Increasing productivity with data analysis

Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW), headquartered in Schramberg-Waldmössingen, Germany, is an expanding, internationally successful manufacturer of machine tools and modular manufacturing systems with more than 1,200 employees worldwide.

SW offers more than just machine hardware

SW has evolved from a machine manufacturer to a solution provider, which now offers machines, automation systems, service and digital solutions from a single source.
The digital solutions make it possible to track the functionality of the machines online and optimize their production processes. In addition, the production steps and the resulting quality of the products produced can be recorded and evaluated in terms of traceability.

The central component for Industry 4.0 – the IoT gateway

SW uses a so-called IoT gateway (Internet of Things) for the data connection of the machines and automation systems, including those from third-party manufacturers. This IoT gateway (an industrial PC in the control cabinet) runs a software solution developed by SW that can collect and forward data from various controllers, such as Siemens, Fanuc, Bosch. The data can then be transferred to different IT systems: SW CloudPlatform (SWCP), SW ScadaPlatform (SWSP) and/or the customer’s own MES systems (via SWMP API).
This communication option is also available bidirectionally, so that data can be written back from the MES or SW ScadaPlatform to the machine.

Digital service via SWCP

Connecting machines via the Internet to the SW CloudPlatform already improves machine availability for SW customers, because SW experts can immediately analyze the machine online in the event of service. If the service technicians still have to visit the customer on site, they know in advance what the fault is and can travel to the site with the necessary spare parts to rectify the fault. This decisively shortens downtimes at the user’s site. This minimizes the total cost of ownership and makes customers more competitive. Of course, SW’s machines and systems become more attractive to customers thanks to additional digital service offerings.

An optimum overview of production with SWSP

The SW ScadaPlatform is a store floor application with the main focus on capturing process and production data of workpieces in the context of traceability. SW customers not only use SW machining centers in production systems, but often also automation as well as third-party machines such as pressure tightness testing systems. The goal of SW SWSP is to create the highest level of transparency across the entire manufacturing process to ensure that quality and productivity targets are met Transparency from the first second of a workpiece in the manufacturing system until it is shipped. The platform is currently being expanded to include user-friendly, informative key figure monitoring.

Easy integration of own systems into the process

Integration of machine data into the customer’s own IT systems, such as MES systems, can be made possible in a standardized way using SW’s own solutions. SWMP API transfers the data from production to the respective customer application. This in turn requires the IoT gateway as a core element. The required data is defined together with the digitization specialists at SW. If the comprehensive standard solution is not sufficient, an individual solution can be worked out together at any time. The possibilities of the API interface are almost limitless

Smart Future with Big Data

Collecting a lot of data is one side of the coin. Evaluating large amounts of data in a meaningful and fast way is the other. Correlations, i.e. patterns and anomalies in the data, do not necessarily mean causality, which describes the relationship between the cause and effect of the data. Because SW has already experienced this itself in customer projects, the company is already working on solutions to find cause-and-effect relationships within the data and offer customers even greater added value.

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