Smart Wire - The path to intelligent wire production

Step by step to Industry 4.0: Together with ViewSystems GmbH, KOCH develops solutions for setting up intelligent production. This offers customers numerous advantages in the production process and increases the availability of wire drawing machines.

Big Data, Digital Twins, Cyber Physical Systems, IOT - in the field of production, these terms stand for one vision: products control themselves through their own manufacture and automatically correct possible process errors. But how does an existing wire production become a digital production?

KOCH provides the answer in cooperation with the software specialist ViewSystems. While KOCH manufactures integrable wire drawing machines, ViewSystems develops platforms for integrating the production level and setting up intelligent production. A solution that enables customers in the wire industry to make their business processes smarter and more efficient.

"For several years now, we have been working on merging existing data from machines, measuring systems and other software products such as ERP, CAQ and CAD on a single level," explains Bernhard Rohe, Managing Director of ViewSystems. "This creates a platform for intelligent production. Based on this, we implement Industry 4.0 in existing manufacturing environments."

The core idea: Physical value-added participants can be made more intelligent than they actually are. A computer system maps the machine, the produced coil, the wire rod or the drawing die as a "digital twin". This virtual image can be combined with a multitude of data: from machine control, measuring systems, CAQ and laboratory measurement results or with data on chemical components of the wire. In this way, reality and virtuality flow together in one platform.

"By combining KOCH machines and software from ViewSystems, we enable our customers to control their production processes more efficiently and in a new way, explains Harald Udelhoven, Technical Director at KOCH. For example, the so-called digital twin of a coil records all process data during the drawing process, which are decisive indicators of quality. It can detect deviations from the target - for example in the center of the ring -, record the data and therefore prevent incorrect outbound deliveries.

The above described data acquisition in combination with algorithms developed by the customer leads to a new intelligence of the machine software. In this way, the maintenance intervals and maintenance orders can be created autonomously and forwarded to the maintenance department. Assistance scenarios help to rectify errors quickly and reliably.

"Advantages not only arise in the immediate production process, but also in terms of machine availability," explains Harald Udelhoven. Consumable parts "think along" and signal their condition automatically.

Even more: Using 3D models, service technicians can look "into the machine components" during operation. Thus, elevated temperatures or vibrations can be determined in a kind of "augmented reality model" before damage, costly repairs or unplanned downtimes occur.

The requirement for the use of ViewSystems software are integrable wire drawing machines, which KOCH already manufactures. Smart Wire is a future-proof concept for the wire industry and a further step towards the digital transformation of business processes with which KOCH customers can increase their competitiveness.

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