Schaeffler “Machine tool 4.0” – finalist for German Business Innovation Award

Schaeffler 1

Schaeffler has been nominated as one of four finalists in the “Industrie 4.0” category for the German Business Innovation Award for its innovation project “Machine tool 4.0”. The award ceremony will take place on April 16, 2016 in Darmstadt.


Schaeffler developed the “Machine tool 4.0” machine concept with DMG MORI, a worldwide leading manufacturer of metal-cutting machine tools, and other partners. Based on Schaeffler components equipped with sensors and cloud-based software and an evaluation unit, the completely-networked machine represents a definitive step towards digitalized manufacturing. The partners in the project developed two innovative machines based on the Schaeffler concept. One of these machines will be used in volume production at Schaeffler’s plant in Höchstadt in the high-precision bearings lead segment. Linking it with other machines along the digitalized value added chain enables Schaeffler to test the feasibility of the concept in practice in an industrial environment using specific data and to gain information for further development.


At the core of the project lies the question as to how productivity, quality, delivery reliability and user friendliness can be increased using digitalization in the factories of the future. Bearing supports and guidance systems in machine tools play a decisive role here, since they are not only relevant for the functional capability of the machine, but also for the quality of the workpieces. Data that provide information about the current condition and also future behavior of components form an important basis for machine operators. If the machines are also linked, it will be possible in future to control manufacturing in such a way as to allow any maintenance required to be planned in advance. This significantly increases machine availability. Another example is the use of energy, since it will be possible to improve the planning of energy usage by determining energy requirements in advance. Energy can be purchased according to requirements and manufacturing can be planned in such a way that peaks in energy consumption can be minimized, for example.


The knowledge gained from this project can be transferred to other machines and systems, e.g. in other manufacturing machines or wind turbines. Schaeffler will be presenting specific steps for predictive maintenance as part of a special exhibition on the topic at Hannover Messe 2016 (hall 17, booth A37). “Machine tool 4.0” will also be on display as well as “Drive train 4.0” which features further data-based solutions.


About the Innovation Award


The German Business Innovation Award is one of the world’s most renowned awards for innovation and is awarded in four categories. The competition is already in its 35th year and the partners of the “World’s First Prize for Innovation” (as it is also sometimes known) have been awarding it to the most important innovations in the fields of science, technology, business and intellectual achievements in business in Germany since then.


Publisher: Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG

Country: Germany



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