Critical Investment: IoT In Auto Manufacturing

While today’s automotive manufacturers continue to face incredible challenges, they also come across many opportunities for enhanced growth and development. There’s little doubt that manufacturers are facing increasing pressures to innovate, better engage with their own customers, and improve profitability. Yet, only a few will succeed – and it all comes down to how well they implement a digital transformation.

Critical implementation of IoT will define automotive manufacturer success or failure

Take a moment to consider today’s automotive manufacturing industry, which seems to be changing at a rapid speed. For example, analysts believe fully autonomous vehicles will be commercially available by 2020. Even Forbes reported that, by 2020, there will be 10 million self-driving vehicles on the roads. Elon Musk, the owner of Tesla, also raised $ 1.5 billion in August of 2017 to mass market electric vehicles. All of these innovative changes hinge on one key factor. Can manufacturers implement digital transformation fast enough to remain competitive?

Implement IoT in automotive manufacturing or struggle with the competition

Technology investments by auto manufacturing companies will ultimately define whether or not they can step ahead of their competition. Even current best-in-class business performance is likely to be outdated within a matter of years, not decades. In the IoT and Digital Transformation: A Tale of Four Industries whitepaper published by IDC, it was found that at least one-third of every industry’s top 20 companies will fail to reach digital benchmarks and that 33 percent of all industry leaders will struggle against their already-digitally-enabled competitors in the next few years.

Design and ideation in manufacturer enhanced by true IoT implementation

Implementing smart manufacturing and Industry 4.0 is critical to any automotive manufacturer today. The key benefits are numerous, often creating a dramatic impact on the way a business operates, while also creating a stellar opportunity to achieve several key goals. What value can IoT implementation offer the automotive manufacturing industry from a specific area of design and ideation? Let’s take a closer look.

Faster engineering cycles

First, consider the value that IoT offers from an engineering cycle standpoint. This is a key value opportunity. By creating a connection of information between products back to the design and development team, it is possible to move the product engineering cycle further at a faster rate. Ultimately, this offers the key benefit of being able to get new products – something today’s consumer has an insatiable appetite for – to market sooner.

Customer satisfaction improves

Another key area is in customer satisfaction. Though auto manufacturers of 50 years ago knew that any new product that rolled off the market would be seen with enthusiasm from consumers, today that is no longer the case. Consumers have many vehicles to choose from, with new technology and advancements in place. Domestic and international options are easily within reach – often at affordable price points. In short, pleasing customers is important and even essential, yet difficult.

By implementing IoT within the design and ideation phase, there is an opportunity to provide better customer service. That is, products developed by the manufacturer are a better fit for the consumer. They solve the consumers’ concerns. And, most importantly, they are instantly beneficial to the consumer. By addressing real performance requirements and needs, the manufacturer is able to create instant satisfaction, build the brand, and enhance the company’s long-term opportunities to continue building brand loyalty.

Reducing overhead costs

Every manufacturer has a focus on reducing costs. The cost of labor is rising rapidly. Compliance continues to be a constant concern. It is more expensive to market. One way to reduce costs from the design and ideation phase of the automotive manufacturing sector is simply to remove what isn’t working and what is no longer beneficial.

By having a constant stream of information from customers and other value points streaming into the automotive manufacturer, it is possible to remove all non-value components. This streamlines operations and helps the company zero-in on what is going to drive profits the most.

While all of this sounds beneficial, many of today’s automotive manufacturers do not have the tools in place to gather, organize, and use this data from IoT to create such prominent benefits. The benefits, though, make moving in this direction not only ideal but necessary.

Creating the framework and beginning to implement these solutions is a critical step forward in every automotive manufacturing business. It is no easy task, though.

How to move towards IoT for design and ideation

Current teams can be modified to begin pulling in these areas of data and information. It is key to focus on the areas that are the most likely to create the biggest win first. In this case, it may be a bit more simplistic to pull in IoT data to use for building new products, but it can later be just as effective as modifying past products.

To start, organizations must align their business goals with the most likely disruption coming: IoT. From there, it becomes necessary to determine how digital-ready the organization is and then begin working on the digital transformation journey with a trusted solutions provider within the IoT sector.

Learn how to bring new technologies and services together to power digital transformation by downloading The IoT Imperative for Discrete Manufacturers: Automotive, Aerospace and Defense, High Tech, and Industrial Machinery. Explore how to bring Industry 4.0 insights into your business today by reading Industry 4.0: What’s Next?

Internet of Things – Digitalist Magazine

What we THINK about: Manufacturing

It’s time to THINK about: Manufacturing. What are the technologies and capabilities that will affect the manufacturing industry in 2018? How can we leverage key innovations like artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive computing to drive efficiencies? How can we reinvent and innovate to create better experiences for our customers? If these questions are on your mind, you’ll find answers at IBM Think 2018. It’s a unique new event that brings together 40,000 thinkers, educators and innovators in one place. Best of all, it’s in Las Vegas! Here are some of the reasons we think you’ll want to be there.

Hear first-hand how many of the world’s most visionary brands are deploying IoT

Joining us throughout the event will be many of our most important clients. These clients will inspire you by sharing their stories about how they are bringing IoT and AI solutions together to respond to business challenges in manufacturing. We look forward to these real-life stories helping you to reimagine your businesses with the promise of IoT and AI.

Hear our vision for the future

We believe in outcomes. In beginning with the end in mind. In strategic decision-making to support well-defined goals. We want to share this vision with you. Across the many large theater, breakout sessions, demos and networking opportunities, you will hear our vision for the future of manufacturing operations. We will help you to understand what’s coming next. By aligning this vision with practical applications, we’ll empower you to begin your IoT journey today.

For example, below are just some of the panel sessions, demos and learning opportunities we think you’ll enjoy. For the personal touch, you can also design your unique agenda with the help of Watson Session Expert.

Engage with our solutions first-hand through show floor activations and demos

The best way to understand the benefits technology can bring your business is to see that technology in action. Join us on the show floor to see many manufacturing use-case demos. We’ll demonstrate how our Visual Insights technology can accurately spot quality defects. How our Acoustic Insights help manufacturers hear potential equipment issues. And how our IoT Equipment Advisor solution uses condition monitoring and past maintenance history to offer prescriptive maintenance and repair guidance. See the technology live and inquire about how it can help address your unique challenges.

Engage with our technical and product leadership

During the event there will be countless opportunities to engage one-to-one with our technical and product leaders. In many cases these people have decades of experience helping manufacturers solve problems. With them, you can hear about our vision, understand our roadmaps, and go deep on product capabilities. Think will be an important opportunity for us to share our views, hear your reaction, and explore together how our rich set of manufacturing solutions can help address your unique challenges.

Discover our AI-powered solutions for manufacturers

IBM has built a robust portfolio of machine learning and AI-powered solutions that address many manufacturing plant operator’s concerns. You’ll find predictive analytics technology that can bring new power to your asset management solutions. We have AI-powered visual and acoustic technology that can spot quality defects. We even can apply our analytics to plant operations to help plant operators maximize throughput and better manage energy consumption. All of our solutions are geared around core drivers of operational efficiency: challenges like asset downtime, quality, and operational optimization.

At Think 2018 you will find a number of sessions on offer to help demonstrate the transforming power of AI for manufacturers. Discover our portfolio summary, and learn how clients like GM, Kone and others are bringing this technology to life through live deployments.

Register now

Register today to attend Think 2018, and together we’ll explore the solutions that help your business work smarter.

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Industry 4.0: 10 use cases for software in connected manufacturing

1. Monitoring lubricants & filters in hydraulic valve production in Industry 4.0

The cleanliness of the oil used to test hydraulic valves after production must meet a specified ISO target code. In order to obtain valid test results, we had to improve the oil quality.

Man sitting next to a machine with a laptop uin his hands. Source: Bosch Rexroth

We retrofitted the test benches, with IoT gateways and connected sensors. This enabled existing machines to communicate and perform sensor-based monitoring of the testing medium. Together with our customer, we created a rule-based method to monitor the ISO cleanliness level of the oil. It is now possible to continuously monitor the processing units and use an automated system for maintenance tickets.

With this approach, our customer was able to transform a manual process into an automated process.

The benefits in detail:

  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Less complex manual testing
  • Increase in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

2. Quality management of the pressing process

Airbag control units are manufactured by mechatronic presses that assemble every component by mating. To gain a better understanding of these mating processes and how process parameters and product quality relate, we extracted the process data from the proprietary press control system. That way we were able to monitor and demonstrate the force and position of the pressing processes.

Production worker performing a quality check Source: ©fotolia/Kzenon

We used the data to define a template process which then served as a reference for each press in the production. This allowed a direct evaluation of every single pressing process, based on the raw data. In the past this was only possible with a downstream quality assessment.

The benefits in detail:

  • More process transparency
  • Increase in product quality

3. Harmonization of tightening processes

When production lines are scattered across the world, it is important that products should be of the same quality, regardless where they are manufactured. One of our customers faced this issue when it came to improving the overall quality of tightening processes.

A Bosch Rexroth worker using a nur runner. Source: Bosch Rexroth

Our approach in this Industry 4.0 project was to connect the nut runners in different production locations to centralized software. This made it possible to apply the same quality standards to processes in different locations.

The benefits in detail:

  • More process transparency
  • Better product quality

4. Centralized monitoring & automated ticket allocation

In this Industry 4.0 use case, we developed a centralized monitoring solution in collaboration with a manufacturer. Because there was no central management system for the machines, error messages were only displayed locally on the human-machine interface (HMI). This meant that workers had to wait by the machine and might overlook other important issues.

Close-up of an OSRAM worker holding his Ticket Manager. Source: Offenblende

We decided to set up one centralized system to record and display all machine data. We also established a system that automatically creates maintenance tickets and allocates workers depending on the situation. The workers access this system using an Android app with push notifications.

The benefits in detail:

  • An optimized maintenance process
  • Cutting the cost of failures by implementing a transparent and consistent troubleshooting process

5. EDM cycle time monitoring

The challenge here related to the monitoring of an electrical discharge machining (EDM) process: The data on process parameters were stored in a database which was checked only once a day. We wanted to evaluate the data using a manufacturing execution system (MES). But since the machines were old, the expense of connecting them to the MES was not a cost-effective option.

bosch plan homburg Source: Bosch

Instead, we used a software connector to read out and display the data directly from the machine. That way we were able to evaluate the status and notify associates when deviations occurred. This also allowed us to check and service machines on demand.

The benefits in detail:

  • Early detection of cycle time deviations
  • Increase in output

6. Cycle time monitoring of CNC machines

Monitoring the status of a CNC machine is particularly difficult. One of the biggest challenges which many large manufacturing facilities are facing is not being able to see what is going on at a granular level. In other words, monitoring is labor-intensive and often only provides limited insight into operations. Employees normally check the vibrations of the machines at predefined intervals. This fixed schedule means that a problem may go undetected for some time. It is also hard to calculate the cycle time of various machines and pinpoint where underperforming machines are affecting production.

Close-up of a CNC machine. Source: ©Fotolia/prescott09

We decided to connect sensors to each machine to collect information on its operating status and performance. These parameters were then centrally processed and displayed. This allowed us to analyze information in close to real time. We were thus able to trigger standardized machine checks to optimize production parameters.

The benefits in detail:

  • Reduced machine downtime
  • Fault prevention thanks to an early warning system
  • Continuous improvement based on machine benchmarking and condition monitoring

7. Condition monitoring of cooling systems

Blocked pipes in a cooling system can lead to pump failure. We encountered this problem in a plant where there was one cooling system with four cooling pumps. There was no central monitoring of cooling performance over time.

Photo of a cooling system standing on the shop floor. Source: ©depositphotos/tomasz_parys

We attached temperature and flow sensors to the cooling pipes to generate data. Then we defined limits for cooling power and flow.

The benefits in detail:

  • Advance warning of pipe blockages
  • Less need for pump maintenance
  • Less plant downtime

8. Condition monitoring of cutting fluids

Managing cutting fluid involves measuring the concentration, dosage and addition of fluid, and documenting measurements. It can be a completely manual process which is not always ideal.

Close-up of a milling machine. Source: ©Fotolia/Kamdy

Using a digital refractometer, we were able to measure the concentration of cutting fluid. If air bubbles formed in the cutting fluid mixture, this rendered the measured values useless. These values then had to be deleted.

The benefits in detail:

  • Long-term documentation, which can be used to improve tool life and surface finish quality
  • Cost savings resulting from lower dosing and consumption of water-soluble cutting fluids
  • Compliance with cutting fluid tolerance

9. Product quality monitoring in paint shop

Painting can be a demanding task. Especially when it comes to complex-shaped items like car windshield wiper arms. This means that a paint shop has to deal with a varying degree of quality when it comes to their paint jobs.

Photot of the shop floor of a paint shop. Source: Bosch Rexroth

By integrating the IoT gateway into the process, we enabled our project partner to collect production data. This helped identify three parameters of relevance to product quality: temperature, humidity and paint consumption. We then defined threshold values enabling alerts to be issued when quality parameters were out of spec.

The benefits in detail:

  • Faster response time in case of quality deviations
  • Better product quality

10. Vibration monitoring for milling machines

Another Industry 4.0 use case is vibration monitoring in milling machines. By positioning sensors close to the machine it is possible to measure vibration and gather information about specific vibration patterns during cutting operations like milling or drilling. In this way process data is collected on a large scale and provides a unique “digital fingerprint” for every milling process. By comparing the measured roughness with the individual fingerprints you can see how the two sets of data correlate.

Close-up of the spindle of a milling machine. Source: ©fotolia/Andrey Armyagov

The benefits in detail:

  • Alert system when milling process gets out if spec
  • Quick response time should a problem occur

The post Welcome to Bosch Software Innovations’ new headquarter: the Bosch IoT Campus appeared first on Bosch ConnectedWorld Blog.

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Presto Protects IoT Chips With Secure Manufacturing & Test

Supporting the growing need for IC security in IoT applications, Presto Engineering is offering a comprehensive manufacturing and test service that is tailored to ensure IoT chips are made to high standards of security.

Presto says it can manage the entire chip manufacturing and testing process to make chips with levels of security right up to that needed for banking standards.

IoT devices’ connection to the Internet provides a potentially vulnerable route for hackers. Presto notes that an IoT chip connected to the internet should have two levels of security built into the design of the ASIC itself to stop unauthorized access.

The first is Cryptography to protect communication and maintain the confidentiality and integrity of data as it moves across the network. The second is Authentication to verify that only authorized computers or people have access.

Turning the design into a chip requires a highly secure manufacturing supply chain. Presto claims “it can manage the entire chip manufacturing and testing process to make chips with levels of security right up to that needed for banking standards, including the secure provisioning of the cryptographic keys. The latter ensures that processors will only execute code and updates identified with the correct secret keys.”

Handling these securely in the manufacturing supply chain is vital to an effective security strategy and is covered by the Common Criteria for Information Technology Security Evaluation standards. These range from the basic Evaluation Assurance Level 1 to Level 7 for government and military, with Level 5 being typical for banks, payment systems, and other highly demanding commercial application.

More information:

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Adding additive manufacturing to the smart factory set-up

Adding additive manufacturing to the smart factory set-up

In addition to prototyping, manufacturing companies are increasingly looking to additive manufacturing on 3D printers as a way to build production components, too.

With manufacturing of production tools reduced from six weeks to just two days and tool production costs slashed by 40 percent, additive manufacturing is really paying off for French aircraft design and manufacturing group Latécoère.

So much so, in fact, that engineers at the company, which works with aerospace giants including Airbus, Bombardier and Dassault, are starting to explore the idea of using 3D printing in the creation of production parts.

Earlier this month, Latécoère announced that it was using 3D printer technology from Stratasys for both rapid prototyping and production tooling. Using 3D printers as production tools is often referred to as ‘additive manufacturing’, because these machines lay down layer after layer of a given material to create a ready-made object, as opposed to the ‘subtractive’ business of cutting, drilling and hammering material away.

Either way, the adoption of this technology has been “transformational”, according to Simon Rieu, composite and additive manufacturing manager at Latécoère’s R&D and innovation center. “Additive manufacturing has integrate seamlessly into our design and production process and has seen us enjoy improved lead times, reduced costs and enhanced efficiency,” he says.

Read more: Analysis: Four smart factory trends to watch in 2018

Additive manufacturing begins to take off

In future, the company plans to 3D print final production parts for planes from Airbus, Boeing and other leading aircraft manufacturers, such as air duct housing components, for example. When 3D printed, these components could be produced more quickly than using traditional production methods – plus they’d be lighter, too, which is significant because an aircraft that weighs less also uses less fuel on flights.

Currently, only 29 percent of manufacturers are using 3D printing for production parts, according to a recent survey sponsored by manufacturing technology company, Jabil. But as 3D printing becomes more efficient and can be carried out using a wider variety of materials, the company expects this figure to climb. In fact, nine out of ten of the manufacturers surveyed said that they expect to grow their use of 3D printing for production parts in the next three to five years.

For now, the use of 3D printing is limited for most manufacturing companies – and, more specifically, limited to the prototyping process. In other words, it’s used to make mock-ups and test versions of components so that designs can be tweaked before final versions are produced. In Jabil’s survey, seven out of ten respondents say they use 3D printing for prototyping.

But either way, manufacturers are hardly sitting on the sidelines, watching the evolution of 3D printing. They are already using the technology – more than eight out of ten use 3D printing in some way today. “This is encouraging as it means that manufacturing companies are already looking for opportunities to integrate additive manufacturing within their established processes,” says Jabil. The aerospace and medical device industries, incidentally, are leading the way here.

Over time, this suggests that 3D printers will become integral parts of the smart factory set-up – just another form of connected device, capable of receiving instruction and reporting on their status, activity and performance over the Internet and boosting manufacturing productivity and efficiency in the process.

Additive manufacturing is bound to come up as a topic at our Internet of Manufacturing event, taking place in Munich on 6-8 February 2018. Attendees will get the chance to learn more about how connected technologies open up new paths to increased productivity and profitability for industrial companies. 


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