Use cases for the digital twin

21.10.2021 New business models, resilient, resource-saving manufacturing and less downtime thanks to transparency in the relevant data – the challenges facing machinery suppliers and their customers are increasing. At SPS 2021 in Nuremberg (23-25 November), Lenze will be showcasing digital solutions and software and hardware for today's tasks in Hall 7, Stand 391/396. Digitalisation and the acceleration of processes in production, service and development are the focus here.

In Nuremberg, Lenze will be presenting use cases for the digital twin as well as software and hardware for integrated digital engineering.
© Photo: Lenze
In Nuremberg, Lenze will be presenting use cases for the digital twin as well as software and hardware for integrated digital engineering.

Many machinery suppliers are touted the digitalisation of their products and processes, but too often there is a lack of concrete scenarios that also pay off for them. In addition, there is a lack of domain knowledge on the part of the service provider and a lack of overview of the assets in production. This is where Lenze comes in. The automation specialists from Hamelin, Germany, focus on use cases that offer machinery suppliers and operators quick and concrete added value. Two applications stand out.

Access to asset information

Manufacturing companies are interested in minimising maintenance and repair costs through efficient planning. For this to succeed, users need transparency as to which assets are actually installed. Lenze wants to simplify the management of all installed assets so that, for example, all relevant information can be retrieved quickly in the event of a machine fault. Service personnel are then informed by email or Microsoft Teams via the IoT gateway X4 Remote and can determine and rectify the fault accordingly.

The starting point for this is Lenze FAST. In recent months, Lenze has expanded the proven application software toolbox into a framework. The digital twin plays an important role in this.

At the heart of the FAST framework is a service-oriented software architecture that meets the current requirements for machines in terms of visualisation, IIoT and cloud even better. The framework ensures interoperability with an OPC UA interface. The standard for asset instance data can be integrated into the exchange formats of the management shell, the Asset Administration Shell (AAS). This enables the successive docking of beneficial services. One example of this is Lenze's asset and error management, in which optimised access to asset information has been supplemented with automated error management.

Machine operators benefit above all from the complete view of machines and systems. Remote access enables machine operators as well as technicians from the machine manufacturer to access diagnostic information from the framework remotely and solve problems efficiently. A ticket system that already contains information about the machine status helps in this process.

OEE optimisation

OEE is still a major problem in many companies. If you want to minimise machine downtimes and optimise throughput times, relevant information from components and machines must be available without restriction. But often there is a lack of data and even more often a lack of transparency. This is now changing with OEE & Downtime Tracking. It provides more transparency in the production process – without additional hardware or sensors. First, the OEE is calculated in the PLC. The results are visualised for the user on preconfigured dashboards. The EASY UI Designer also offers the user the option of configuring the visualisation independently; from the start of the trade fair, the engineering tool will be freely available on the Lenze website. Extended analysis options are provided by Downtime Tracking. Here, the OEE factors "availability" and "performance" are examined in detail.

Lenze relies on OPC UA and MQTT for communication, thus ensuring connectivity for future technologies. The data flow from the PLC to the cloud is ensured and even without a cloud connection, the live data can be sent in real time to a panel or a human machine interface (HMI). This ensures more transparency and motivation for the machine operator.

For the machine builder, the application is an easy way to display machine performance and availability according to the end customer's needs. The end customer can increase or stabilise his productivity thanks to the data. OEE & Downtime Tracking is thus the basis for fact-based production optimisation based on real data.

Growth in the automation system

In addition to the software and digital solutions, Lenze will also be presenting the appropriate hardware at the trade fair. In a preview, visitors can take a look at the new i750 servo inverter. It will become the new standard element of a future-oriented automation solution under a Lenze controller. The most important features:

- Extended safety & single-cable technology

- Increased quality of control technology

- Extended power range between 15kW and 30kW

In combination with the above-mentioned software applications and digital services from the Lenze automation system, the result is a motion control concept that is second to none.