The digital shift is changing our world. Long-term only those who welcome this change in an open, active and courageous way will be successful. And BENTELER is doing just that.
We use new opportunities offered by digitalization and are increasingly relying on IoT solutions to gradually transform production. With our focus on Industry 4.0 and Big Data Applications we promote reliability, efficiency and sustainability. From this contemporary readiness, all of us benefit – our customers, our employees and nature.
The key to Industry 4.0 applications
We use Big Data in a variety of ways around the world – for example, to further enhance the quality and sustainability of our products and processes. Our own in-house data platforms make this possible.
Thanks to our own Production and Process Database (PPDB) and Smart Production Data Platform (SPDP), we can now evaluate this wide range of process and product data easily and quickly. As a result, we can understand technical issues in real time and recognize otherwise unknown correlations. And that means better maintenance, higher output and even greater quality. Our automotive plant in Burgos is a good example of the many different ways we use Big Data on a daily basis.
Big Data at BENTELER Automotive in Burgos
From wire speed to welding current: With modern automation, data is available from sensors located all along the manufacturing process. In the course of a day, millions of data points are recorded on a typical production line.
To make sense of it all, we use our Smart Production Data Platform (SPDP), for example at our plant in Burgos. As well as presenting data visually on production dashboards, the system sends alerts and notifications to staff enabling appropriate action to be taken in a timely fashion.
Higher quality thanks to Big Data
In cathodic dip painting, electrical current causes paint to adhere to the surface of a product. At our plant in Burgos, Big Data helps us see when the current goes out of tolerance, enabling us to rectify the situation and ensure uniform paint application.
More sustainability with Big Data
With hot forming ovens, even small leakages in the insulation mean higher energy consumption. In Burgos we’re using Big Data to assess the integrity of the oven. In this way, we reduce unnecessary energy losses, protect resources and contribute to climate protection.
Using Industry 4.0 to automate quality control
Predictive quality control, optimized processes and more.
Automated quality inspection at BENTELER Steel/Tube
At BENTELER Steel/Tube, an innovative 3-D surface inspection system is being used to detect surface defects on tubes up to 150 m long. The system, which has replaced time-consuming and cost-intensive visual inspections, provides early detection of quality deviations.
Thanks to interdepartmental collaboration between IT and plant engineering, the almost two terabytes of data produced daily are efficiently processed and condensed. These are made available as test results and decision-making aids for the operating crews as well as for data analysis later.
Hot, hot, hot! That’s exactly what our engineers expect to see across the profile of a product when it comes out of one of our hot-forming presses. Quality is, in part, determined by the heat distribution across it during the pressing. As part of the ML4Pro2 project with the 'it’s OWL' technology network, we’re using thermographic data to predict the quality of the final product directly as it comes out of the press. Thanks to this predictive quality control, we can provide our customers with outstanding products. Consistently!
Rapid, reliable, robotic: Optical scanning techniques for quality control provide many benefits. And a lot of data! Up to 1 GB, for example from the analysis of a single welding seam.
That soon multiplies into a forest of data. To help us see the wood for the trees, we’re using advanced data visualization tools with our Smart Production Data Platform. Presenting the data graphically ensures more meaningful analysis. The result? Previously seldom-used reports become a source for constant process optimization.
Current Industry 4.0 innovation at BENTELER
At our automotive plant in Vitoria, we’re using "white light" optical measurement technology for quality control. Components are scanned from many sides and the images assembled in a 3-D representation, which is compared with reference data. Faster and more flexible than conventional methods, it gives us surface dimensions for each part in less than 30 seconds.
Coloring by numbers
As part of our Industry 4.0 initiative at our Klasterec plant in Czech Republic, 3-D optical measurement technology is helping verify product accuracy. A robot mounted sensor quickly scans pressings after they come off the press. The high-precision data is mapped by color giving a quick visual indication of if and where components are out of tolerance.
Put right on the spot
In Burgos, vision systems ensure precise component positioning. By scanning the contours of parts on a robot manipulator, the system computes their position, calculates any variance and adjusts the positioning accordingly. Which all helps to improve spot welding time by 40%.
BENTELER research work on Industry 4.0 applications
"MoSyS" research project
Optimized processes, more efficient product development, better utilization of plant capacity
Under the leadership of Fraunhofer IEM, we’re participating with other companies in the "MoSyS" research project. The goal is to create a modular "human-oriented system of systems" that can be used to optimize work processes and reduce development efforts. Our use case is based around the development and production of a twist beam axle. Ultimately, these modular systems will give us far greater production flexibility and higher quality, enabling several products to run through one modular plant. As a result, we’ll be able to respond much faster to customer requests.
EU-funded research project "BOOST 4.0"
Predictive maintenance model increases equipment effectiveness by 5%
Together with the internationally renowned Fraunhofer Institute, BENTELER has developed a model for predictive maintenance of machines using Big Data. BENTELER is now implementing the process model in production. As a result, downtime can be avoided, and customers can be supplied on time and at fair prices. "Thanks to Boost 4.0, we’ve significantly improved our Big Data infrastructure and are reaching the next level of data analytics within BENTELER. The project is a driver in increasing our competence in Industry 4.0. As a direct benefit, it has increased the overall plant effectiveness of the applicable machines by 5%. In the next step the project results will be multiplied in all BENTELER plants around the world," said Emerson Galina, COO of BENTELER Automotive.