Swiss Smart Factory presents the future of automated manufacturing

TRAPO managementsystem controls lighthouse project – from raw material delivery to final packaging

Gescher-Hochmoor. The transparent factory of the Swiss Smart Factory allows visitors to follow networked production along the production ecosystem – from product design to packaging. The lighthouse project presents the fully automated production of a drone, from raw material delivery to final packaging. A project in which cross-company partners demonstrate their forward-looking technologies and concepts. Under the leadership of TRAPO GmbH and controlled by TIM, the TRAPO Intelligent Management System, collaborative workstations are connected with intelligent conveyors and intelligent products.

Opened in May 2017, the Swiss Smart Factory (SSF) presents the leading, internationally recognized Swiss competence center for application-oriented research and the transfer of the Industry 4.0 vision. Supported by industry and the SSF research community, an ecosystem of now around 70 partners from science and industry has been created here to develop and present innovations and workflows of the vision.

In March of this year, the new building was inaugurated in Biel – internationally known for its industrial environment, which is also home to Swatch and Omega. In the future, the test demonstration platform environment will provide space for development teams – for innovative R&D projects, data analysis, machine learning, for predictive maintenance as well as optimized intralogistics.

Many technologies in the area of digitization are not visible due to software components, and the end result also does not provide any information about the individual functional steps. The great challenge of the Swiss Smart Factory is to make the networking in production visible and to present it in a comprehensible way. This is made possible by virtual reality and augmented reality as well as floor markings and lighting effects. Live, the lighthouse project presents a highly flexible, networked workflow with systems from different suppliers.

As part of the workflow, TRAPO will be demonstrating precise conveying with the TRAPO Sphere Sorter, palletizing with an MRK-capable jointed-arm robot, pallet transport with AGV of the TRAPO Transport Shuttle, and autonomous storage and retrieval with TRAPO Warehouse Shuttle in the high bay.

Fully automated production: TIM connects and controls all systems

All PLCs are interconnected and communicate exclusively via TIM.

The PLCs of the individual systems converge directly at TIM via several OPC UA interfaces (Open Platform Communications Unified Architecture). The PLCs are the servers and TIM is the client. This ensures overall automation and control via TIM.

In addition to machine data such as measured values, sensor data or service intervals, control signals are also transmitted, which TIM can use to control the system. For example, as a visualization (HMI) or SCADA system.

Due to the uniformly defined standard, TIM enables all motors and systems to perform their tasks within the workflow correctly, monitored and optimized if necessary.

The advantage: transparency of consistently high performance, high quality, increased utilization of the line, reduced resource consumption and thus measurable cost reduction.

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