Freudenberg, Germany – Albrecht Baumer has introduced Sophie, a new production planning, monitoring and coordination system that integrates with conventional and mobile platforms.
The system uses artificial intelligence to gain a complete view of the manufacturing process from the tank, through the foaming machine, to block storage. It also monitors and controls cutting and glueing.
The company said that this can help improve efficiency, and therefore can reduce raw material use and manufacturing costs. It can also maximise capacity use.
In addition, the system offers feedback during the foaming stage. Baumer said: 'It is possible to analyse the surrounding conditions during processing. The experience gained under identical or similar conditions can help adjust machines to guarantee optimal product quality.'
Block production is monitored with measurement bridges. These monitor the shape and size of the block, and can also monitor air pressure, humidity and temperature.
By integrating data from the bridges with the other production steps, it is possible to trace relatively small volumes of foam through the process, the company added.
Artificial intelligence lies at the heart of the system. This analyses data to help drive production towards the customer's goals. Baumer said Sophie can reduce waste, lead time, inventory, or unit cost. At the same time, it can ensure consistent product quality.
The stock management module gives a real-time view of the state raw material levels, curing racks, crane storage, short block storage and glue drying racks.