Industry 4.0: The valve assembly of the future
Evoguard showcased itself together with SAP AG at this year’s Hannover trade fair. The background to what would at first glance appear to be an unusual combination was the introduction of a vision of how system-controlled assemblies could be implemented in the future, using valves as an example. The subject of “Industry 4.0” has also arrived at Evoguard.
In a short video from the trade fair you can see how the final assembly of a valve could potentially look in the future:
This leads to numerous benefits:
- By reading codes on which the component parts list is stored, sequences are automated and thus accelerate the picking and packing processes.
- The clear visualisation of the configuration allows for the avoidance of errors during parts compilation.
- Automated guided vehicle systems work in line with the production plan to provide the components to be assembled at the respective workplaces, thus increasing the efficiency of the assembly lines.
- The available preparation areas can also be optimally utilised. Assembly times are limited to the assembly of the components, the combination and manual preparation of the parts are omitted. The result: A higher machine throughput with a minimum error rate.
Today, Evoguard valves already have QR codes which make it possible to assemble and trace back all of the components used. Special scanners can use the valve’s QR code to recognise its specification and thus identify the necessary spare parts, as well as arranging them in pick lists.
However, the system-controlled final assembly of valves is not the only example and shows that Evoguard is intensively engaged in digitalisation. If you look further in to the future, the concept of an intelligent or speaking valve may be on its way. This study presented at the drinktec 2017 in Munich permits the performance of targeted maintenance. For the valve permanently indicates its closing status to the operator and signals when maintenance is needed in good time, which initially means the replacement of the seals in contact with the product.
The combination of these ideas, supported by corresponding software, should make maintenance work faster, more efficient and, most importantly, safer in the future. For proactive maintenance leads to a reduction in line downtimes which in turn means a longer line availability.