11/07/2017

HELLER and Siemens: new Industry 4.0 applications

With HELLER4Industry, HELLER has set the framework for the company’s new Industry 4.0 technologies. In cooperation with Siemens AG, HELLER has now developed new service and will be presenting them exclusively at EMO in Hanover.


Both companies have long realised that digitisation was likely to play a key role in the future. HELLER benefits from the partnership with a diversified industrial group like Siemens in many different ways. Siemens is able to draw on a vast knowledge pool from the most diverse branches of industry, enabling the transfer of expertise from one business area to other fields of application.

The Industry 4.0 applications are not only directed towards the life cycle but to all key areas of a machine tool. In addition to Services, ensuring high availability as one of the prerequisites for productivity, this also includes operation and performance optimization of the machine tool. Customers will benefit from the new functions to a much higher degree when the features are able to support them with their specific situation at hand.

High-frequency data analytics: optimizing processes in real time

Together with Siemens, HELLER will be showcasing new features at EMO 2017 in Hanover as part of our HELLER4Industry presentation. For the first time, we will demonstrate an imaging method comparable to magnetic resonance imaging (MRT). HELLER creates new algorithms comparable to the mentioned MRT procedure used in medical engineering and ‘feeds’ them with the signals of a machine tool. A high-resolution image of the workpiece that is displayed at the output end, i.e. the web browser and the operating panel of the machine, without requiring cameras or additional sensors in the machine. In cooperation with Siemens we are currently working on incorporating the knowledge gained based on the machine signals into the function in order to obtain even more meaningful results. By offering high-quality data comparison on the basis of reference patterns this new functionality provides numerous evaluation possibilities for process optimization.

HELLER4Performance: processing manufacturing orders with high profitablity

In order to demonstrate the benefits to customers, HELLER will be presenting three use cases that vividly illustrate how digitisation, networking and intelligent algorithms interact. Among these solutions is an option for the optimization of the tool assignment in the rack-type magazine, one for increasing the workpiece axis dynamics and the so-called automatic feed control. These are ideas that HELLER has been pursuing for quite some time. But only now – with edge computing – we have sufficient computing power available for processing the data. At the same time, the cloud enables us to evaluate the data and to draw the relevant conclusions, helping us to realise our ideas at such a high level.

Use case ‘Rack-type Magazine’

With the ‘Rack-type Magazine’ use case focusing on the machine performance we demonstrate how to optimize the tool position inside the magazine. HELLER offers a function for optimizing the place assignment in the rack-type magazine according to the requirements of the next workpiece to be machined. Optimum storage place assignment enables a reduction in cycle time by up to 20 percent. This creates tangible added value for customers.

Use case ‘Increasing workpiece axis dynamics’

In principle, the goal is to adapt the traversing speed of the workpiece axis to the loading weight. Until now, it made no difference whether the machine table was loaded with 2t or only 200kg. HELLER is now in a position to respond to the situation by adapting the dynamics accordingly, i.e. providing increased dynamics for lighter components.

Use case ‘Automatic feed control’

Of course operators are able to monitor all processes on the easy-to-read dashboard display on our new 24” multi-touch panel. With a single touch of the fingertip, companies can choose to accept or reject the suggestions, e.g. re-assignment of the tool storage places or the modification of the machine parameters. The dashboard provides all the necessary information for making that decision. The same applies to the automatic feed control. The operator can set the limits in which the machine can autonomously adjust the override. In case of fluctuations in stock allowance, the machining speed can be adjusted according to the current spindle-tool-workpiece combination. We have customer examples in which machining time reductions of up to 20 percent have been achieved.

Will the numerous functions require additional sensors in the machine?

Contrary to other manufacturers, HELLER is taking a different approach, because every additional sensor poses a potential risk in the work area and would reduce availability in case of a failure. The approach is based on the enhanced possibilities to evaluate existing sensors using the additional computing power in the machine provided by SINUMERIK-Edge in combination with the cloud, enabling us to make better use of the data, also using additional information based on dependencies of the sensor signals. As a result, we are generating added value without compromising the availability of the machine.


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