HomeArticlesIndustry 4.0 makes thermoforming more effective

Industry 4.0 makes thermoforming more effective

ILLIG Maschinenbau introduces “ILLIG Assist”, a digital service platform to actively support ILLIG customers on the way to Industry 4.0. Digital transformation is increasingly becoming a reality thanks to breakthrough technologies. This also applies to the packaging industry: manufacturing processes are becoming more digital and the entire value chain is being networked.

Digitalization is here. IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and connectivity are increasingly important for manufacturing and industrial networking with production systems such as Manufacturing Execution Systems, MES. In particular, self-describing standard interfaces are becoming important to reduce customizing efforts and improve data access.

Learning system complements machine intelligence

ILLIG systems have long been equipped with the Intelligent Control Concept (ILLIG IC). Including calculation of machine parameters, a guided setup systems, and dynamic optimization. In addition, thermoforming systems can connect to local networks and databases to query production-related data. ILLIG Assist complements these digital systems and helps the machine operator as a learning component to cope with occurring events in the daily workflow. In the past, companies relied on notes and the ”tribal knowledge” of experienced individuals. The new application simplifies knowledge transfer through a clear and interactive graphic user interface.

Creation of a knowledge database

Messages from both connected machines and machine operators themselves are recorded and displayed chronologically. The system automatically provides a visual localization of events and offers detailed suggestions based on a solution database, initially populated by ILLIG’s deep global expertise. Furthermore, operators can actively contribute their own suggestions and enrich them with videos and images. An integrated comment function allows users to comment on and evaluate proposed solutions. Users can also view and manage shift reports, maintenance information, and digital manuals. This approach serves to build up a permanent knowledge database, prevents the loss of knowledge due to the departure of experienced machine operators, and accelerates training for new employees.

IIoT platform as a basis for connectivity

ILLIG Assist is based on the IIoT platform ADAMOS and is expandable through a modular architecture of microservices that enable connections to external systems. Events reported to ILLIG Assist can be displayed using any internet-enabled communication terminal and operators can be remotely informed. Event notifications are made by the operator or, in future versions, directly by the machine in the case of networked machines connected to the IIoT platform. Messages are automatically made available to other approved users inside the organization. In addition to asset management and chat function per machine, ILLIG Assist also provides rights management for creating and reading comments and other information. Depending on the user’s rights, the system offers insight into the machine with its functional sub-blocks as well as an overview of the entire line, factory, or worldwide locations. ILLIG Assist has been developed together with customers, for machine operators and production managers, with the aim of increasing efficiencies in production, service, and maintenance through an intelligent communication tool and active knowledge management system. With digitalization, ILLIG brings customers even closer to their process, delivering higher added value.

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