Hungarian Bosch Rexroth Hungary: What is Revolutionary in Industry 4.0?
Online applications have become part of our daily lives and this is something that we have accepted. However, communication between devices and processes in industry is a new opportunity – says István Ács, managing director of the Hungarian Bosch Rexroth ltd.
Concerning industry 4.0, I have to emphasize that it is European – an initiative of the German government. There are existing projects, many of which comply with the basic concepts of industry 4.0, but this is still not the focus of the project. At this level of automation, there are no humans to communicate but factories and online devices (e.g. interfaces, readers, cameras, sensors etc.) that are linked in a network. This is revolutionary for example in logistics, where raw materials as well as finished products will only occupy as much space and deadlock as much capital that is absolutely necessary to ensure continuous operation. This, however, requires efficient communication between supply chain members.
Is Bosch Group part of this revolution?
It is an excellent opportunity for Bosch that globally 250 factories need state-of-the art manufacturing- as well as manufacturing control devices. At the same time, however, Bosch produces the necessary applications for itself as well as for other market players. The automotive industry is especially interested in this topic as opportunities and demand is equally given here for the higher level of collaboration between network-connected devices.
Do you already have such product developments?
Yes, part of the Homburg factory of Bosch Rexroth has been set up specially for that purpose. This works as a pilot project, but already the Hungarian Bosch factories make significant effort to exploit these developments. First developments are aimed at optimizing warehouse systems.
Advantage of Bosch Rexroth is the broad portfolio, and so the pioneering vision that we have concerning the factories of the future can be realized in practice. Relying on the experience that we learnt in our own factories, we can formulate those devices and systems that will be built into machines by system-builders, for example. Our goal is to call attention to searching for solutions in the field of production optimization. One of the tools of this is Open Core Engineering, which is able to support design, manufacturing, and diagnostics from the side of both software and product.
Coming back to the Homburg factory built by our group of companies and inaugurated in 2014: here, production control, production lines, workpieces, suppliers and users are all connected in a network and can continuously share data and information with each other to optimize production. Essentially, it is the WIP product that shares data along the manufacturing procedure. These data control production as well as logistics through a cloud-based service. This procedure is even visualized on a giant touch-screen by one of our software product – Active Cockpit – a production control and management device that ensures continuous transparency of the manufacturing procedure. This was demonstrated in Hungary in September.
What are the advantages of Industry 4.0?
Our goal is to link devices: even by building joint networks with suppliers as well as end-users. Industry 4.0 can result in a 20-30% increase in productivity throughout the manufacturing procedure. We, as part of those forming the vision for the future, can translate the opportunities for the customers since collaboration of production networks at a new level can only be complete with their contribution.