Aixtron evaluates smart manufacturing tools to improve processes
The German company has already implemented smart analysis tools to carry out an energy-saving project
German company Aixtron, a provider of deposition equipment to the semiconductor industry, is in the process of evaluating the addition of certain smart manufacturing solutions in its production process, the company’s spokesperson Henning Marburger, told Enterprise IoT Insights.
“Regarding manufacturing operations, we are currently checking the opportunities and benefits that the internet of things (IoT) might bring to our business,” Marburger said.
“Due to our low manufacturing volumes combined with a low inhouse production depth, we are focusing on tools that shall help to reduce documentation efforts for the assembly and install teams and improve backward chain processes. A planned implementation of a PLM system is a prerequisite for such activities,” he added.
“Regarding facility management, we have successfully executed an energy saving project implementing smart analysis tools and optimizing our facility’s heating and cooling system reducing our energy and gas consumption by at least 74%,” the executive said. The implementation of such smart systems also allowed the German company to reduce energy costs by 40%. more than 40%. The firm also highlighted that the implementation of the digitally controlled energy management system will be amortized in a few years.
In 2014, the company had initiated the project to examine the energy management at the company’s headquarters in Herzogenrath, as the generation of the required cooling and heating volumes required a high amount of power. Together with energy service provider SPIE Energy Solutions, different energy efficiency measures were developed.
Smart manufacturing is a process that utilizes internet-connected machinery to monitor the overall production process. The main goal of smart manufacturing is to identify opportunities for automating manufacturing operations and use data analytics to improve the overall performance of the manufacturing process.
The implementation of smart manufacturing initiatives includes the deployment of embedded sensors in manufacturing machines to collect data on their operational status and performance. Through the analysis of this data, manufacturing engineers and data analysts can look for signs that particular parts may fail, enabling preventive maintenance.
In the smart manufacturing scheme, all individual steps included in the production process will be fully connected and integrated. Some of the processes to be impacted are factory and production planning, logistics product development, enterprise resource planning and manufacturing execution systems.