#we make industry 4.0 happen

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 MACHINE WHISPERERS SPEAK UP

How can Big Data benefit an organization like BENTELER?

Our Industry 4.0 experts Cordt Erfling, Michael Lindenblatt and Madlen Büker know. In an interview, they explained how we at BENTELER  use Big Data – and how we all profit from it. Our customers, our employees, society.

Read the complete interview here

FROM RAW DATA TO A BETTER ENVIRONMENT

Around the world, we use Big Data in many different ways. In Spain, for example, it’s helping BENTELER Automotive increase the process and product quality for our customers and protect the environment.

Quality

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.

Sustainability

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.

Out of sight but not out of mind!

With Industry 4.0, we’re solving problems before they occur. A scrap conveyor in our Paderborn plant is hidden away in a cellar. Previously, the first we would know about a problem was when a motor got so loud, it could be heard on the next floor up. Today, the system immediately detects an increase in motor current, indicating a blockage. Within seconds, a technician receives a corresponding warning by push message. The situation can be resolved before it’s actually an issue. And since the digitalization, the conveyor hasn’t stopped.

 

Big Data, compactly stored, quickly evaluated

At BENTELER, Big Data is really BIG! For example, at our Steel/Tube division in Schloss Neuhaus alone, 1.5 trillion data records are stored. 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.

 

Quality inspection in the blink of an eye

At BENTELER Steel/Tube, an innovative 3D 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.

A building block system for production

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.

Making sense of sensor data

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.

Machine learning: things are hotting up!

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!

 

Square pegs don’t fit in round holes.

Sometimes, they don’t even fit in square holes! Our stampings require cut-outs with very complex geometries in a wide variety of materials. The tolerances called for are extremely fine. At BENTELER Automotive in Burgos, we use an automated laser cutting process to ensure that the highest quality is consistently met.

A precisely controlled laser beam and high pressure gas reach the cutting nozzle at just the level needed to simultaneously melt and eject the molten material. The result? A hole in one every time.

A vision of the future

Innovative light

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, 3D 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%.

Industry 4.0 by the numbers

At BENTELER Steel/Tube in Rothrist, Switzerland they all add up to a new Manufacturing Execution System that makes production information available. Paperless, of course,  anytime, anywhere. Thanks to the digital system, we now have a better overview of stock and can achieve better lead times. For our customers, that means they always receive their products at the right time, in the highest quality.

 

Stitching together a seam of data

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.

SMART, SVELTE, SYNCHRONIZED

See our robots pirouette and chassé with graceful ease as they perform a perfectly choreographed ballet of industrial ingenuity.

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