The precise beginning of this digital transformation cannot easily be determined. The changes are coming successively, have already begun and/or are based on already implemented solutions. Over time, the entire production logic will change: in the future, intelligent machines, storage systems, operating resources, etc., will be organized independently in real-time-capable systems along the entire value-added chain. The ultimate goal is the Smart Factory. This is characterized by flexibility, resource efficiency and ergonomic design. The integration of customers’ and business partners’ value-added processes is also part of this.
Control technology plays a major role in the success of Industry 4.0. It will ultimately control the machines that produce the real products. Anticipated benefits include improved effectiveness, innovation leaps, increased information transparency and competitive advantages.
NUM’s CNC controllers have always distinguished themselves through their openness and their versatile communication possibilities. These points have been continuously enhanced from one generation of controllers to the next. The current CNC control system is PC-based and includes a wide range of communication options, thus satisfying the basic prerequisite for a possible Smart Factory. Fieldbuses such as EtherCAT or CAN are mostly used for horizontal integration. Vertical communication to SCADA, MES and ERP systems can be carried out via NUM IIoTgateway, which supports OPC UA, MTConnect and MQTT. Of course, other freely definable communication interfaces can be implemented efficiently and comprehensively using NUM's FXserver or FlexiumPro power SDK.