e-works News

e-works Industry 4.0 delegation to Europe restarted

On October 21, 2023, over 20 e-works Industry 4.0 delegation members were taking a flight from Beijing to Munich. These manufacturing executives were ready for an in-depth study tour in the following 11 days. e-works CEO Dr. Pei Huang, as the head of the delegation, led them to visit some Industry 4.0 best practice companies, industry hidden champions, and mainstream intelligent manufacturing vendors in Germany and Denmark, including CODESYS, FORCAM, ifm, TRUMPF, Schneider Electric Innovation Hub, Airbus Hamburg Plant, Danfoss, Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), and Universal Robots (UR).  
The first stop was CODESYS Gmbh. Founded in 1994, CODESYS is a global leader in industrial automation and intelligent equipment programming and development platforms. At the headquarters of CODESYS in Kempten, they listened in detail to CODESYS 'views on the evolution and future development trend of industrial control technology, watched the demonstration and application of CODESYS virtual control technology, and had an in-depth exchange on the application of virtual PLC technology.

Group photo at CODESYS
According to CODESYS experts, industrial control has experienced the 1.0 era of mechanization control, the 2.0 era of electrification control, the 3.0 era of electronic control, and now it is in the 4.0 era of software-based control. In the era of industrial Control 5.0, it will be represented by hardware-architecture-independent Virtual Control technology. The virtual control solution provided by CODESYS can not only realize the decoupling of hardware and software, but also realize the adoption of automation software with the help of common hardware platform, container technology, real-time operating system, and can be deployed on demand, either in the traditional controller, or in the edge server, private cloud or public cloud server. virtual control technology of CODESYS, which also broadens the horizon and increases the knowledge for the delegation.
The second stop was FORCAM, a well-known MES & IIoT solution provider. As a pioneer of Industry 4.0, FORCAM focuses on the research, development, consultation, implementation and technical support of intelligent manufacturing systems and digital factory construction, and provides intelligent manufacturing solutions for all kinds of enterprises. FORCAM highlighted its production digitization and digital twin solutions for automotive manufacturing processes, as well as typical cases.

The delegation at FORCAM
FORCAM has more than 20 years of industrial software product R&D and engineering experience as well as manufacturing production and management experience precipitation, mainly serving automotive, aerospace and defense, mechanical assembly and other discrete manufacturing industries, committed to helping customers achieve planned production, reduce downtime, rework and waste, improve OEE and delivery reliability. In the automotive manufacturing industry, FORCAM provides production digital solutions covering stamping, body in white, painting, powertrain, final assembly etc. with world famous customers like Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Volkswagen, Lamborghini, Schaeffler, and BorgWarner. It is worth mentioning that FORCAM's digital twin solution can obtain real data sources to establish digital twin models so as to map, analyze and optimize the production process in real time, and finally improves the OEE and order delivery rate.

The third stop was ifm, the hidden champion of electronic sensor industry. Founded in 1969, ifm is one of the leading manufacturers of electronic sensors, providing a wide range of intelligent sensors, distributed modules, controllers, software and system solutions to users with quality services to help them realize intelligent manufacturing and digital transformation. At the ifm R&D and production site in Tettnang near Lake Bodensee, the delegation learned about the history and development of ifm and walked into the factory to see the production of ifm electronic sensors.
With a philosophy of being closer to users, ifm's full range of products have a 5-year warranty, and with rich experience in automation industry application, ifm sales engineers and technical experts can efficiently provide users with product selection, on-site maintenance services. Adhering to the concept of being close to users, ifm not only provides components, but also focuses on data. It has launched the moneo IoT platform to provide digital sensors, distributed modules and system solutions for predictive maintenance, fault diagnosis and energy management of users' equipment. During the factory visit, ifm used probes and vision systems to inspect PCB boards to ensure high quality, built its own industrial engineering team to continuously improve lean and efficiency, and independently developed modular production line equipment to facilitate flexible production and maintenance, which also impressed the delegation.

Group photo at ifm factory

The fourth stop is TRUMPF, a hidden champion of the laser equipment industry. Founded in 1923, TRUMPF Group is a global leader in industrial machine tools, laser technology and electronic technology.

Visiting TRUMPF User Experience Center
TRUMPF attaches great importance to research and development and innovation, and the annual investment in R&D is about 10% of the revenue. In sheet metal processing, TRUMPF can provide a complete sets of products, including surface/3D laser cutting machine, punching machine, bending machine, welding machine, intelligent laser welding system and machining center. Moreover, adhering to the concept of "Close to the Customer", TRUMPF can also provide customers with sheet metal design and pipe fitting design solutions to help them greatly save costs. They also provide programming, APP fault reporting, condition monitoring and fault warning and predictive maintenance services.
The fifth stop was Schneider Electric Innovation Hub in Marktheidenfeld, which is also its global headquarters of Schneider Electric Machine Control Solutions. The delegation learned about Schneider Electric's intelligent machine control solutions for packaging, material handling, food and beverage, HVAC control, pump control as well as its digital factory solutions and product portfolio. With its own building control system and energy saving solutions as well as clean solar energy, the Schneider Electric's innovation center consumes 15% less energy than the German energy efficiency standard.

Schneider Electric Innovation Hub
The sixth stop was one of the industry's leading aircraft manufacturer, AIRBUS. Airbus Hamburg is the headquarters of Airbus Commercial aircraft in Germany. Airbus Hamburg plant is one of the three major assembly plants of Airbus in the world, mainly responsible for the painting, assembly and delivery of Airbus family of A320, A330 and A350. The delegation went into the final assembly workshop of the Hamburg factory to experience the final assembly process of commercial aircraft.

The group photo at Airbus Hamburg factory
The final assembly workshop of Airbus Hamburg factory adopts pulse assembly lines, which can effectively improve the efficiency and quality of aircraft assembly, and achieve low-cost, high-quality and rapid response. According to the guide, at present in the Airbus Hamburg factory, due to the large demand for the main model A320 and the fierce market competition, an aircraft is generally completed in 90 days, and A330 and A350 generally need 12 months for their relatively small order.
The seventh stop is the Danfoss Group, a global leader in energy efficiency solutions. As Denmark's largest industrial group, Danfoss focuses on clean technologies and is committed to providing its partners with energy efficient solutions that help them reduce energy consumption, save costs and reduce carbon emissions. The delegation gained insight into Danfoss ' practices in promoting digitalization and carbon neutrality, and walked into the shop floor to see the production of one of its flagship products, expansion valves.

Group photo at the Danfoss
By reducing energy consumption, recycling and using renewable energy sources, Danfoss has achieved carbon neutral at its headquarters campus in NordBorg by 2022, and it aims to achieve carbon neutrality in all of its global operations by 2030.
The eighth stop was Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), one of the global market leader in mobile robots. MiR develops and manufactures industry-leading autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) that help customers automate internal logistics and optimize material handling quickly, easily and cost-effectively. At MiR's headquarters in Odense, the delegation observed the demonstration and application of MiR's autonomous mobile robot products on site.
During the demonstration, the MiR autonomous mobile robot was able to plan the optimal path through an intelligent navigation system, sense foreign objects based on abundant sensors and change tasks based on software operations, which aroused keen interest of the delegation members.

Demonstration at MiR
The ninth stop was Universal Robots, the global market leader in collaborative robots. They walked into its test laboratory and factory, and watched the production process of UR robots. As a leading manufacturer of collaborative robots, with the mission of "automation for anyone, anywhere", UR is committed to enabling humans to work with robots, rather than like robots.

Experiencing UR robot programming
Since launching the world's first commercial collaborative robot in 2008, UR has developed and launched a series of collaborative robot products, widely used in many scenarios such as picking and placing, material handling, polishing, packaging, gluing, loading and unloading. UR has also built an extensive UR+ ecosystem around cobot technology, providing customers with a series of innovative options such as end effectors, kits and solutions for various applications.

Group photo at Universal Robots
This is the 35th international delegation organized by e-works since 2014, and is also the first delegation to Europe once again since the pandemic. Through onsite visits, technical lectures, internal discussions and other methods, delegation members had a close understanding of German and Danish manufacturing and deeply experienced the essence of German and Danish manufacturing. 

The members of the delegation spoke highly of the thoughtful arrangement of e-works. “It was a very rewarding and surprising tour of Industry 4.0 in Europe,” said Mr. Qi, CIO of Shanghai Mitsubishi Elevator Co., Ltd. 

Through this visit, they have a deeper understanding of the promotion of intelligent manufacturing, and a more intuitive understanding of the various innovation models and the application of advanced technologies of enterprises in Germany and Denmark, which provides valuable experience to promote intelligent manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

Most Viewed in 24 Hours


Start a Digital Twin Journey from Engineering Simulation

Accenture releases survey of digital transformation

CIMC Reduces Unplanned Downtime by 30% with Greater Operational Insight from ThingWorx

Ansys Simulation Speeding up Autonomous Vehicles

  • Tel : 0086-27-87592219
  • Email : service@e-works.net.cn
  • Add: 3B1 International Business Center, No. 18 Jinronggang Road (No.4), East Lake High-tech Development Zone, Wuhan, Hubei, PRC. 430223
  • ICP Business License: 鄂B2-20030029-9
  • Copyright © e-works All Rights Reserved