A new assembly line at Bosch Rexroth AG in Homburg/Saar, Germany, has won the “Industry 4.0 Award” for pioneering work in the practical implementation of Industry 4.0. The prize was awarded by the trade journal Produktion along with ROI Management Consulting AG. The independent panel evaluated the assembly line, which was commissioned in the middle of 2014, to be the best implementation of Industry 4.0 in production.
“The solution implemented by Bosch Rexroth is exemplary of the potential of Industry 4.0: holistic and cost-efficient implementation has led to significant improvements in productivity and serves as a model for other companies,” Hans-Georg Scheibe, director of ROI Management Consulting AG, explained. The panel arrived at its decision on the basis of comprehensible indicators as well as an on-site visit.
Over 200 different hydraulic valves are assembled into a single value stream on the assembly line at the Bosch Rexroth plant in Homburg/Saar. An RFID chip on the work piece of the nine intelligent stations on the line recognizes how the finished product has to be assembled and which operational steps are necessary. Displays show personnel the corresponding working instructions for the version that is to be processed.
“The assembly line integrates human, product, and machine under conditions of flexible mass production,” stressed Frank Hess, plant manager at the facility. “Using this, we can economically manufacture a multitude of customized products down to batch sizes of one.”
In the planning and implementation of the assembly line Bosch Rexroth primarily used its own products and solutions.
See the assembly line in action here.