Smart factory assembly

In the showcase factory at the Graben-Neudorf plant, the company tests their own newly developed solutions under real – not laboratory – conditions. Real customer orders are created end-to-end in the showcase factory.

Industry 4.0 is an evolution in production and logistics processes. SEW-EURODRIVE is also developing and testing networking technologies, systems and processes in its own processes first. The lean-philosophy forms the basis for the successful implementation of the Industry 4.0 approach at SEW-EURODRIVE.

Perfectly lean to the highest possible level as a basis for Industry 4.0

Assembly of geared-motors based on lean principles
Assembly of geared-motors based on lean principles
Assembly of geared-motors based on lean principles

Basic layout using lean principles

  • Small factory unit organization
  • Robust, fault-free process design
  • Product-optimized process modules
  • Best-point principle
  • Ergonomic workplace design
  • Process- and flow-orientation
  • Concentration on value creation
  • Needs-oriented technology

Gamification in order creation

Batch building in assembly
Batch building in assembly
Batch building in assembly

From worker to gamer - this could describe part of the changed work environment - this slogan does not apply to all aspects of work life, but it just about fits when it comes to the points of contact of industry 4.0 and the real work life.

The work packages are delivered from the configurator, where the users designed their products, to the Director of value creation. The director then forms batches to be assembled and sends the batches to the relevant assembly cell at the right time. The director has a leading edge of 3 hours. In this time, the director can virtually "play" with the orders and with logistic optimization, until the best production conditions are obtained at the end.

As soon as the batches are transferred to the assembly, the assembly worker can see the new batches to be processed on the order display, and either based on urgency, or based on material availability can load the relevant batch onto the Assembly assistant and start processing the order. The assembly assistant supports the assembly worker.

Simultaneously, the batches are also transferred to the logistics coordinator of SEW‑EURODRIVE, who controls the Logistics assistants. The logistics assistants are supplied with the components required for the scheduled assembly orders and deliver them to the assembly centers.

Looking at the assembly

SEW-EURODRIVE showcase factory in Graben-Neudorf
Industry 4.0 – Simulation

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Industry 4.0 - On the route

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Industry 4.0 - Material supply

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Industry 4.0 - Assembly assistent CPS

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Industry 4.0 - Assembly assistent – employees support

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Industry 4.0 - Logistics product transport

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New mobile logistics concepts – tested and applied at the own plant

By networking the individual manufacturing steps perfectly to a single efficient process, the production phases can be linked to each other in such a way as to create savings potential that is measurable and has a positive effect. Specifically, this means saving valuable production time. It also means reducing the outlay for production resources and ensuring people receive the best possible support through this entire process and from the technology.

Travel distances

SEW-EURODRIVE
Industry 4.0 – Simulation

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Travel distances (simulation and real)

Routes can be tested and optimized at this stage and then transferred from the virtual to the real world at the click of a button. In SEW-EURODRIVE's showcase factory, various specially developed mobile assistance systems connect the individual work processes involved in gear unit assembly.

Logistics assistant (material supply)

SEW-EURODRIVE
Industry 4.0 - On the route

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Logistics assistant (moving clear)

The flat logistics assistants can carry up to 1.5 tons and navigate independently.

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Industry 4.0 - Material supply

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Logistics assistant (material transport)

In SEW-EURODRIVE's showcase factory, various specially developed mobile assistance systems connect the individual work processes involved in gear unit assembly.

The logistics assistants supply the assembly islands with the correct mount-on components at precisely the right time.

Assembly assistant (production)

SEW-EURODRIVE
Industry 4.0 - Assembly assistent CPS

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Assembly assistant (cyber-physical system)

The assembly assistants support the mechanics in their work. In accordance with the Industry 4.0 philosophy, they become cyber-physical systems, equipped with all necessary product- and customer-related data.

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Industry 4.0 - Assembly assistent – employees support

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Assembly assistant (aid for employees)

The assembly assistants and the adapted and integrated manufacturing processes support the employees in their work.

Logistics assistant (final products)

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Industry 4.0 - Logistics product transport

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Logistics assistant (transport of final products)

Another family of assistants connects the other work steps in the showcase factory. The assistants transport the finished gearmotors out of assembly to the oil-filling and testing stations and then on to the paintshop.

Handling assistant (production)

SEW-EURODRIVE
Industry 4.0 - Handling assistent

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Handling assistant in the production

There are also fields of application for assistance systems in production. This is how SEW‑EURODRIVE tests a mobile handling assistant. This takes over monotonous jobs in machine assembly and thus lightens the workload of the operator.

Industry 4.0 is changing the role of humans in the overall processes. New areas of work are being created in which the processes in the showcase factory flow together. As the architect of the value creation chain, tasks increasingly consist of controlling, monitoring and optimizing processes.

Employees are then not so much assistants to the system but the key architects who interconnect the various individual steps as required. However, lightening the load for production employees in this way certainly does not mean that people become surplus to requirements or can even be rationalized away. Instead, workers simply operate on a redefined level.

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Lean Sm@rt Factory based on Industry 4.0 principles

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