Industry 4.0 Made Tangible –Tangible Things Within Industry 4.0
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Zäh
Chair of Machine Tools and Production Technology at Technische Universität München and Director,
Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management
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Industry 4.0 stands for an upcoming new age in industrial production characterized primarily by technological innovations leading to a high degree of interconnectedness between all devices. The objects are dubbed “Cyber-Physical” meaning that they have physically acting components combined with network capabilities. Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS, products) provide more customer benefit; Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS) lead to a higher productivity and allow for additional services and extended functionality. Along with the interconnectedness, big data applications will be developed making use of data accrued within the networks. Digital shadows (computer models) on all levels of production open up opportunities for optimizing performance indicators. Neural Networks and Evolutionary Algorithms as manifestations of Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being used for that purpose. Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a technology supporting Industry 4.0, as it allows for distributed manufacturing. So far, we have already seen new business models, most of them internet based.
After a brief definition of Industry 4.0, the presentation will demonstrate how the functionality of machine tools needs to be enhanced in order to make them more productive and more flexible. Additional technologies, such as friction stir welding (FSW), can be carried out on machine tools; the robot will become a machine tool, machine tools are becoming CPPS and contain CPPS within them. An example for the latter is the Cyber-Physical Tool, which collects information from the cutting process and can also be used as an active device.
AM allows for manufacturing of revolutionary workpiece geometries and provides an unprecedented design flexibility. Rather than replacing each and every conventional technology, AM needs to be exploited where it truly has a competitive advantage over conventional technologies. The presentation will outline a number of such successful applications of Additive Manufacturing technologies.
Project examples for AI applications will be explained. The presentation will conclude with recommendations for companies on how to proceed in order to take advantage of Industry 4.0 knowledge. Furthermore, some characteristics of the German success story will be outlined in order to supply thought-provoking impulse.
The research activities of Professor Zäh focus on machine tools and generative production methods, production technology and cognition for engineering systems.
Professor Zäh graduated in mechanical engineering from TUM, where he also earned his doctorate degree in 1993 under the supervision of Professor Milberg, at the Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (IWB). From 1994 to 1995, he was Chief Engineer and Department Head for Machine Tools and Production Technology under the direction of Professor Reinhart. In 1996, he switched over to the private sector, working for a manufacturer of machine tools used for gear wheel machining, where he held various management positions. In 2002, Professor Zäh accepted the Chair of Machine Tools and Production Technology at TUM and has held the position of Director of the IWB since then.