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In industrial manufacturing processes, forming presses are, so to speak, regular players in every match. Whether it's an automobile, a refrigerator or a key fob - forming parts can be found almost everywhere. Depending on their size and complexity, the acquisition costs for the required machines can easily reach double-digit millions. Added to this are set-up, adjustment and maintenance, all of which can take a considerable amount of time. In view of such high investment costs, buyers naturally want a long and efficient runtime without any loss of quality. At HANNOVER MESSE 2022, the Fraunhofer Cluster of Excellence Cognitive Internet Technologies CCIT will therefore be demonstrating how the cognitive transformation of industrial processes can be used to increase the efficiency of forming machines. The basic technology is the intelligent slot nut smartNotch.

Up to now, the data generated during the operation of forming presses has been recorded and stored almost exclusively on the machine itself. It is neither aggregated across the machine park nor shared with other players involved, such as manufacturers or suppliers. Structured analysis, evaluation and application of the data also rarely takes place. The reason is a lack of concepts and technologies for a closed data lifecycle in which data can be sustainably processed, accessed and shared with confidence to generate new knowledge. In short, there is a lack of cognitive Internet technologies.

In contrast, in the Fraunhofer CCIT solution approach shown in Hannover, cognitive Internet technologies guarantee end-to-end process transparency and thus increased overall plant effectiveness. At the core of this approach is the smartNotch: With the intelligent slot stone, production processes can be continuously and automatically monitored. The new sensor concept can be easily and flexibly inserted into the interior of the forming press and can thus measure deformations as well as loads at the interfaces to the dies and transmit the data via radio to an evaluation system. "The technology allows continuous monitoring, which can be used inline, for example, for wear detection, protection, acceptance, and tool familiarization. Thus, workflows can be optimized and processes can become more agile," explains Robin Kurth, who is responsible for CCIT.