TI’s analog and embedded products, vast system expertise and easy-to-use design tools allow the digitalization of systems and processes to enable smarter, safer, more efficient factories. Fueling engineers with the right products to make Industry 4.0 a reality.
- Innovative products for the smart factory offer benefits such as connectivity, security, safety, reliability and power.
- Product and system expertise with vast knowledge of technologies for key markets tied to Industry 4.0.
- Large selection of platform software and development tools, including more than 2,000 subsystem reference designs in TI Designs library.
Many products require a tight control of temperature, humidity, air purity and light during the production process to maintain best and consistent product quality. These parameters get even more important with additive manufacturing. Besides the handling of raw materials and products the automated transportation of chips is part of the smart factory.
Machine tool with computer numerical control
Modern machine tools support concurrent processes of multiple parts with multiple tools. Such machines have up to 100 axis which are very dynamic in speed and very precise in position. An automated tool changer with data logging and quality checks of the tool support full online documentation of the production process. User friendly control panels support additional visualization of all process parameters and connect the machine to the IT world.
Cameras are used to detect the presence and position of objects. More enhanced systems include precise measurement and quality checks with reference parts. In addition, surroundings of machines and robots are scanned for safe workspaces. Multiple cameras or scanners are combined to provide a real-time view of the production process. Direct integration into control systems enables a more efficient collaboration of man and machines.
Programmable logic control (PLC)
Industrial control systems use Programmable Logic Controllers to automate a large 24 volt input/output system. These IO modules can reside next to the PLC CPU or connect through Industrial Ethernet to remote IO systems. For cabinet deployed IO functions, protection class IP20 is sufficient. Machine deployed IOs support high protection class IP67. Industrial sensors either connect via the IO system or directly over Industrial Ethernet to the PLC network.
A special variant of industrial control exists for manipulators of industrial robots. Up to seven axis allow flexible movement in all directions. A number of interfaces are required to integrate a robot arm into a production system. Interaction with PLC, tools and cameras enables a higher degree of automation. Through additional sensing technologies and functional safety designs human collaboration is possible.
Electronic tools in the manufacturing line have dedicated control units which are specific to functions such as welding, painting and milling. These tools may only power up when they are taken out from the tool magazine.
Transport and handling
Flow of raw material, products and packaging requires identification, tracking and transportation. In certain applications parallel movement with multi-carrier systems increase the throughput of the system. Palletizing is used to stack many objects in one area to reduce the transport overhead.
Gateway and edge computing
All components on the manufacturing floor are connected and controlled inside a network domain which is called operational technology (OT). In order to protect this domain from the outside world of communication – Information Technology (IT), a secure gateway function is required. In addition, the data format and communication protocol is adjusted at the edge.
Industrial communication (wired)
Many different control systems with hundreds of sensor and actuators share a common, deterministic backbone to make sure information flows at the right speed and at the correct time. The time sensitive network can only meet the requirements through wired communication interfaces. However, wireless technologies gain more momentum for service ports with mesh networks collecting less time critical data.
Automatic guided vehicle (AGV)
A new way of transport in factories which use intelligence to find the shortest route, pick the right parts and avoid collisions with other vehicles or humans. Equipped with a robot arm and vision system, AGVs can take over complex tasks of machine loading and unloading.