Smart Factory

The aim: to increase the efficiency of your production system

Smart factory, digital twin, Industry 4.0, digital factory Frameworks, concepts, methods: we treat none of these elements as an end in itself, but use them for the sole purpose of increasing the efficiency of your production system. This also includes the implementation of Industry 4.0 goals in actual series production. At present, this catch phrase is generally only used in connection with pilot plants and projects. In our opinion, it has not yet proved possible to actually transfer these into series production across the board. The reason for this is that processes are often not considered in their entirety and implemented accordingly.

At EDAG, we regard the smart factory as having two phases: engineering and operation.

Our way of looking at the smart factory is:

  • via the supply chain (from the supplier to the end customer), the symbiosis of building and plant, the IT systems, the value-adding production processes, etc.

  • the digital twin helps us to engineer and operate the production system.

The basis for Smart Factory

Within the context of the fourth industrial revolution, companies are faced with the challenge of efficiently digitalising and networking existing systems, creating information transparency and integrating their customers, business partners and processes.

Digitalisation and networking

At EDAG, we see enormous potential in the digitalisation and networking of production systems. In horizontal and vertical networking, from ERP and MES to the machines at the plant level, a wide range of data can be collected, analysed and interpreted. These findings should be used to initiate process-optimised measures that will make production and business processes more efficient. 

Along the road to digitalisation and networking, we offer support with

  • the creation of your digital vision
  • the analysis of digital potential
  • the concept and cost/benefit analysis of the possible solutions identified
  • the development, integration and commissioning of hardware and software solutions.

Using selected customer-specific software and hardware products, intelligent sensor technology, the evaluation and analysis for the use of AI algorithms and storage on high-performance computer systems/cloud solutions, we create your Internet of Things (IoT): the systematic networking of arbitrary physical objects (things), with virtual representatives in interaction with the human participant.

Digital twin

As a virtual model of a process, plant, product or service, for instance, the digital twin links the real and virtual worlds. This link between the two worlds makes it possible to analyse data and monitor systems.

The digital twin accompanies your production system from the initial idea through to the final closure of the factory. During the engineering phase, the digital twin is created parallel to the production system, primarily supported by the digital factory methods and processes. During the operating phase, the digital twin works parallel to the production system, vertically and horizontally networked, and based on industry 4.0 tools and methods. Three individual focuses can be derived for the work with the digital twin:

  • Mechatronic engineering, to support planning, e.g. in the context of material flow and process simulations (robot simulations). In this way, we ensure that the engineering for your factory is safeguarded, so that there will be no unpleasant surprises.

  • Safeguarded by the covalent consideration of the virtual and real worlds for simulation-assisted validation of commissioning and/or adaptations/extensions of the production system. With the digital twin, this can be done quickly and safely, without long and costly interruptions.

  • Accompanying production by means of the constant evaluation of vital production data (operating data) for the purpose of continual optimisation and proactive error detection. With the digital twin, you are always kept informed of the status and future of your production system.

The digital twin orchestrates the fields of digital planning, design, simulation, automation and control technology.
Depending on the focus and factory level (single workstation, facility, or even worldwide production network), the digital twin is represented by different tools (IT systems), data/information and processes; always adapted to the task being undertaken, and with fully integrated, consistent data management.
On the one hand, we create digital twins for manufacturers of machine tools with the aim of making development more efficient, and training and sales more effective. With our support (consulting and software), customers acquire the ability to generate digital twins themselves in the future. On the other hand, our engineers offer you their expertise as a service for the virtual commissioning (a form of digital twin) of complete production lines with over 100 industrial robots.

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The solution

Our smart factory services are aimed at offering efficient engineering and effective automation to create production systems which are operated by competent employees using target-oriented production control technology.

Efficient engineering – the digital factory

Since the 1990s, we have been working intensively on the development of digital factory processes and methods, and applying them in service projects; always at the cutting edge of research and technology.

    • Services
      • Digital factory consulting and competence
      • Best practice solutions
      • Development of standards and libraries
      • (Process) optimisation
      • Simulation (e.g. material flow, robot technology, ergonomics)
      • Training
    • Software
      • Software selection and implementation
      • Software applications and support
      • Software development and operation ("DevOps")
      • Software development / tool development
    • Mastering complexity in the engineering process
      Project security through digital protection from the inside out
    • Reduction of interfaces through a fully integrated engineering process
      Reduction of coordination expense and liaising requirements
    • Minimising and avoiding errors
      Integrated mechatronic viewpoint and consistent data management

Effective automation

Automation is the art of manufacturing your high-quality and low cost products with a minimum of manual intervention. To achieve this, all disciplines must be perfectly coordinated. We achieve this high level of automation by using state-of-the-art, innovative tools, and applying our decades of experience.

    • Services
      • Engineering for fieldbus and network structures, powertrain technology, intelligent actuators and sensors from various manufacturers.
      • Engineering for visualisation equipment
      • Engineering for robotic installations: from standard and cooperating to collaborating (HRC)
      • Process simulation
      • Virtual commissioning (from the single cell up to the complete factory)
    • Software
      • PLC sequence and safety programming
      • Robot programming (virtual or real) with robots from various suppliers.
      • Virtual commissioning
    • Supplier-independent system component selection, tailored to your requirements
    • Safe start-up and high productivity
    • Flexibility and increased efficiency
    • Transparency and short response times
    • Substantial automation competence coupled with many years of engineering and production know-how

Target-oriented production control technology

The control technology is the nerve centre, the neural centre of the digital twin: this can be via the horizontal networking of the machines and components with each other via SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition), MES (Manufacturing Execution System) or via the vertical connection to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning). Our close interdisciplinary cooperation with the robotics and automation technology departments enables us to bridge the gap between IT and OT (Operational Technology) here. The IO/OT convergence results in further potential for optimisation.

    • Services
      • Development and integration of cyber-physical systems (CPS)
      • Implementation of MES, SCADA and IoT solutions
      • Conception and realisation of the paperless factory and energy monitoring solutions
      • Development and implementation of big data solutions and AI applications, e.g.  predictive maintenance in production to improve maintenance
      • Quality assurance through automated image comparisons, e.g. real-time comparison of target states or AR-assisted component analysis (augmented reality)
      • Advisory and consulting services from the digital vision to implementation and general IT acceptance
    • Software
      • Individual software development within the context of the smart factory and close-to-production IT solutions
      • Integration and individualisation of software products in the fields of MES and SCADA
    • Supplier-independent system component selection, tailored to your requirements
    • Flexibility and increased efficiency
    • Transparency and short response times
    • Substantial IT competence coupled with many years of engineering and production know-how

Enabled employees – the networked person in the digitalised working world

In every industrial revolution (1 to 4), man has played a role both during and most particularly after the revolution. For us, a digitalised world without human beings is inconceivable. Accordingly, our activities are aimed at using digital processes and methods to provide your employees with the best possible support in their work, with the intention of making their daily work more and more efficient.

    • Team collaboration without needing to be physically present - saves travelling time and expenses
    • Rapid decision-making
    • Guided displays of processes result in short initial training periods
    • Short response time in the event of deviations in quality

Expert knowledge on the topic

Dirk Keller

Geschäftsführer EDAG Production Solutions GmbH & Co. KG




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