Step by Step Towards Industry 4.0

There is a variety of IT services providers in the market. But are there any that also understand the ins and outs of production? This is precisely where Axoom’s strength lies. With Trumpf as its parent company, this new IT services firm is a decisive step ahead of other software firms. Axoom knows the complexity and non-standardized processes faced by small- and medium-sized companies very well. Based on this practical experience and a foundation of machine know-how, Axoom builds IT solutions to optimize production processes.

The new digital business platform operated by Axoom uses tailor-made modules along the value chain to help smooth the path toward Industry 4.0. “With Axoom we are thinking outside the box and are advocating a new, digital and open business platform that covers the entire value chain, regardless of the manufacturer involved. Machines and systems from a variety of providers working together intelligently – this is the future,” explains Mathias Kammüller, Executive Vice President of Trumpf and head of the Machine Tools division. The new IT service firm does not stop at the shop walls but instead supports users continuously – from the supplier to the end customer.

Trumpf is very consciously setting up the new team as an independent company. “Axoom is intended to create something entirely new, beyond existing convention. We are supporting them with our entire know-how as a machine tool manufacturer. Our common goal is to achieve highest productivity and profitability for our direct customers – but also various other production companies,” Kammüller continues.

With the help of Axoom, manufacturing companies can move toward Industry 4.0 at their own pace. (Source: Trumpf)

With the help of Axoom, manufacturing companies can move toward Industry 4.0 at their own pace. (Source: Trumpf)

Axoom addresses the problem of growing complexity in the manufacturing industry – for example, those caused by declining batch sizes. Modern machines turn out parts so quickly that they offer very little potential to reach greater productivity. The situation is entirely different when it comes to the processes that precede and follow the actual production of a part – from taking a customer’s order, then to materials procurement and order scheduling, and through to invoicing – there are many opportunities to save time and expense.

This is exactly where Industry 4.0 and Axoom come into play. “The key is an open business platform that is holistic in design and encompasses the entire value chain,” explains Florian Weigmann, Managing Director at Axoom. “With our product offering, we want to help our users by simplifying process steps within production, synchronizing them, and bringing overall productivity to an entirely new and higher level.”

As an open platform, Axoom will be available to all customers, their suppliers and service contractors, as well as to other partners. Components made by different manufacturers within the production value chain can be networked together and are thereby able to work together intelligently. In addition, the platform is modular in its design and can be scaled to suit. This gives users the possibility to replace individual process steps one by one toward a more seamless solution. “What’s more, additional value can come as a result of our partners being able to integrate their own products into Axoom. Everything is available within an open system – unified, integrated and transparent,” says Weigmann.

Already included among the Axoom partners are renowned companies such as the digital daughter company of the Klöckner & Co SE – kloeckner.i GmbH, the Linde AG, J. Schmalz GmbH, Sick AG, WiCam GmbH Technische Software, Xetics GmbH and the Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH.

Beginning immediately, those interested in participating can pre-register at www.axoom.com for a preview of the new platform. During the preview phase, users will be able to try out the first modules at no charge. The first consistently integrated modules for the preview include: order and resource management, logistics, production planning and shop floor as well as reporting.

 

Free preview phase

The order management module relegates faxes and paper to a less prominent role. Every inquiry received will be digitally documented. The data are then transferred efficiently through to the order list: materials needed, number of items, delivery address and as well as the drawing of the part. Regardless of whether the client orders directly in the online shop or sends their requirements by email.

The module resource management administers all resources, continuously and efficiently. It enables prompt deliveries and purchasing with a push of a button. In order to achieve this, Axoom automatically reports when materials needed for the order are in short supply and need to be reordered. With a single click, the dispatcher approves the purchase and requests the material from the supplier – directly and without needing to change systems.

In the logistics module, finished orders are automatically readied for delivery. To guarantee cost efficiency, Axoom compares the bids from various shipping companies and automatically enables the printing of the shipping labels. If requested, order and shipping data for proofing will be provided.

The foundation for the production planning module and the shop floor is a dynamic planning algorithm which responds instantly to rush orders or malfunctions and proactively recommends solutions. Once the production manager has signed off on the incoming order, suggestions for optimal production scheduling will be automatically generated. The complex tasks of material provisioning and scheduling of machines and personnel – along with determining the sequence of processing steps – are optimized independently. Of course, the operator always has the option of intervening. The result is an optimized production path. The shop floor function acts as a central navigation element for the platform, offering monitoring and a complete overview of production.

The reporting section provides a transparent overview of all business processes. Key figures on machines and the business itself are kept up to date and available at all times, and any possible warning notifications are quickly visible. (Source: Trumpf)

Links: Axoom • Trumpfkloeckner.iLindeJ. SchmalzSickWiCamXeticsCarl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik

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