Bosch Software Innovations

Smart industrial tools Bosch is driving torque behind first European testbed for the Industrial Internet Consortium Connected industrial tools improve quality in the factory

  • Collaborative effort with Tech Mahindra and Cisco
  • Better quality and higher efficiency in manufacturing
  • Major potential for industry as a whole
  • First announced testbed for the Industrial Internet Consortium
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  • February 12, 2015
  • Bosch Software Innovations
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press release

Collaborating to achieve the highest quality standards in the connected manufacturing of the future: three international companies are working to ensure that industrial tools automatically do what needs to be done at the right location.

Stuttgart – A collaborative effort between Bosch and two international companies, all members of the Industrial Internet Consortium, is driving forward tool connectivity with the aim of improving quality and efficiency in industrial manufacturing. The first outcome of their collaboration on the “Track and Trace” project is the ability to determine the position of a cordless nutrunner on the shop floor with extreme precision, among other applications. This positioning information is used to automatically select the correct torque for the respective task, making it possible to tighten safety-relevant bolts with exactly the required torque, for example. It is also possible to automatically document these settings to ensure and test product quality. Open standards are set to enable the seamless integration of industrial power tools used to drill, tighten, measure, and solder into an overall system of networked tools in the future. The potential applications of connected hand-held nutrunners, riveting tools, and measuring equipment include the construction and maintenance of engines and aircraft. “There is no other solution like this out there; it harbors major potential for industry as a whole,” says Dirk Slama, the project manager at Bosch. The supplier of technology and services is cooperating on “Track and Trace” with Indian IT company Tech Mahindra and U.S. IT company Cisco. This effort is the first European testbed for the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC).

Innovative solution for increased efficiency and competitiveness
The new solution is made possible by connecting the tools with each other and with the production data for the products to be manufactured. Thanks to the tool's positioning information and the precisely determined location of a component, such as an aircraft on the shop floor, the user knows that the tool is currently located at the vertical stabilizer, for example. Backend software automatically sends instructions that specify the torque needed to tighten bolts there. “Connected tools contribute not only to product quality and safety, but also to making production more efficient, which improves competitiveness,” Slama says. There are additional benefits to “Track and Trace.” For instance, the constant collection of tools' data provides companies with a detailed overview of the conditions of their tools at all times. This can enable the automation of a number of routine tasks, such as the replacement of wear parts on power tools after a specified number of rotations or hours of operation.

Avoid errors, increase safety
The design and assembly of complex industrial and consumer goods requires exacting work. Machinery, vehicles, and aircraft necessitate the highest standards of quality. Often, bolts must be tightened with precisely the right amount of torque. In aircraft construction, for example, there are precise regulations that specify the kind of screw and the amount of torque that must be used to join specific parts. Joints on the wings require a different amount of torque than those on a window. When it comes to passenger aircraft, there are thousands of such bolts that must be tightened and precisely documented. Connected tools speed up this time-consuming task. “We are able to record the torque used to tighten hundreds of thousands of bolts, for example, and store that information in a database. The information makes it possible to quickly identify any discrepancies, and it provides users with clues as to the possible causes of faults,” Slama explains. As a result, connected tools also aid in troubleshooting and error avoidance. If a worker tries to use a tool mistakenly for the wrong task or at the wrong place, the tool powers itself down, preventing errors from occurring in the first place. This contributes to improving safety, quality, and productivity.

Open standards ensure universal use
Thanks to open standards, this system of connected tools can be used universally. Industrial power tools used to drill, tighten, measure, solder, and rivet fit seamlessly into an overall system of connected tools, regardless of the brand or type of tool. A computer system is used to manage and regulate the tools. The testbed highlights several key aspects of digitally connected manufacturing. One of these aspects is cross-industry cooperation on equal footing among companies who are working to create open standards for the purpose of data exchange. Hardware, software, localization technology, backend integration, and safety features are all integrated in the solution architecture. This results in a number of new options, such as data analysis.

International cooperation advances connectivity
The testbed partners are each lending their different areas of expertise to the project: Bosch is supplying the Nexo cordless nutrunner, while Bosch Software Innovations is contributing the software necessary to gather and evaluate data in the form of their Bosch IoT Suite. The Nexo collects and stores tightening data and transmits it wirelessly. Tech Mahindra is responsible for the application programming. Cisco is providing the nutrunners' precision location identification feature (triangulation) by evaluating wireless signals. Tests are underway at Bosch Software Innovations in Berlin and at Tech Mahindra in Bangalore, India, to determine how the components interact with each other. Plans call for the first pilot applications with new industrial users in 2015.

Internet:
Details about the Industrial Internet Consortium:
http://www.iiconsortium.org
Details about Industrial Internet Consortium testbeds:
http://bit.ly/1DQ6SX4
Details about the Industry 4.0 platform:
http://bit.ly/1w1NLz9
Details about the Nexo cordless nutrunner from Bosch Rexroth:
http://bit.ly/1GuvKBE
Details about the Bosch ConnectedWorld Conference in Berlin from
February 17-18, 2015
http://bit.ly/1zkBMTv

Bosch Software Innovations, the Bosch Group’s software and systems house, designs, develops, and operates innovative software and system solutions that help our customers around the world both in the Internet of Things (IoT) and in the traditional enterprise environment. We place particular focus on the topics of mobility, energy, manufacturing, and building. The Bosch IoT Suite is Bosch Software Innovations’ comprehensive toolbox in the Cloud. The software package, which is provided as Platform as a Service (PaaS), allows the interaction of devices, users, companies and partners on a centralized platform. This enables the development of innovative and future-oriented solutions for new business models.

With some 650 associates worldwide, Bosch Software Innovations has locations in Germany (Berlin, Immenstaad, and Stuttgart), Singapore, China (Shanghai), Japan (Tokyo), and the United States (Chicago).

More information can be found at www.bosch-si.com, www.twitter.com/BoschSI, www.blog.bosch-si.com.

The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

Additional information is available online at www.bosch.com and www.bosch-press.com, http://twitter.com/BoschPresse.

PI8793 - February 12, 2015

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