Lapp Limited News
Factories where the entire production process is intelligently networked. Adaptable production lines that can produce one product today and another tomorrow, adjusting to respond to changing consumer needs. Heavily customised products that store their own production schedule. It sounds like a distant vision, but this is the next industrial revolution. And it’s closer than you may think.
How real this revolution is can be seen by the groups of people who are driving it forward. The people behind Industry 4.0 are not underground agitators, they are established industrial giants like the lapp group, working alongside new start-ups and acting hand-in-hand with the worlds of research and politics.
Greater flexibility and the ability to produce unique products manufactured to customer specifications – these are the main aims of Industry 4.0. Overall, it is a principle that will enable companies to produce with greater resource efficiency and more ergonomically, while customers and business partners will be integrated into the value chain much more dynamically.
Greater flexibility means that the old assignment of products to particular production facilities will be eliminated. This means that in the future, plants will not necessarily be built for specific products. Instead, production technologies will be developed so that they can quickly be reconfigured for different products.
An Intellegent Future from a technical perspective, the key to making it a reality will be autonomous production facilities and intelligent workpieces. They will store their own production schedule and bill of materials, for example in the form of an RFId tag. In a way, they will know how they have to be built and will autonomously find their way through the production process.
Intelligent materials, clever products and smart machinery – this combination of innovative technologies will shape the future. The result will be intelligent networking of the entire production process. In the not too distant future, it will be possible to manufacture individual product variants in very small quantities, simultaneously creating a much more variable production process.
There is no doubt that this will bring major changes to our current world of factory automation, which is based largely on the hierarchical structures of electrical engineering. There will need to be a shift towards smart factory networks with production facilities that communicate with one another.
The lapp group doesn’t just want to be an excited and curious onlooker as this change happens, it wants to help shape it and be part of it. That is why it is actively engaged in developing and testing pioneering products and solutions to meet the increasingly demanding requirements of a changing industrial environment.