TRUMPF has opened a new smart factory at its headquarters in Ditzingen. The new facility is already producing sheet metal parts for the company’s machine tools. Designed as a fully connected manufacturing environment, the smart factory also serves as a demonstration center – a place where SMEs and other businesses can see for themselves how efficient sheet metal fabrication works.
“We have 30 machines connected to each other in our new smart factory. Connectivity helps reduce scrap rates and processing time as well as boosting efficiency. Nowhere else in the world offers our particular mix of problem-solving skills for sheet metal fabrication,” says Heinz-Jürgen Prokop, Chief Executive Officer Machine Tools at TRUMPF.
The smart factory is divided into three production halls that cover a total of 5,000 square meters. Along with Chicago in the U.S. and Taicang in China, Ditzingen has become the third TRUMPF location to have a fully connected manufacturing facility. The company now has a smart factory in each of the world’s major regions, highlighting its determination to get closer to its customers.
Assistance systems for day-to-day work
Connectivity in the new smart factory extends not only to cutting, bending and welding machines, but also to large-scale storage systems and automated guided vehicles. The whole connected manufacturing environment is managed from the control center. This is where all the key performance indicators from the production process are collected in real time – from initial order to finished product.
“The best way to improve the efficiency of a sheet-metal production line is to focus on the steps that occur upstream and downstream from the actual machining of the part. Connecting up production processes and machines gives sheet metal fabricators a decisive competitive edge – especially in our age of decreasing batch sizes, faster response times and increasingly complex parts,” says Prokop.
Workers in the new smart factory are supported by assistance systems. With the help of TRUMPF’s manufacturing execution system software TruTops Fab, they can monitor the entire manufacturing process from wherever they are using a tablet, smartphone or smart watch.
Solution provider for end-to-end production
TRUMPF’s smart factory meets the company’s in-house manufacturing requirements. But it also serves as a demonstration center for sheet metal fabricators from Germany and across Europe, showing them how to boost the efficiency of cutting, bending, punching and welding in a real production environment. From SMEs to large corporations, companies of all sizes can discover new solutions for connected manufacturing. For example, small businesses can significantly boost their efficiency by opting for entry-level solutions such as an AI-based part removal assistant. TRUMPF’s smart factory offers the perfect example of how to connect up manufacturing step-by-step in logistics and other areas. Larger companies with more machinery can learn how to set up semi-autonomous manufacturing by studying the smart factory’s seamless integration of punching, bending, lasers and storage systems.
Solution provider with partners
TRUMPF aims to continue building its reputation as a solution provider for end-to-end production – and that means building partnerships. The modern factory transport units that carry materials to and from the various machine tools are made by one of these partners, Jungheinrich, while the storage systems come from STOPA. The smart factory also includes a levelling and deburring machine from ARKU and an inspection machine from InspecVision.
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