What kind of automatic control system does intelligent manufacturing production mode need? What is the difference between this control system and automation technology in industry 3.0? In intelligent manufacturing, what kind of evolution should automatic control technology do to meet the requirements of intelligent manufacturing production mode? These are the original intention of Phoenix Contact to develop plcnext and to reform and optimize the PLC system.

At present, we have entered the Internet era. Internet technology has entered into all walks of life with an irresistible trend, which has brought strong impetus to the reform of all walks of life, and also has a huge impact on the development of all walks of life. At this historical juncture of technological innovation, the concept of intelligent manufacturing was born. Obviously, intelligent manufacturing can only be realized by adopting a large number of new technologies in the Internet era. So, how to use these new technologies to bring great changes to the industrial field? The main task of the so-called “industry 4.0” proposed by Germany in 2011 is to realize “intelligent factory” and “intelligent production”. Obviously, whether it is intelligent factory or intelligent production, its core is the change of manufacturing mode.

The goal of intelligent manufacturing is to transform and upgrade the current manufacturing mode, so as to improve and optimize the manufacturing industry chain, so as to make the R & D products with better quality, lower cost, faster speed and higher efficiency.

So what kind of automatic control system does intelligent manufacturing production mode need? What is the difference between this control system and automation technology in industry 3.0? In intelligent manufacturing, what kind of evolution should automatic control technology do to meet the requirements of intelligent manufacturing production mode? These are the original intention of Phoenix Contact to develop plcnext and to reform and optimize the PLC system.

To reform the current PLC control system (or automatic control system), the first thing we need to know is:

What is the difference between intelligent manufacturing mode and automatic manufacturing mode advocated by industry 4.0?

What are the changes and extensions of the intelligent manufacturing mode of industry 4.0 to the manufacturing mode of industry 3.0?

What new requirements does this extension and change put forward for PLC control system?

Automatic manufacturing mode

German industry 4.0 defines the third industrial revolution as a manufacturing mode with automation technology as the core. Through the extensive use of automation technology, robot technology, it and communication technology, the manufacturing mode with automation pyramid as the core is formed, which greatly improves the production efficiency, reduces the manufacturing cost and improves the product quality. In this process, the development of PLC technology plays a decisive role. For decades, the PLC technology, whether its running speed, application range, data processing ability, or the integration ability with communication technology such as fieldbus and industrial real-time Ethernet, has been greatly improved. A mature PLC system has been formed, which has become the backbone to promote the development of industry 3.0.

However, at this time, the development principle and function of PLC control system is mainly to control the operation of the production and manufacturing system, which does not involve the production and manufacturing management, enterprise management and even product life cycle management. Therefore, the current PLC system is still not well integrated with the production management system MES and enterprise management system ERP. It often occurs that the formulation of an enterprise’s management system requires three different software companies (ERP, MES and PLC suppliers) to participate at the same time. However, due to the professional differences and technical incompatibility of various companies, they often can’t get the expected effect in the end. Especially the industrial security of the whole system (information security, functional security, software security) is difficult to guarantee.

Therefore, MES and ERP technology has not been widely used in the field of industrial production and manufacturing, and its value has not been generally recognized by the market. On the other hand, the task of PLC control system is only limited to the production line operation control monitoring and maintenance, and does not involve the challenge of the whole management process of the product life cycle. Therefore, this kind of PLC system is far from meeting the requirements of the Internet era manufacturing mode for reducing costs and improving efficiency.

So, what is the goal of intelligent manufacturing?

Intelligent manufacturing mode

Intelligent manufacturing is an upgraded and innovative version of industrial 3.0 manufacturing mode. Its goal is to transform and upgrade the current manufacturing mode and solve the problems that can not be solved by the current automatic manufacturing mode. In the Internet age, the rapid development of science and technology makes people’s demand for products higher and higher. The life cycle of products is getting shorter and shorter; the requirement of rapid response to product upgrading is getting higher and higher; due to the shortening of the whole life cycle of products, the batch and quantity of manufactured products are becoming less and less; multi variety and small batch have become the development trend of current product market demand. The reduction of the number of products has greatly increased the cost of products and the competitive pressure of product prices. More importantly, due to the cyclical changes in the economy, the shorter the time period required for investment return, the better. At the same time, the requirements of energy efficiency, energy conservation and emission reduction have encountered huge bottlenecks and difficulties, making the manufacturing industry face unprecedented new challenges. These new challenges in the Internet era urgently require the establishment of a more intelligent manufacturing mode.

The basic idea of intelligent strategy is how to use the rapid development of IT technology and Internet technology to change the traditional manufacturing mode, that is, to organically integrate IT technology and Internet technology into the automatic control system and apply them to the traditional manufacturing field to change the basic mode of traditional manufacturing. According to the flexibility, rapid variability, cost efficiency and short-term return, a highly flexible, personalized and digital manufacturing system is established, and the manufacturing system and product life cycle management are integrated to produce an intelligent manufacturing mode with the whole product life cycle as the core.

The overall perspective of product lifecycle management

Intelligent manufacturing not only solves the problems of cost, efficiency, speed, quality and flexibility from the dimension of manufacturing, but also comprehensively solves these problems from the overall perspective of product lifecycle management. Make R & D, production of products: better quality, lower cost, faster, higher manufacturing efficiency. That is to say, high efficiency and low cost can not only be viewed from the perspective of manufacturing, but should be analyzed from the perspective of the whole product life cycle.

We can see that, compared with the traditional manufacturing mode, intelligent manufacturing has essentially changed and improved: in the Internet era, intelligent manufacturing extends the meaning of manufacturing, from simple manufacturing chain to product design, analysis, processing and assembly simulation, and predicts the comprehensive performance, cost, market response and service (procurement, inventory and sales) of products , sending, maintenance, scrapping and recycling). It not only considers the quality and cost of products, but also considers the internal management mode of enterprises, the operation and maintenance ability of enterprises, and the relationship between enterprises. Therefore, it can save time and economic costs to the greatest extent, improve the quality of products, and quickly put high-quality and low-cost excellent products on the market, and obtain huge economic and social benefits.

“Speed up” in intelligent manufacturing

The speed in intelligent manufacturing can be divided into R & D speed, production speed and response speed. In order to improve the production speed, we need to adopt the method of deep automation, which makes the manufacturing automation higher, the production process more refined, the manufacturing process more adaptable and the manufacturing method more flexible. However, the improvement of R & D speed and response speed should adopt the methods of Internet technology, big data and cloud computing, and predict the time point of product upgrading through analysis, induction and summary, so as to develop a new generation of products as soon as possible. In addition, we can also use big data to understand the dynamic operation of products in the market, and improve the performance characteristics of products in time to meet the market demand.

“Cost reduction” in intelligent manufacturing

Product cost in intelligent manufacturing includes production cost, operation cost and management cost. The production cost can be realized by automation technology and raw material optimization, but the operation cost and management cost must be realized by IT technology, software management technology and Internet technology, such as using big data to improve market response ability and optimize service. Through lean management, 6S management and enterprise life cycle management to reduce management costs. Use big data to analyze the market’s expectations for product upgrading, and make predictive decisions. On the server side, we use big data to analyze the dynamic application of products in the market and customer feedback, and take corresponding marketing measures to increase the sales of products. In order to realize intelligent manufacturing, industrial automation technology and Internet technology must be organically integrated in order to better improve production efficiency and product quality and reduce costs from the perspective of product life cycle management.

“Flexible manufacturing” in intelligent manufacturing

Intelligent manufacturing not only requires the application of new technologies, but also puts forward new requirements for manufacturing system. Due to the increasing diversity of social life, user awareness is more personalized. Whether it is R & D and design, production and manufacturing, or marketing and service, we must take meeting the needs of consumers as the starting point and destination. At the same time, due to the user experience participation in design, manufacturing and service completely subvert the traditional vertical division system of production. The mechanical manufacturing production line also needs to transform to a new intelligent manufacturing production line with modularization, adaptation, personalization and transparency.

The industrial automation control of intelligent manufacturing should ensure the transparent information interaction between modules and equipment, Internet technology and wireless communication technology can be integrated in the current control system; in order to make the intelligent manufacturing system have adaptive function, information technology and control technology must realize the whole manufacturing system not only according to the requirements of process management Moreover, it has the characteristics of flexibility and rapid reconfiguration. Intelligent manufacturing not only has the ability of mass production, but also has the ability of fast, small batch, multi variety customized production, which can meet the personalized needs of customers with rapid iteration under the Internet economy, so that enterprises can quickly win customers and occupy the market opportunities.

We can clearly see that in the Internet era, the traditional manufacturing mode oriented by automation technology is facing the penetration and integration of four directions.

With the rapid development of science and technology in the Internet era, it technology, Internet of things technology, artificial intelligence, edge computing, cloud technology, big data, information security, etc. have rapidly entered the field of manufacturing control, mainly from the vertical to the deep development.

·The Internet of things technology and control system are vertically integrated to form a decentralized intelligent field equipment network. The universality of field data communication protocol and the richness of data acquisition make the analysis of field operation state and process clearer.

·With the seamless connection between the control system and Internet technology, PLC system should not only use IEC61131 language to express control tasks, but also use high-level languages, such as Java language and web language to directly connect the communication channel from Internet to manufacturing. At the same time, opcua is used to solve the connection channel between PLC and Internet, so that the information of manufacturing and production management can be exchanged transparently . PDM, MES and other management information directly into the control system database, management data decomposition execution. Therefore, the new PLC system needs new functions and interfaces, namely: open software development platform; open operating system; open user application function interface; open network integration environment. Thanks to these functions and interfaces, data can be processed and analyzed efficiently, and the required data can be sent to the corresponding functional units in time. Finally, through cloud computing to achieve distributed industrial control, industrial Internet technology and physical information fusion system based on Web2.0 will be implemented in industrial automation control system.

The core of intelligent manufacturing mode is product life cycle management, which extends the manufacturing mode, including three parts, namely product development, product manufacturing and product service. Vertical information exchange from R & D, manufacturing to the whole life cycle chain of service products, seamless communication is a major task of the Internet in the new manufacturing mode. At the same time, the application of big data in the manufacturing mode is also an essential change to the traditional research and development methods.

Traditional R & D for conventional products often use predictive strategic plan, using years of R & D experience and understanding of the product, make product R & D strategy, usually several years in advance to predict the launch date of the product, timely update the product. For disruptive innovative products, the traditional continuous empirical method is not enough. Especially customer-oriented, when developing mass customization products for users, the traditional research methods are facing great challenges. Therefore, in the R & D end of the product life cycle, we must adopt the big data thinking of the Internet to form an open R & D product platform.

It can be seen that intelligent manufacturing has changed the fundamental architecture and management mode of manufacturing. In the overall framework of intelligent manufacturing, the mainstream mode of enterprise information construction is the integration of enterprise management, manufacturing management and manufacturing control, that is, the organic combination of ERP, MES and PLC control system. Some functions of PLM, SCM, CRM, QMS, ERP and MES carry out data exchange and data management through Internet technology, and provide analysis and judgment services, so as to reduce the cost of creating and optimizing infrastructure and improve the intelligent level of production management. The Internet is further extended to the control layer, which not only improves the ability of enterprises to quickly respond to market demand, but also realizes the integration with cloud technology, making efficient cross regional collaboration possible.

According to the basic idea of intelligent manufacturing, combined with the actual situation of manufacturing industry, phoenix contact has developed the automatic control system of IT integration ot of plcnext, which provides a powerful weapon for the realization of the standard of intelligent manufacturing, so that the production and manufacturing can adapt to the new changes of product life cycle: it can quickly update products; there are many kinds of products, but few batches; the price is low It can shorten the time of return on investment, optimize resources and improve energy efficiency to meet the needs of Intelligent Manufacturing in the Internet era.

Editor in charge: yyx

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