Moving into the digitalised product world
HoloLens, mobile phones, 3D printing or smart glasses – the gadgets that captured the public imagination in the blockbuster movie “Back to the Future” over 30 years ago have now become a reality. All thanks to digitalisation. As Industry 4.0, it is automating the modern working world and helping the machine and system building sector reach new heights. Which smart products and solutions from Festo support this move into the new world?
“We support our customers with digital solutions at every step of the value chain and thus also guide them along their individual digital customer journey,” emphasises Dr Michael Hoffmeister, Executive Expert Digital Business at Festo. The company makes a coherent software infrastructure available for its customers and thus reduces the process costs of its customers.
Designing software à la carte
Examples of these intelligent, comprehensive software solutions are the Handling Guide Online for fast design and ordering of axis systems, the Festo Design Tool 3D online for combining individual components into pneumatic modules, the product key for the clear identification of each component and use as a digital twin and the app-based products such as the Festo Motion Terminal.
FluidDraw 365 enables designers to build up circuit diagrams more safely and more efficiently in order to document machines and installations fast and easily conforming to standards. Via an annual subscription the users have always got the updated version available on the Festo App World.
Condition monitoring in the cloud at the press of a button
With the CPX-IoT gateway, Festo is paving the way for a secure cloud solution which will enable machine and system builders and end customers to significantly improve their overall equipment effectiveness. The IoT gateway CPX-IOT connects components and modules from the field level, such as the valve terminal CPX/MPA, the energy monitoring module MSE6-E2M or handling systems, to the Festo Cloud via their OPC UA interface.
The cloud makes it possible to process and monitor the data; this in turn enables trend analyses to be worked out and early warning systems and automatic notifications to be set up in the event of incidents. The IoT gateway connects the cloud to a controller and ensures that the relevant information is communicated in the right format at the right time.
Monitoring conditions with dashboards
With the IoT gateway CPX-IOT, it is possible to have preconfigured dashboards for each Festo component – with additional customisation. The dashboard is viewed in the web browser and includes diagrams and traffic lights. Specific widgets – user interface components and graphs for energy monitoring and preventive maintenance, as well as key performance indicators for the process and for the improvement of overall equipment effectiveness – provide clarity. The condition monitoring solution improves error diagnostics and fault identification, creates transparency regarding energy consumption, delivers clear information in graphical format and offers historical data.
Digital maintenance management
Predictive plant maintenance is a time-consuming process which, astonishly, is for the most part still documented using pen and paper. With Smartenance, Festo’s digital maintenance manager, this process gets easier, faster and safer. The software enables precise scheduling and analysis of plant maintenance. Therefore, it is the fast and easy access to digital maintenance for production managers and system operators, available for download as an app. Smartenance is the first purely digital product from Festo. It is available to download as a mobile app for smartphones and tablets in the Apple and Google app stores.
The dashboard for production managers is conveniently available in the web browser. Smartenance enables end customers to schedule, monitor and evaluate system maintenance. A digital maintenance schedule makes maintenance easier, quicker and more reliable. Reciprocal checking by system operators and production managers provides greater reliability. It eliminates many processes and the need for coordination.
With the smart digital solutions, the automation expert Festo is combining its extensive knowledge of industrial applications with the latest developments in information technology to realise online applications for industrial automation practice. Festo is also using digital communication to support its customers throughout the Digital Customer Journey. This digital journey guides customers reliably and comprehensively through the Festo portfolio, from information procurement and configuration through ordering and delivery to commissioning and maintenance or even to the technical training offered by Festo Didactic.
Festo is a global player and an independent family-owned company with headquarters in Esslingen am Neckar, Germany. The company supplies pneumatic and electrical automation technology to 300,000 customers of factory and process automation in over 35 industries. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 21,000 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €3.07 billion in 2019. Each year around 8% of this turnover is invested in research and development.
In this learning company, 1.5% of turnover is invested in basic and further training. Yet training services are not only provided for Festo’s own staff – Festo Didactic SE also supplies basic and further training programmes in the field of automation technology for customers, students and trainees.