INJECTION MOLDING: Workcell Router for the 'Smart Factory'

Wittmann offers a single "gateway to the workcell" for Industry 4.0.

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A major theme of June’s 40th anniversary exhibition of Wittmann Battenfeld in Vienna, Austria, was progress toward the Industry 4.0 “smart factory” of interlinked intelligent devices (see this month's Close Up). Wittmann (U.S. office in Torrington, Conn.) is implementing this concept among its own molding machines and auxiliaries under the banner of “Wittmann 4.0.” A new milestone in that development is the Wittmann 4.0 router, described as the “gateway to the workcell.” It’s based on open-source technology and acts as a single WAN (wide-area network) address to the outside world and a single point of access between the workcell and MRP and MES computers.

Its proprietary firewall accepts only Wittmann 4.0 devices. The router automatically detects those devices and assigns IP addresses to any Wittmann 4.0 equipment in the workcell, saving company IT personnel the need to assign IP addresses to each piece of equipment. This router is also designed for compatibility with the new OPC-UA (Open Platform Communication Unified Architecture) protocol that is being developed by the European plastics machinery association (Euromap) as the industry’s future communication standard. The Wittmann 4.0 router will be featured at the K 2016 show in Dusseldorf this October.