How can you get your digital transformation started? This is the question businesses that haven’t yet embarked on their digital journey are asking themselves. And this was one of the key themes at the Automation Fair last week, Rockwell Automation’s annual event we were invited to attend.
To give you some tips, we followed John Pritchard global portfolio at Rockwell on a tour of some of the automation tools you should look at in order to begin or continue your industry 4.0 transformation.
Simulate Your Robot
Let’s start with robots. If you are in the manufacturing business, maybe you use robots on your production lines. And maybe you want to simulate the position and sequence of your robot digitally, before implementing it in the real world in order to save costs. Rockwell Automation is combining two digital engineering tools to do so : Fanuc’s robot guide and Emulated 3D’s software. This tool will be available early next year.
Simulate Your Factory
While simulating a robot with the help of digital tools can be quite easy, simulating how humans will interact on a production line can be much more difficult as they are not predictable. This requires building some parts of the factory digitally but also physically to be able to do tests before constructing the whole facility. In this demo, we interacted with a hybrid conveyor system that conveys cans for the food industry using Rockwell’s automation MagneMotion system along with a traditional conveyor system by FlexLink.
Module your Factory
Cheaper logistics solutions are what you could also be looking at, if you are in the automotive or food industry and want to optimize your processes and give them a touch of industry 4.0 at a low cost. We met with Fulvio Calvo, Sales manager at Olivero. He presented us an AGV, the kind that’s used in warehouses to convey goods. It is equipped with software and a scanner that map its environment and allow it to move safely. But this AGV is more than a simple autonomous vehicle. When combined with other AGVs, it can become a real mobile conveyor and replace traditional industrial conveyors. And this has a great advantage : flexibility, which is one of industry 4.0’s major promises. This system offers the ability to deploy your production lines where you need them and allows you to module your factory.