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Smart Factory doors open

15 August 2019

SICK is inviting PPMA Total Show visitors to gain an exclusive behind-the-scenes insight into its pioneering new Industry 4.0 smart sensor production facility in Freiburg, Southern Germany.

It is the first time the doors of SICK’s 4.0 Now factory have been opened to UK industry, since full-scale, high-volume production of SICK smart sensors became fully operational there last year. Using interactive links, show visitors will have a rare and fascinating opportunity to learn about SICK’s real-world experiences of establishing a facility from scratch according to classic Industry 4.0 principles.

“The Freiburg facility demonstrates how companies of any size can achieve the benefits of a factory of the future, today,” says David Hannaby, SICK’s UK product manager for presence inspection. “Industry 4.0 technologies accelerate production, streamline material flow, optimise capacity utilisation, and respond more flexibly to customer priorities. They enable proactive maintenance and intelligent data exchange on demand.”

The factory’s fully-automated technology cells support a modular production process for SICK’s smart photoelectric sensor families. Instead of a conventional linear sequence, the workflow progresses flexibly for each customer order and a high level of product variety is achieved.

Material is supplied by means of automated guided carts (AGCs) and robots and employees work side by side. Production is driven by SICK smart sensors, laser scanners and vision cameras, and the entire facility is managed transparently with the BOSCH Product Performance Management (PPM) control software, enabling analysis of production data for processes and sensors.

Just as highly-distributed processing has dispensed with conventional automation control hierarchies at the Freiburg facility, so the Industry 4.0 theme will continue on the SICK’s stand D64 with products showcasing the company’s latest Smart Sensor advances including an expanding number of Smart Tasks and edge processes that can communicate directly with the Cloud.

SICK’s range of PRIME photoelectric and contrast sensors will be among the high-performance and compact solutions specifically targeted at packaging machinery applications. The new 4Sight Automated Print Inspection System developed in collaboration packaging automation specialists Autocoding Systems will also be on show. 

SICK will reveal further developments in its AppSpace platform to develop and pool software applications for smart, programmable devices like the Inspector P 2D, and the Trispector1000 3D, vision sensors.  This will include SICK’s new Presence Inspection 2D quality inspection SensorApp developed in AppSpace for Inspector P smart cameras.

SICK’s latest smart solutions for vision-guided robotics will also be on display.  Visitors can learn about SICK’s easy set-up systems for pick-and-place processes, including those using collaborative robots, such as the Inspector PIM60 URCap and the Trispector P Beltpick 3D solution for robot picking with gentle z-axis control. Stand D64