Digitisation is moving into the process industry
Festo, digitisation and Industry 4.0 – Dr. Eckhard Roos, Head of Industry Segment and Global Key Account Management Process Industries, explains how these are being forged in process automation. The global player in plant and process automation will
demonstrate what is currently possible at the Achema in Frankfurt am Main in June 2018 on the basis of digitalised solutions.
There is no question that digitisation is changing the world of production as we know it and with it, its production technologies and their procurement. This applies to both the horizontal integration of value chains across corporate boundaries as well as the integration of automation solutions from the field level to cloud applications.
Competition for the best minds
The implementation of digitisation in companies will, however, be a significant factor in the competition for qualified workers. The demographic shift will place new requirements on basic and further training in universities and companies. In this connection, Festo Didactic SE is offering qualification for the workplace of the future.
Significant changes are expected at all levels of the automation pyramid – from sensors to systems for operation/monitoring, maintenance, servicing and asset management. Production facilities must become more flexible to be able to ensure the requirements of users. "Our concept for the automation of modular plants, which we will be presenting at the Achema, will enable this flexibility," says Dr. Eckhardt Roos.
Pneumatics goes digital
However, digitisation also makes tried-and-tested and already easily controlled technologies like pneumatics, for example, even easier, more versatile and more flexible in use. "At the Achema, we will be presenting the Festo Motion Terminal for the first time in the process industry. Valves of an automation platform will be controlled for the first time using software apps. This is an example of how established automation technologies can be revolutionised by means of digitisation and the resulting separation of hardware and functionality.
This technology opens up great savings potential in all phases of the planning process, right through to commissioning. Completely new functions enable a more efficient utilisation of resources and self-adaptations in process deviations without the intervention of maintenance staff. Such field components are also the basis for monitoring and analysis of large data volumes in cloud applications. "At the Achema, we will be using examples to discuss the potential benefits of these applications for plant operators, OEMs and manufacturers with interested visitors," says the automation expert.
Visitors to Festo's two exhibition stands – Hall 8, Stand C72 and Hall 11, Stand E27 – can expect to experience everything first hand.
Exhibits from the Festo Bionic Learning Network exemplify the creativity that makes digitisation and automation possible. In association with renowned universities, institutes and R&D companies, Festo works intensively to transfer fundamental natural principles to the technical world of automation.
Product highlights from management-level control components to field-level process valves
- Festo Motion Terminal is the world's first automation platform whose valves can be controlled using software apps.
- Integrated and optimised control cabinet solutions with the modular control system CPX-E and the universal valve terminal VTUG facilitate commissioning and maintenance, while
- products and solutions for SIL and explosion protection make applications of the process industries safe.
- The angle seat valve VZXA with modular drive system can be flexibly used.
More productivity for OEMS and end users:
The Festo cloud, combined with dashboards that visualise the acquired information, significantly increases the transparency of machines and processes.
Complete solutions are even easier:
New online configuration tools enable planning and design, as users can configure complete process valve units and control cabinets themselves with just a few clicks. This saves time and money.
Festo AG 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 40 industries. The products and services are available in 176 countries. With about 18,800 employees in over 250 branch offices in 61 countries worldwide, Festo achieved a turnover of around €2.74 billion in 2016. 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.