En route to the digital yarn factory
Shanghai, China, October 1, 2018 – “From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens – Bring it to Life” – is the motto under which the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment will transform itself into a digital machinery and plant manufacturing company showcasing its power as one of the innovation leaders for the production of chemical fibers. ITMA ASIA + CITME 2018, taking place in Shanghai from October 15th to 19th, is the world’s biggest textile machinery exhibition this year and with over 750 square meter exhibition space will be a virtual show for trendsetting digital products and services “From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwovens”. En route to the digital yarn factory, technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or innovative HMI (Human Machine Interface) solutions promise the bridging between material and data flow – for customer value. These topics are also the central point of the “Oerlikon Innovation Forum” at which presentations in English and Chinese will be held several times a day for visitors of the exhibition booth.
The scenario of the future: textile production – from the supply chain through to dispatch – is autonomously controlled in the fully-networked Factory 4.0. The product being created controls and monitors the processes itself using embedded sensors. The manufacturing or order status is known at all times, raw materials are automatically reordered, wear and maintenance are planned as integral parts of the production process and error processes are identified, alleviated or displayed. This should cut costs, convert production lines more flexible and help reduce downtimes and waste. For this, the machine construction sector has to provide correspondingly intelligent and Web-enabled production systems. No easy feat, as this requires interfaces between all systems involved and the collation, channeling and evaluation of tremendous volumes of data in real time.
Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment wants to face those technical development challenges and has high standards. „We want to become the textile machine construction trendsetter for technologies of this kind,“ says CEO Georg Stausberg. The first steps on this journey have already been taken. The Plant Operation Center (POC) for process monitoring enables the collation of existing production data in a central location and to make these data available. HMI based services such as process monitoring via a service online app on smartphones and tablets were introduced as well as an assistance system based on mixed-reality glasses (Microsoft HoloLens). The system supports predictive maintenance concepts and enables virtual 360-degree tours through spinning systems.
AIM4DTY: Automated detection of error cause
At ITMA Asia + CITME 2018 the company gives an insight to this as well as an outlook for new developments for the digitization of the process chain “From Melt to Yarn, Fibers and Nonwoven”. The digital future solution AIM4DTY provides help with the identification of possible error causes in texturing machines to help reduce quality risks. Here, machine learning is being used: The system recognizes and is being “trained” using trend charts and their respective errors. An example: In the texturing machine, the UNITENS monitoring sensor continually measures the yarn tension at all positions. An error is generated if a measurement value does not lie within the prescribed tolerances. In a lot of cases, the form of the graphs can provide information on the error causes and ultimately provide targeted and efficient response to these. A manual analysis and optimization is nearly impossible with more than 125,000 graphs per day. With the automated solution AIM4DTY the information is instantly available to customers, therefore allowing them to immediately optimize the quality during running production. It also ensures that predictive maintenance is now a reality.
En route to digitization with a new mindset
To show its direction towards digitization, the company wants to offer its visitors at the exhibition booth in hall 2, B24 alongside machine exhibits mostly virtual experiences. They will be deploying playful solutions to present the topic of artificial intelligence as well as a virtual showroom to allow visitors to experience complex systems live in 3D. “We want to show that the ‘digital factory’ is already in part becoming a reality in conjunction with our machine exhibits and that we are in a good position to further optimize the efficiency of our equipment and quality of their end products – with digital solutions” affirms Georg Stausberg.
According the CEO the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment already started establishing new ideas and mindsets a few years ago, are working between disciplines, departments, areas and companies. An important step was the acquisition of the newly integrated partner AC-Automation who has substantiated know-how in large-scale automation, transport, packaging and warehouse logistics and end product automated quality control. “Together with our process competencies and digital data handling we not only want but will offer further innovative Industrie 4.0 solutions for our customers – all the way to the digitization of the complete process chain”, promises Georg Stausberg.
Oerlikon (SIX: OERL) engineers materials, equipment and surfaces and provides expert services to enable customers to have high-performance products and systems with extended lifespans. Drawing on its key technological competencies and strong financial foundation, the Group is sustaining mid-term growth by executing three strategic drivers: addressing attractive growth markets, securing structural growth, and expanding through targeted mergers and acquisitions. A leading global technology and engineering Group, Oerlikon operates its business in two Segments – Surface Solutions and Manmade Fibers – and has a global footprint of over 9 500 employees at 171 locations in 37 countries. In 2017, Oerlikon generated CHF 2.1 billion in restated sales and invested around CHF 100 million in R&D.
About the Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment
With its Oerlikon Barmag and Oerlikon Neumag brands, Oerlikon Manmade Fibers Segment is the world market leader for manmade fiber filament spinning systems, texturing machines, BCF systems, staple fiber systems, solutions for the production of nonwovens and – as a service provider – offers engineering solutions for the entire textile value added chain. As a future oriented company, the research and development at this division of the Oerlikon Group is driven by energy-efficiency and sustainable technologies (e-save). With the continuous polycondensation and extrusion line systems and their key components, the company caters to the entire process with automated and digitally networked Industrie 4.0 solutions – from the monomer all the way through to the textured yarn. The primary markets for the product portfolio of Oerlikon Barmag are in Asia, especially in China, India and Turkey, and – for those of Oerlikon Neumag – in the USA, Asia, Turkey and Europe. Worldwide, the segment – with just under 3,000 employees – has a presence in 120 countries of production, sales and distribution and service organizations. At the R&D centers in Remscheid, Neumünster (Germany) and Suzhou (China), highly-qualified engineers, technologists and technicians develop innovative and technologically-leading products for tomorrow’s world.