The Future of Robot Manufacturing: Wandelbots Fleet Manager and 5i. Maintenance
With its No-Code Robotic platform, Wandelbots offers a manufacturer-independent software solution that makes it easier for people to work with industrial robots. 5th Industry paves the way to digitalisation in the factory with its 5i.Manufacturing Excellence Cloud. Both companies cooperate and combine their solutions in the area of maintenance to enable an end-to-end user experience.
Here, Anett Diaz (VP Business Development Wandelbots), Georg Püschel (Co-Founder and Product Manager Wandelbots), Sebastian Schumann (CTO, 5thIndustry) and Sinayra Pascoal Cotts Moreira (Software Engineer, 5thIndustry) explain everything about the joint solution.
Sebastian, how is robot maintenance carried out today?
The typical workflow for maintenance and servicing is still completely analogue in most companies. Maintenance has to be informed by phone or email. Work reports are recorded manually on forms and then, if necessary, entered manually into a system again later. This costs a lot of time, is not sustainable, and, above all, makes the continuous improvement process more difficult since the data of past failures are often no longer available and can no longer be evaluated.
Anett, why do so many manual processes still prevail today?
This starts with the mindset of the employees. Many have had negative experiences with poorly thought-out and poorly implemented digital solutions and processes and have developed a natural defensive attitude. Furthermore, there is still no unified standard of protocols that would allow all the connected machines and sensors to communicate. Even worse, legacy equipment is not compatible with modern sensors that would enable Industrial IoT. The result is costly retrofits and replacements, for which ROI must first be proven. In short, it is not easy to convert a production that has been running stably for 20-40 years to modern cloud technologies, while the production industry is predominantly focused on IP security.
Georg, what have you come up with at Wandelbots to solve this?
Wandelbots offers a fleet manager that allows you to monitor an entire fleet of 6-axis industrial robots from one place. This is done by sending data to the cloud via an edge device. We can also automatically determine whether, for example, an emergency stop, a process interruption was triggered, or a force limit was exceeded. The fleet manager helps to visualise and monitor the data. In case of exceedances, messages are sent via email or WhatsApp, for example.
There are many monitoring solutions. What makes yours so unique?
Before the launch of our agnostic Robot Fleet Monitor, there were no cross-manufacturer solutions for monitoring industrial robots. In addition, our robot-agnostic platform makes it easy to connect and monitor various industrial robots. Users get robot-specific digital twins, visualisations and analytics to identify problems and increase productivity. The Wandelbots Fleet Monitor thus breaks down the heterogeneity of the in-house solutions of individual robot manufacturers and thus enables an overall agnostic view of the machines. Users – from production staff to management – finally get a transparent view of the performance of all their robots and thus of their entire production.
Sinayra, what does the 5thIndustry solution for maintenance looks like?
The 5i.Maintenance app digitises the entire maintenance workflow in the company, from the recording and processing faults to subsequent evaluation. The defects can be recorded by the employees or digitally directly via the robots and machines.
Sebastian, what does your joint solution look like now?
By cleverly linking our maintenance management application 5i.Maintenance with the Fleet manager from Wandelbots, robots can virtually report maintenance requirements themselves without the need for manual input. This is achieved through the clever use of the interfaces offered by our modern cloud solution.
Anett, what are the benefits of the joint solution for the factory worker?
When robots are in continuous use, malfunctions have to be rectified quickly. By digitising this task, process interruptions or malfunctions can be detected more rapidly, and the quality of production increases as more control over the machine’s data is constantly checked.
And because the robot reports the malfunction directly to the 5i.Maintenance app, Service is informed immediately and has all the information about the malfunction and the robot, such as operating instructions or technical drawings, at their fingertips.
Sebastian, where do you see the most significant use cases?
Everywhere where the maintenance staff have to monitor a great deal of complexity in many and different systems. Our app has all relevant incidents at a glance – whether on a mobile device, PC or electronic information board. This enables efficient incident handling without media breaks.
Sinayra, what other use cases can the solution be scaled to?
Thanks to the open interfaces of our solution, it can be easily integrated into existing IT landscapes, whether it is the connection to existing ERP or MES systems or even the direct link of machines and plants. The integration with Wandelbots took less than 2 hours.
Sebastian, what is the motivation behind the cooperation? How can your customers benefit from it?
In the past, production IT, in particular, was characterised by closed systems that interacted poorly and could not be connected. Data silos were created. New, innovative solutions are breaking down these paradigms, and ecosystems are emerging that allow customers to put together the best solutions for them quickly. This flexibility, in combination with manufacturer-independent technology, is a real game-changer for the Industry.
Georg, What is your vision for the factory of the future? How will work be structured?
In the future factory, employees will be relieved of mindless, repetitive tasks – intelligent software solutions will take over these tasks. Employees can fully utilise their potential to improve processes in the factory and implement new procedures creatively. The data necessary for this is available to him at any time and anywhere. The efficient and simple interaction of humans with machine-generated data – in our example, fault messages from the robot – make it possible to leverage further productivity potential and increase employee satisfaction at the same time.
Wandelbots is the leading Software-Platform for Robots. Its goal is to simplify Robotics to empower everyone to use robots. Wandelbots supports the acceleration of automation in the industry and beyond because we believe the world will change for the better if humans focus on their Human Creativity and not monotonous work.
The Wandelbots Platform enables Developers to create their applications based on a hardware-agnostic framework that allows the apps to run on all robots, independent from its manufacturer. Powered by the Platform, Wandelbots offers its Teaching Solution, the easiest Robot Programming Solution that allows demonstrating the path with the TracePen and process definitions with the modern app interface.
2017 founded, Wandelbots today employs more than 140 people from 16 countries. Its headquarters are in Dresden, Germany. The company is funded with more than 30 Mio. € by investors like Microsoft, Siemens and 83 North. Robots from Universal Robots & Yaskawa at customers like BMW, Siemens, Vocational University Bautzen, Volkswagen & Rolls-Royce run on Wandelbots.
For more information about wandelbots, visit wandelbots.com.
5thIndustry stands for a new way of working in the factory. The apps in our 5i.Manufacturing Excellence Cloud is designed to be flexible – making collaboration in the factory fully digital and integrated. Whether production or support areas such as quality management, maintenance or occupational safety: employees work highly efficiently in an intuitive digital environment. Data is always and everywhere dynamically available. This brings transparency and reaction speed to a new level. At last, people are taking centre stage and are actively involved in the design and further development of their digital working environment.
Further information at: https://5thindustry.de