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Author's profile photo Richard Howells

A winning Combination – Building the Press Shop of the Future, with Industry 4.0 in the Cloud


Smart Press Shop GmbH & Co. KG is a joint venture between Porsche AG and Schuler AG The company is currently constructing a greenfield factory between Halle and Leipzig (Germany) that will leverage the smartest technologies and solutions to create a “smart press shop”.

We recently had the chance to discuss this topic with Hendrik Rothe, the Managing Director of Smart Press Shop.

Business Drivers

Mr. Rothe explained, “our goal is to ensure paperless production through a fully autonomous setup process of press tool provisioning, allowing the most competitive production of small batches”.

Mr. Rothe also discussed another key factor when building this greenfield facility, the importance of “green”. “Sustainability is a key factor of this project. We want to minimize CO2 emission by closed loop recycling of the material, leveraging efficient light weight tools as well as running our operations with 100% green electricity and gas” he commented.


Leveraging Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 and digitization is the heart of Smart Press Shop. As Mr. Rothe explains, “In the intelligent and fully networked press shop of the future, it will be possible to use predictive maintenance and reduction of scrap by  increasing the quality of the parts produced in order to ensure productivity, while also reducing energy requirements.”

As a result, the Smart Press Shop delivers improved reliability and increased cost-effectiveness for the field of forming technology. Further benefits include:

  • Smart Diagnostics – Specific data produced during production is automatically stored on a continuous basis. In the event of a malfunction or failure, a retrospective analysis can be performed to determine the cause, for example, a software error or defective component. Thanks to a quick error analysis, machine availability increases.
  • Condition Monitoring – Machine components are monitored for changes, wear and damage in order to optimize the maintenance process. For this purpose, regular test runs of the system are performed in which, among other things, vibration data, torque progressions and energy consumption are measured, stored and compared. In process monitoring, raw data is collected during the actual production process. We are also currently focusing on the development of systems for predictive maintenance.
  • Process Monitoring – The raw data collected here is essentially the same as the data used for condition monitoring, but with one difference: Collection takes place during the actual production process instead of in a test run. Are the quality and quantity of the acceptable parts exactly what was expected? Are the press force and vibration progression in order? Which parameters may need to be adjusted so that they are exactly in sync with the cycle? The aim is to increase process reliability and thus machine availability as well as to improve the production and part quality. In addition, setup time is reduced.
  • Power Monitoring – All relevant power supply and energy quality data for the system are stored and analyzed. What does consumption look like as a function of specific operating states? When does the optimal state occur? How efficient is the current consumption? When do voltage fluctuations or dips occur? This not only saves energy costs, but also enables the early detection of potential network quality problems.
  • Real time Responsiveness – The OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency) is an extremely important system-based metric. It provides information about the changes from actual to target values in the areas of availability, performance and quality. The OEE is equal to 100 percent when the system produces nothing but acceptable parts at the full programmed stroke rate over the entire time of production. Any disruptions or errors will lower the number of acceptable parts produced – and by extension, the OEE – over the production period. Continuous parameter logging enables real-time responses that are exactly in sync with machine cycles.
  • Track and Trace – The gapless documentation of the part history is incredibly valuable in the event of any quality problems to reduce scrap. In process monitoring, raw data e.g. material characteristics, press settings, measured press data and measured tool data as well as the reported quality is collected during the actual production process to connect them with each single press part. Based on this it is possible to pass this information up to the assembly shop.


Smart Press Plants need Smart Manufacturing Solutions

To enable a smart press plant also requires visibility to all the information anytime and anywhere generated via smart assets and equipment. The software solution must be continuously developed and allow for optimal scalability. The company looked to SAP for the answer for a consistent and integrated software solution as Software as a Service, which requires almost no hardware in the factory.

As Mr. Rothe explained, “We were looking for a modern cloud solution for our IT. SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud in combination with SAP S/4HANA Cloud Essentials finally convinced us with its modern cloud architecture and modern user interface. We also appreciate that SAP Digital Manufacturing Cloud will develop quickly and expand further functions. We will benefit from this through the frequent updates and therefore always have the most up-to-date system”.

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