An­cient lathe moves into 21st Cen­tury

Motor Equipment News - - OEM -

In a re­mark­able feat, Bosch engi­neers have con­verted a 129-year-old trea­dle-op­er­ated cast iron lathe to work in 21st Cen­tury con­di­tions, us­ing sen­sors, soft­ware, and Bosch’s new IoT (In­ter­net of Things) com­pat­i­ble in­dus­trial con­trols.

The lathe is a his­tor­i­cal gem, and was used by Bosch’s founder Robert Bosch to man­u­fac­ture parts for the mag­neto ig­ni­tion de­vice − the very prod­uct that helped the com­pany to achieve its break­through at the end of the 19th Cen­tury.

Speak­ing in Stuttgart, Dr. Werner Struth, who is the Bosch man­age­ment board mem­ber re­spon­si­ble for in­dus­trial tech­nol­ogy and man­u­fac­tur­ing co­or­di­na­tion, said: “This is the only con­struc­tion of its kind in the world. It shows that even an­cient ma­chines can be con­nected quickly and eas­ily with the IoT gate­way.”

As a re­sult, he ex­plained, Bosch is “open­ing up the ben­e­fits of con­nected in­dus­try to op­er­a­tors of older ma­chines as well.”

In ex­plain­ing the break­through, engi­neers re­fer to the four stages of the in­dus­trial rev­o­lu­tion.

In­dus­try 1.0, to which the orig­i­nal lathe be­longs, was Mech­a­ni­sa­tion. In­dus­try 2.0 was Mass Production. In­dus­try 3.0 was Au­to­ma­tion, and In­dus­try 4.0, in which we find our­selves to­day, is Con­nec­tiv­ity.

“Many of the ma­chines used in skilled trades or man­u­fac­tur­ing are still not con­nected to In­dus­try 4.0. Among other things, they lack sen­sors, soft­ware, and con­nec­tions to com­pa­nies’ IT sys­tems – which means that they do not ful­fil the essen­tial pre­req­ui­sites for con­nected in­dus­try,” says Dr Struth.

“In Ger­many alone, the num­ber of such ma­chines runs into tens of mil­lions. And glob­ally, the mar­ket for retro­fit so­lu­tions like the Bosch IoT gate­way is worth bil­lions.”

He said that in­dus­try needs con­nected ma­chines if it is to be suc­cess­ful over the long term. That is ex­actly what the IoT gate­way en­sures − quickly and flex­i­bly.

With this gate­way, Bosch shows how op­er­a­tors of older man­u­fac­tur­ing sys­tems can con­nect their ma­chines, and thus mon­i­tor them in real time and op­ti­mise them.

This en­ables things such as pre­dic­tive main­tenance, re­duc­ing down­time while in­creas­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity.

In a next step, Bosch will retro­fit 22 of its test fa­cil­i­ties and then a num­ber of other ma­chines.

Ap­pren­tices use the mod­i­fied lathe

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