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Production 4.0 – The SMART approach

No, we aren‘t about to give you another new explanation of Industry 4.0. We will also not be asking whether industrial production can really be linked to modern communication and information technology, since that discussion is already being held. Put simply, this is a subject that has been talked to death in various panel discussions and seminars over the years. What is now important is to identify the SMARTest methods and how they can be implemented on the production line.

The vision of an autonomous production environment in which manufacturing systems are controlled through the Internet of things is no longer such a far-off pipe dream. The factor that above all determines whether „smart  production“ is a success is the communication between the product and the manufacturing system. But how do we know that the logical approach is also the smartest approach?

Clear objectives are essential before a successful „smart production“ strategy can be developed. Detailed analyses of direct and indirect production processes are carried out to determine the level of networking required on the production line. Once this has been done, a start can be made on evaluating the potential available in the individual areas. It is advisable to consider the areas of activity on a case-by-case basis. Only then can the appropriate solutions, savings potential and the investment required be clearly defined.

Having identified the potential in the specific areas of the company, clear and unambiguous objectives must be drawn up. Objectives will only be suitable for a company if they are set in accordance with certain guidelines. On the one hand, the values must be realistic and quantifiable so that a transparent way of controlling the activities can be produced and operated. It is also vital that all the departments involved accept the objectives and agree that they are achievable within the specified time frame. Should one of the departments not concur, there is a risk that the whole process will be delayed or even collapse.

After the objectives have been defined, there are any number of ways in which processes can be optimised, some of which are described below:


The ultimate programming and simulation software for your machine. Visualising all programming steps in a 3D working area enables errors to be detected at an early stage and corrective measures taken, while the preliminary simulation guarantees shorter set-up times and gives the operator a programme that has already been tested for crashes. This highly versatile programme delivers quality improvements in terms of efficiency and machine safety.


The ability to program the machine directly means that Millturn PRO is able to create and edit NC programs quickly and easily. Full flexibility is provided through the availability of an optional PC version. A feature that allows NC  programs previously created in Crash Guard Studio to be edited directly on the interactive operator panel makes for more efficient working.


The complete manufacturing chain at a glance. In computing critical performance indicators, machine and process data, plus productivity and availability figures, the WFL Data Analyzer provides a decisive boost towards optimising your production processes. The integrated Alarm Assistant warns you in good time about any scheduled maintenance activities, error messages and what triggered them. This innovative software ensures that your machine delivers the highest levels of performance at all times.


The cloud-based and open operating system for the IOT (Internet of Things) from Siemens permits the synchronous and direct connection of all available machines. The data that is generated helps when carrying out a detailed  observation of the machines, in the acquisition of machine status data, and also brings about an increase in productivity, reliability and efficiency.


The requirements placed on a modern production facility nowadays are characterised by greater flexibility with ever smaller production batches. Pay per use financing allows users of WFL machines to significantly improve their cash- low position by adjusting costs to match the revenues from sales. The hourly machine rate is agreed based on its expected level of usage. Siemens MindSphere enables the operational state of the machine to be captured in real time and billed fully automatically in line with the previously agreed hourly rate. The customer can now choose between long-term external funding of the investment, which can be extended following the initial period, or a short-term commercial rental solution, which might be more suitable for a one-off order. The machine can then simply be returned at the end of the agreement. This solution is only available in selected countries and for a restricted number of machine models.


The independent loading/unloading of the tool magazine is now a reality. The innovative 15“ Tool Touch Pad from WFL enables tools to be loaded/ unloaded while machining is in progress, simplifying tool management as well as the operation of the machine. The Tool Touch Pad is particulary suitable for mid-sized and large MILLTURNs.


What does SMART mean?

» Specific:

Defining potentials in specific company areas

» Measurable:

Objectives must be quantifiable

» Achievable:

All parties involved have accepted that the objectives can be achieved and responsibilities have been defined

» Realistic:

Objectives must be realistic

» Time-based:

Objectives have clear time constraints

Responsible for the content of this press release: WFL Millturn Technologies GmbH & Co. KG


WFL Millturn Technologies GmbH & Co. KG
Wahringerstraße 36
4030 Linz
+43 732 6913-0
+43 732 6913-8172

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