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New Machine Language For Industry 4.0

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New Machine Language For Industry 4.0
New Machine Language For Industry 4.0

Thanks to the so-called PPM protocol (PPMP, Production Performance Management Protocol), small and medium-sized companies, for example, can quickly, easily and securely transfer data from their sensors supplied to manufacturers to the production systems of large companies. The protocol is freely available and free of charge. This removes hurdles for entry into networked manufacturing. “Open standards are one of the basic prerequisites for taking advantage of Industry 4.0 opportunities. So everyone can participate in the exchange of data. This increases interoperability, enables new business models and increases the competitiveness of all companies involved,”said Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner. "In this way, Industry 4.0 is establishing itself faster and more broadly:Large and small companies can integrate their products faster. This benefits the industry in Germany and the economy worldwide.”

Data improve production control

The standard developed by Bosch experts supports Production Performance Management (PPM). This process plays a central role in Industry 4.0. In production, huge amounts of data are collected and analyzed using sensors. The aim is to further improve the production processes. Do all components of a production line really work together optimally? Is a component slowing down the process? Does a machine require an unusually large amount of electricity? Has a drive motor run hot and threatens to fail? These and other questions can be answered with a PPM system - and faults eliminated. At the same time, the PPM enables efficient and comprehensive control of production.

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In order to be able to control production processes in the best possible way, the numerous sensors and machines have to deliver their data to one location of the central PPM software. This is very complex, because so far all these machines and sensors speak many different languages. Communication among and with each other is difficult. Bosch developed the PPMP so that machines and sensors can communicate better.

Connect machines directly to one another

Many large companies such as Bosch use a number of supplied components in their factories, often from specialized medium-sized companies. These components can be quickly, easily and inexpensively integrated into a production environment. Medium-sized companies in turn can integrate their products better into the manufacturing systems of their large and small customers thanks to open standards. Both sides benefit. In addition, the PPMP is a basis for a machine builder to be able to connect his machines directly with software. This enables machine malfunctions to be reported to an app. The responsible employee immediately sees the reason for the malfunction on his smartphone and a solution to remedy it.

The new standard is being further developed in the open source community Eclipse. The first practical experiences will also be included in this. This means that anyone can use the protocol free of charge. This initiative launched by Bosch is already supported by several medium-sized companies (Balluff, EGT, Rampf, Cadis, KLW, Schmalz). Other companies are expressly invited to participate. The common standard will also be used in an innovation project - a so-called test bed - under the umbrella of the international Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) and the Industry 4.0 platform. To this end, Tata Consulting, Dassault Systèmes, SAP and Bosch work together at the Bosch Homburg plant.

Diverse data for production control

Thanks to the new standard for the exchange of information, information from many different objects, data from machines and information on energy consumption are already being transferred to a system for production control. “Many concepts and technologies for the Industry 4.0 era are still emerging. To validate them and bring them to the market, test beds like the one in Homburg with IIC participation are strategically extremely important,”said Denner. "At the same time, smaller companies are increasingly becoming part of new value chains in the IoT."

For this reason, Bosch recently joined the Labs Network Industry 4.0. The aim of this network, created by industry representatives and the associations Bitkom, VDMA and ZVEI, is to promote the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies in medium-sized German companies. The Labs Network is the first point of contact for questions regarding the development of Industry 4.0 solutions. (jv)

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