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Study Demonstrates How a Cognitive T-Slot Technology Works

Forming presses are commonly employed as critical components in industrial manufacturing processes. Almost every product comprises formed pieces, from automobiles to refrigerators. These machines may cost them millions of dollars to buy, and they require a long time to set up and adjust exactly as needed.

Study Demonstrates How a Cognitive T-Slot Technology Works.
A forming press demonstrator provides visitors with live insights into how a cognitive T-slot works. The process data transferred by smartNOTCH is visualized on a connected terminal. Image Credit: Fraunhofer IWU/Dirk Hanus.

Buyers expect this type of gear to work efficiently for a long period without deteriorating in quality, given the high level of investment. The Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT will show how the cognitive transformation of industrial processes may increase the productivity of forming machines at the Hannover Messe 2022. (Hall 5, Booth A06). SmartNOTCH — a cognitive T-slot — is the technology that underpins the display.

Forming presses generate a large amount of data during operation, which is automatically gathered and saved. This data includes anything from process information (such as the forming force or the number of strokes) and quality criteria to status-related data and process variables (like the service life).

Machine users have only been able to gather this data at the machine level thus far; they have not been able to obtain aggregated data from machine pools or exchange it with stakeholders such as manufacturers or suppliers.

Furthermore, earlier data analysis, assessment and application possibilities were rarely supplied by previous systems. Researchers have not included concepts and technologies for closed data life cycles, in which data may be processed, retrieved, and easily transferred to generate new insights in a sustainable manner. In summary, cognitive internet technologies have been lacking.

Cognitive T-slot

Fraunhofer CCIT will employ forming machines as an example of a solution where cognitive internet technologies provide constantly transparent operations and, as a consequence, improve total equipment effectiveness at the Hannover Messe 2022.

SmartNOTCH, a cognitive T-slot that uses automated methods to continuously monitor production processes, lies at the heart of this revolutionary technology. The novel sensor design is simple and flexible to insert into the inside of a forming press, and once installed, it can monitor deformations and loads at tool interfaces and wirelessly communicate data to evaluation systems.

The technology enables continuous monitoring that can be used inline for wear detection, protection, acceptance and tool integration. This makes it possible to streamline workflows and make processes more agile.

 Robin Kurth, Head, Group Forming Machines, Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies

SmartNOTCH data can have usage restrictions attached to it, allowing machine users to choose who they wish to share forming press data with, for what purpose, and under what conditions. Intelligent, secure, and standardized edge devices provide the essential interfaces for a networked processing chain that straddles regional, national and international company borders in this context.

Data silos can be compiled after data sovereignty and intellectual property (IP) are ensured. The aggregated data may subsequently be used by users, makers, and suppliers of forming machines to apply machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) approaches, yielding fresh insights into the machines’ performance and error susceptibility.

The knowledge gained by specialist employees during the long service life of a forming machine might give extra input for creating an appropriate analysis algorithm. This data may be integrated, thanks to Fraunhofer CCIT’s informed machine learning technique.

Using Data and Creating New Insights

Users, producers, and suppliers may get the information they need to improve the efficiency of forming machines whenever they need it using this solution. This allows for faster startup of new machines and processes, as well as the testing of new pressing tools with more precise goals in mind and the performing of preventative maintenance on presses.

New business models can arise as a result of the intelligent recording, secure sharing, and systematic assessment of data, allowing manufacturers and suppliers, for example, to supply their customers with not just hardware, but also smart services based on data. Remote control of complete machines (Equipment-as-a-Service/EaaS) and targeted upgrade and modernization (retrofitting) of existing presses are only a few examples.

The smartNOTCH will be front and center at the Hannover Messe: A live demonstration of how a cognitive T-slot works, provided by a forming press demonstrator.

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