Date: 8 September 2021
Today, A+W SmartFactory, a completely newly developed production system, automatically controls the highly complex production of fire protection and safety glass at the pilot customer Vetrotech in Würselen. For the first time, multi-level production can be controlled by intelligent software throughout according to the pull principle – without paper, lists, and long routes to travel. Work in progress is minimized.
However, A+W SmartFactory also displays its strengths at companies with traditional production facilities and it can even automate production if a company’s machine park is not yet digitalized.
Dennis Tiegs, COO A+W Clarity, “What’s special about A+W SmartFactory is that it can be scaled, which helps smaller operations get larger and large operations to automate further. Companies thus enjoy the benefit of the lean production approach from the very start”.
According to the pull principle, the dispatch requirements and thus ultimately customers control the production sequence. Planning is done in real time and can be adjusted at any time if this should be necessary to accommodate rush orders, capacity bottlenecks, machine failures, etc. – software services negotiate the production flow between the machines all by themselves. Dispatch generally doesn’t even notice this, so it’s almost always possible to make on-time deliveries.
If there are no possibilities for direct machine communication, A+W SmartFactory clients function as imitation machines that can determine status and capacity per machine thanks to the integrated plant data collection. A control center provides the production manager and the general management with a wide variety of information from A+W SmartFactory, and if necessary, allows them to intervene directly in production, e.g. by manually adjusting production chains. Here too, precisely that is produced which is needed first in dispatch.
The intelligence required for this lies only in the software that controls the communication between machines, and also between machines and human beings: a new industry standard on the path to Industry 4.0, which is optimized constantly by the expertise that flows from A+W’s pilot customers.
Dennis Tiegs says, “Our customers’ experience keeps improving A+W SmartFactory all the time. That’s why we’re looking for more pilot customers to create a win-win situation: we optimize the customer’s processes, users incorporate their experiences, which helps design and further improve production systems of the future”