Smart gearboxes for smart machines
The smart gearboxes will be launched in the market in fall 2019, when the associated IODD file can also be downloaded from the IODDfinder portal. The smart variant will initially be available for the successful gearboxes in the alpha Premium Line and then gradually extended to all WITTENSTEIN alpha series.
Lead applications confirm functionality and efficiency
Until now, gearboxes have been no good at communicating. The new smart variant alters this situation radically. The gearboxes have now “got something to say”: they are capable of recording and storing different influencing quantities in the process and the environment which impact on gearbox operation, and communicating them to automation systems as well as to all standard IIoT platforms. This so-called “cynapse” functionality of the smart gearboxes – comprised of a sensor module, the data output using IO-Link and the resulting I4.0 connectivity – comes hand in hand with integrated logic functions for implementing customized tasks. For example, the actual and threshold values for temperatures and vibration can be compared directly in the smart gearbox, an alarm signaled if the high or low limit is exceeded and all events stored and documented. According to reports from the first lead customers, the smart gearbox functionalities enable even more transparency, performance, reliability and availability, especially with critical axes. Critical operating states are detected sooner, so that the risk of damage to the gearbox and the drive train is minimized and expensive repairs or machine stoppages avoided. Moreover, this gearbox data can be efficiently integrated into the maintenance and repair schedules for the entire machine or plant. WITTENSTEIN alpha gearboxes with “cynapse” consequently achieve a rapid return on investment, as likewise confirmed by lead customers: The data from the smart gearboxes permits efficient process improvements – and the costs which result from damage far outweigh the comparatively modest markup for the integrated intelligence.
Smart gearboxes: “black box” makes way for transparency
WITTENSTEIN alpha’s smart gearboxes are a milestone for networked production as defined by Industry 4.0. They are an important building block in the digital transformation of production processes and structures in that they eliminate the “black box” which is traditionally essential to ensure transparent drive trains. At the same time, they provide additional information which can be leveraged by automation systems or cloud applications to optimize the flexibility, availability and productivity of machines and equipment.
Get started: play IIoT smart & simple – the smart gearbox variant is a significant step in WITTENSTEIN’s evolution from a drive manufacturer and mechatronics corporation to a “Leader in Cybertronics”.