Day 2 of the HMI showed a strong focus on this year’s fair trends with Ultimaker’s enhanced 3D printing portfolio, BISTel and Oracle previewing a powerful A.I. based Predictive Maintenance (PdM) solution for Smart Connected Factory and ZF presenting its intelligent forklift. Plus, SAP showcases its latest digital twin technology and Microsoft demonstrates the abilities of HoloLens with its partners.
Aside from purely functional showcases, HMI visitors can experience what technology is capable of in direct interaction with humans. A prime example is Forpheus – a robot that shows humans how to really play table tennis. It even went head-to-head with German world-class table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov.
The Next Level of 3D Printing and the Healthy Factory
3D printing specialist Ultimaker revealed the latest expansion of its professional 3D printer portfolio – the Ultimaker S5. The future-ready 3D printer is fully optimized to fit seamlessly into existing workflows and delivers even more reliable results than before. It is suitable for printing functional prototypes, manufacturing tools and end-use parts. To improve accessibility to professional 3D printing and facilitate easier integration into any workflow, the Dutch-based company introduced the Tough PLA and Ultimaker App, which allows users stay conveniently connected with the print’s progress from a phone or tablet where ever they are.
In line with the increasing importance of A.I. in manufacturing, BISTel and Oracle preview a powerful A.I.-based Predictive Maintenance (PdM) solution for Smart Connected Factory. As equipment downtime and failures (due to defective or failing components) are a drag on productivity, quality and profitability, PdM solutions determine the condition of equipment and processes to predict when maintenance should be performed. BISTel’s PdM solution on an Oracle cloud platform lets manufacturers perform real-time fault detection, uses big data analytics to quickly conduct root cause analysis and, thanks to advanced machine learning, now enables manufacturers to predict equipment faults before they occur. Plus, they even “self-heal” by conducting the required maintenance before any failures appear. The company’s new PdM solution will be available for customers in Q3FY18.
Intelligent Assistants for the Logistics Industry
Just-in-time production mandates that goods must be transported quickly, efficiently and without damage while simultaneously minimizing employee risk. Therefore, vehicles supporting drivers in their day-to-day work are the face of the future. With the Innovation Forklift, ZF takes on common challenges and combines existing electric driveline components with environmental sensors, such as advanced radar and camera systems. The technology features a rear-view monitoring system, warns the driver about obstructions or pedestrians in the danger zone and provides local navigation from the interior. Moreover, new driveline elements replace current ones to increase efficiency and enable automated operations. ZF also developed an A.I. processor (ZF ProAI processor), which allows vehicles to “understand” their environment by processing and interpreting it using sensor data with deep learning technology.
Software Giants Leverage Skill with Focus on Process Automation and Increased Efficiency
Digital twins are vital to accelerating product design and development in the manufacturing industry. With the introduction of the SAP S/4HANA Cloud for intelligent product design, SAP introduces a new solution for collaborative research and development. The solution is built on SAP Cloud Platform using the company’s latest digital twin technology and is one of the building blocks for a network of digital twins to enable new business models. SAP’s network of digital twins synchronizes the virtual, physical, conditional and commercial definitions of assets and products in real time to boost innovation, optimize operating performance, predict service requirements, improve diagnostics and enhance decision-making. Simply put, it enables new levels of collaboration.
In cooperation with different partners, Microsoft shows how mixed reality in manufacturing comes to life. Led by Microsoft HoloLens, the global leaders in manufacturing are adopting mixed reality to increase productivity, quality and safety. BAE Systems, a manufacturer of the electric propulsion systems for HybriDrive® buses and Microsoft Mixed Reality Partner PTC, for instance, implemented HoloLens as a guided step-by-step training solution to teach workers how to assemble a green energy bus battery. Using these tools, BAE can now create guides for line workers in just a few hours and at a tenth of the cost, training new people up to 40% more efficiently.
Robot vs. Human
Did you ever wonder how good you are at table tennis? Can machines really beat humans in sports? Those are some of the questions HMI visitors may want to answer. After seeing the experimental Yamaha Motobot (in its second version at that time) trying to beat Valentino Rossi on a lap around the two-mile-long West course at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California in 2017, world-class table tennis player Dimitrij Ovtcharov faced Forpheus in Hannover. Forpheus is OMRON’s latest technology that embodies the concept of a future where people and machines are perfectly integrated. This year’s 4th generation showcases the ability to predict a smash and a serve and is now capable of producing various sounds appropriate to the state of the match. This added sensory experience makes it much more enjoyable and immersive for the user.
Even though robots still loose fights against humans – especially those who are experts in the respective field of sport – the technical abilities and advancements that have been made in the last few years are impressive nonetheless.