Modern industries producing high volume consumer goods, such as food, personal care, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, electronic components, and other products, are facing production challenges with labor, sanitation and product quality in their manufacturing, assembly and packaging operations.
Traditional industry was based on rigid technology with conveyors, sensors and pistons making up the production line and mostly controlled by PLCs. These systems must be constantly adjusted as they have no, or at best, limited flexibility to handle different parts on the same production line. When a part or a product changes, as happens frequently today, the line must be redesigned, dismantled and or radically changed. In Industry 4.0 this is termed Flexible Mass Production.
High-speed robotic pick and place are successfully replacing lines that were based on manual labor and used fixed rigid automation.
The ability to use reprogrammable systems that are flexible enough to handle and produce items with different options and can be easily reprogrammed for different tasks, allows the same line to be used for multiple items with different options as well as adapt to frequent production changes.
A good example is the Nissan assembly line in Smyrna, TN where six Nissan car models are produced and each one can have multiple options such as color, wheels, roof, navigation system, splash guards, etc. In addition, each year the models change slightly or moderately, so the line must adapt.
Recent innovations in manufacturing have provided a new level of simplified programming and flexibility that make flexible robotic systems highly viable for Industry, small or large.
These industries need qualified workers to investigate, identify the right applications, conceptualize the system design, implement design techniques, integrate the production components and then support the system in production.
The Intelitek OpenCIM and SmartCIM4.0 training system and it’s components provide the means to train students for advanced and modern industry, an industry that can compete with local and overseas industries that are based on cheap labor or rigid technology. Industry based on flexible automation and smart integration, where processes can be executed in fast and accurate manner, and can deal with multiple part designs and change often and quickly are the future of manufacturing.
This table to illustrates some of the differences:
|Property||PLC/PISTON/Sensor based technology||Robotic based technology|
|Maintenance||Constantly changing||Low and predictive|
|Communication||Limited (Ladder Based), Industrial Networks||Ethernet/Industrial Networks, IIOT|
|Adaptability to new tasks||Low||High|
In summary, the Intelitek CIM training systems are based on flexible, industrial Robots and are much more flexible than competitive systems. SmartCIM4.0 aligns with advanced industry needs and presents industrial robots of the best industrial companies. Traditional piston-based solutions are limited in what they can teach and do not prepare students well for future careers in advanced industry. Learning PLC, Pistons and Sensors can be taught on a simple desktop system, so there was no need to invest in a complicated flexible system with robots, but that old school solution for training has a limited industrial base and is not future ready.
For more information about Industry 4.0 training from Intelitek click here