Efficiency increase of Festo production via STIWA Manufacturing Software

To optimize their production processes and increase machine efficiency significantly, Festo AG capitalizes on Manufacturing Software from STIWA.

To optimize their production processes and increase machine efficiency significantly, Festo AG capitalizes on Manufacturing Software from STIWA. AMS ZPoint-CI Shopfloor Monitor as well as ZPoint-CI Andon Board are the new features that ensure more efficient production at Festo: Due to live monitoring across plants of all relevant production key figures in real time, power losses are immediately recognized and malfunctions repaired significantly quicker.


The technology factory Scharnhausen is the leading plant of Festo AG for the production of valves as well as electronic components and is the initiator for digitalized production of the future. Efficient processes characterize this location. To raise machine efficiency, the company has relied on STIWA software for many years now. Via seamless data recording and analysis of production machines, complex connections in production can be recognized, weak spots narrowed down and therefore a significant increase in performance achieved.


Individually adapted software

“It is especially important to continuously incorporate experiences from the production of innovative companies in the development of our software tools. In doing so we test out our software products in the real production environment from the start. Our customers on the other hand help to shape new features from the beginning and therefore have a significant influence that tools that perfectly match their production requirements will be developed”, reports David Hinterreither-Kern, Product Owner of STIWA Manufacturing Software.


Target: Higher machine efficiency

The collaboration with Festo for developing new STIWA visualizing systems „Andon Board“ as well as “Shopfloor monitor” was obvious: “We were already utilizing Andon-Boards at some production lines. But the visualization of key figures was unclear and relevant key figures were hard to read. Though to immediately recognize malfunctions, spot-on and clear informations are necessary”, reports Benjamin Heim, Management assembly VUVG valves at Festo. “What was missing was an unmistakable overview across all machines and key figures. Additional headaches at Festo were also caused by the programming: The programming of Andon-Boards via the machine control unit - depending on the machine supplier - was a very cumbersome process. “A simple, flexible and individually changeable configuration of displayed values and key figures was urgently necessary”, says Heim.


Optimized Andon-Boards

For two days STIWA analyzed production processes along with Festo production managers. Here it became clear that the Andon Boards have to become clearer and more informative, especially for error messages. The displays were significantly upgraded via icons as well as color and symbolic markings instead of text messages. All relevant key figures are now depicted self explanatory, individual and flexible, while also being adapted to current requirements. In addition, multi-layered recording and display can distinguish significantly more malfunctions. “Therefore the machine operator is led to the problem much more accurately. This ensures significantly shorter distances and a more rapid identification as well as troubleshooting”, adds STIWA Software Developer Mario Mader.


Escalation levels ensure clarity

Additionally the escalation management of the machine was optimized: The Andon-Board now moves into focus of the machine operator according to a previously defined prioritization of various malfunctions and machine losses, this way depending on the problem the next authority, e.g. the shift manager, is immediately informed according to a clearly defined chronological order.


More overview and communication via Shopfloor monitor

The improved integration of shift managers and therefore optimized communication among each other was defined as another key project goal: “The assembly shift manager did not have a direct overview of the various machine states at their workstation. This is why they also did not immediately notice when a machine operator required support”, says Heim. The “AMS ZPoint-CI Shopfloor Monitor” - a cross-plant visualization with prefabricated dashboards directly at the workplace - now provides real time key figures and information regarding the performance levels of all machines. “Of course, this makes it much easier to control day-to-day business”, adds Heim: “We constantly keep the Shopfloor-Monitor activated these days, with the optimized escalation management it also immediately becomes clear where and when rapid intervention of other persons or devisions is necessary”.


Easy configuration

A big advantage is also the easy configuration. All features as well as key figures are standardized and can be retrieved or changed by operators with a few movements, without having to intervene in the system control. “Of course this facilitates work incredibly, guarantees rapid opportunities for response and raises the OEE”, says Heim. There is also a social component to this: “The dashboards are very motivating, the employees measure themselves via the transparent displays. This improves communications among each other and leads to “challenges” who gets better values”.


Successful cooperation

The new Andon-Boards and Shopfloor-monitors were already rolled out on all automation machines at Festo in Scharnhausen. “The collaboration between STIWA and FESTO was very pleasant. Nearly all ideas and wishes were implemented quickly, the regular agile voting sessions have lead to success rapidly. The features help us now to continuously improve production”, Florian Sieber, Manager of Construction Control Engineering at Festo in Scharnhausen.


Mag. Alexander Meisinger, MSc

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