s requirements for measuring and compensating the imbalance of the electric anchors, the Schenck team refined one of their rotary transfer balancing machines. The result is a high-speed machine with innovative, customer-specific special equipment that is unique in the world to date.
The customer was so satisfied that they ordered eight fully automatic machines within the space of one year and also honored Schenck RoTec with an innovation award.
Dürr Brasil developed a final assembly line for trucks that corresponds to the modern concepts of Industry 4.0 for Mercedes-Benz do Brasil. A total of 175 AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) are used there.
Normally, chain conveyors are used for assembling chassis, and thruster platform conveyors are used for assembling the cabs. In order to increase efficiency, intelligent devices and tools are to be integrated into the final assembly line and take the place of mechanical materials handling technology.
The solution with the AGVs fits these requirements perfectly. It makes the assembly process more flexible and allows dynamic adjustments between workstations. This way, changes can be made to the layout of the production line and the assembly processes.
Dürr Brasil carried out this project during ongoing production, which presented an additional challenge. This is the first time that AGVs are being used in an entire final assembly line for trucks anywhere in the world. The jury of the HDIA honored this pioneering achievement in materials handling with the special “Global Development Award”.