Smaller batch sizes, an increasing variety and complexity of individual components and the combination of different production processes are just a few examples of the challenges facing machine tools manufacturers. Customer requirements are changing accordingly: Machines must be utilized more efficiently, downtime must be prevented, material flow must be optimized, and order processing administrative services must be automated.
Added to this are the two in-house challenges: reduction of life cycle or operating costs and increase of production efficiency. According to a Statista survey, the largest shares of operating costs are taken up with maintenance and inspection (37%), energy (21%), use of cooling lubricants (16%) and unplanned maintenance work (9%).
The good news is: almost all of these cost drivers can be significantly reduced thanks to the right IoT software solution. A customer from the robotics industry was able to reduce maintenance costs for its machines by an impressive 75 %. In other projects, machine downtime was reduced by up to 30 %. The magic words for this are: Condition monitoring and predictive maintenance. These are two of a total of four good reasons for the Internet of Things in machine tool manufacturing.
For example, IoT-based condition monitoring can significantly increase production efficiency and transparency (Reason #1). On this basis, the next step is to use technologies such as edge analytics, predictive maintenance, AI and machine learning to predict and avoid failure and downtime (Reason #2). Thanks to remote service and augmented reality, IoT solutions enable remote diagnostics, helping to significantly reduce operating costs (Reason #3). Finally, the collected data is the ideal starting point for developing completely new IoT-based services and business models with Advanced Analytics (Reason #4). In short: The opportunities offered by IoT are manifold – they just have to be used.
Feintool International Holding AG is one of the machine tool manufacturers who have already taken the plunge into the world of IoT. The Swiss world market leader’s fineblanking presses are used mainly for the production of components in the automotive industry. Once commissioned, a press, for example for clutch components, can produce 100 million components per year – assuming production always runs smoothly. The company was therefore looking for an IoT solution to minimize press downtime and to enable predictive maintenance and remote service. Within a few months, the web-based monitoring and analysis platform FEINmonitoring was set up and live in action.
A detailed look at the IoT solution and how service at FEINTOOL could be taken to a new level, are revealed in our whitepaper “4 Reasons for the Internet of Things in Machine Tool Manufacturing”.
Read the whitepaper to find out what benefits machine tool manufacturers can gain thanks to IoT solutions.