Intelligent machine tools and linear robots prevent expensive downtime

Lukas Czaja | 1. April 2020

Reliability is top priority in the automotive industry. This is especially true of engine production, which is highly automated. The production system is like a complex gearbox. With countless intermeshed gears. Tool machines are connected via linear robots to create linked production lines. Technologies such as milling, turning, and drilling give the engine block its final shape. Linear robots have the task of transporting the engine block quickly and safely to the next machining step.

Linear robots: continuously-running pacemakers

Six thousand engines are produced every day. An engine leaves the line every 14 seconds. The degree of automation is high. Things are always moving. There are hardly any people in sight. If a single part stops, losses mount quickly. Experts estimate that downtime cost up to €20,000 per minute. Failure of the linear robot – the entire production line’s pacemaker – is a nightmare scenario. The whole production line is down. Energy chains and cables play a central role in preventing this. They ensure that the machines and linear robots are always supplied with energy. Even the best components reach the end of their service life and are replaced. The ideal time for this is just before the component reaches its wear limit. Is there a way of predicting the exact day that will happen?

Smart plastics for predictive maintenance

Smart plastics announce their condition

Industry 4.0 has many goals. igus already has many corresponding solutions. Intelligent sensors detect condition and transmit real-time data to the user. This prevents expensive unplanned downtime. Read more about the use of igus smart plastics in the automotive area.

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