A consistent maintenance process is important within laser machines. Not only does it optimise maintenance, it also optimises productivity and reduces cost, while taking the user interface to the next level. As such a new collaborative project between Trotec and SAP specialist INFORMATICS aims to achieve this exact feature.
Predictive maintenance has the advantage of maintenance requirements being identified before servicing is needed. Sensor and operating data are permanently monitored meaning potential malfunctions are detected early, increasing productivity by minimising idle time and reducing maintenance time. Warning messages are automatically sent to the production manager while spare parts are automatically delivered. This efficient machine communication approach was presented together with INFORMATICS for the first time on May 3 & 4, 2017 at the SAP Forum with a Speedy 360 flexx laser cutting machine and Atmos exhaust system.
"The first milestone that we are working towards is early recognition of typical malfunction symptoms,” explains Alexander Schikowski, leader of the project. If the filter in the exhaust system is full or congested, it needs to be replaced to secure a smooth operation of the laser system. Increased wear or low filter life of the exhaust system can be quickly identified and fixed. Thus, sensors in the laser machine and exhaust system will provide data about temperature or differential pressure. If the defined limit values are exceeded, the necessary measures to prevent malfunctions or fix errors are automatically taken.
The temperature and filter sensors send data in real time via SAP Manufacturing Intelligence and Integration (SAP MII). This recognises when limit values have been exceeded using check logic. Should the filter become blocked or there be a deviation in temperature, the Plant Maintenance-Tool (PM) will automatically react, creating a maintenance order while the maintenance manager receives information via e-mail or the SAP App Fiori at the same time. Additionaly, the spare parts that are needed on short notice will be automatically ordered.
"At Trotec our ambition is to develop laser machine solutions that make our customers more profitable. To achieve this, productivity, flexibility and extremely low total costs of ownership are a top priority. This new approach to machine communication fully supports these goals. Machine availability can be increased, idle time minimised and thus productivity increased. I am looking forward to presenting this innovation to our customers," explains Martin Horne, Managing Director of Trotec UK and Ireland.
"Predictive Maintenance is just the beginning. Topics including Condition Monitoring for efficient production planning and new business models in general are a big chance for us in the digital transformation era" he added.