New technology for a new business model
Boge has invested around €2 million in smart production technology at its Bielefeld plant. In line with a new business model the company aims to adapt its compressors to individual customer requirements.25 Oct 2018
The focus is on the HST compressor. Boge continuously monitors operational data and identifies scope for improvements – for example, lower energy con- sumption or an extended service life. With the help of sophisticated data anal- ysis tools the Boge engineers are in a position to develop new components and software updates that are tailored exactly to the requirements of its customers. In other words, Boge is committed to continuous product improvement. Thanks to the modular design of the HST compressor, components can be exchanged very quickly. Industrial customers do not have to pay anything for the hard- ware improvements and software updates. Instead, Boge and the customer share the savings achieved over a predefined period of time. The investment risk resides almost entirely with Boge.
"Our high-speed turbo compressor is the answer to the increasing demand for customized solutions and optimum energy efficiency," explains Thorsten Meier, Man- aging Director of Boge, a family-owned enterprise. "To streamline the fabrication and assembly of our innovative machine concept we have adapted ground-breaking production technology to our require- ments." Boge's smart factory is modelled on the SmartFactoryOWL, where prototypes are tested and new processes developed. In the course of just one year Boge reconfig- ured part of its production infrastructure at its main site in Bielefeld-Jöllenbeck.
The combination of digitization, automa- tion and craft skills provides the basis for manufacturing the HST compressors – reliably, in a number of different versions and irrespective of the experience of the assembly workers. A digital assistance system facilitates the rapid learning and ergonomic execution of complex assembly steps. Each component "knows" its particular characteristics and requirements. On the basis of the individual component codes the assistance system projects step-by-step instructions within the assembly worker’s field of vision. A pick-to-light function ensures the easy selection of the necessary components from a modular array. The relevant parameters are derived directly from Boge's ERP system. This smart production concept ensures the seamless traceability of the key performance indicators of each individual compressor. An Andon board indicates the current status of the assembly lines. The smart factory is undergoing continuous evolution. The principles established here will soon be applied to other product lines
Boge has teamed up with another local champion – Weidmüller – to develop a predictive maintenance software for the HST compressors. On the basis of a complex data model this software predicts changes before these actually happen, thus allowing the operator to intervene appropriately. According to its inventors, this self-learning system becomes more and more precise over time. At HANNOVER MESSE 2018 Weidmüller presented the Boge HST 220 com- pressor live and in action. As soon as there is a change in the compressor’s oper-ating parameters, the software generates an anomaly warning message. For demonstration purposes at the trade show, the compressor cooling system was manipulated in order to simulate a problem with the motor. All the relevant data were displayed instanta- neously in the application. Weidmüller’s predictive maintenance software is the ideal complement to the Boge Analytics service portfolio. Boge and Weid- müller, two SMEs from East Westphalia, are making a decisive contribution to the future of compressed air technology.
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