75 % less machine downtime and 50 % more productivity: ITA – showroom opening Textil vernetzt shows digital solutions
Since May 29, 2018, the Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University has been showing how machine downtimes can be avoided and which digital possibilities exist to increase corporate productivity. With the opening of the ITA showroom "New social infrastructures of work, qualification and lifelong learning" in the Digital Capability Center in Aachen, Germany, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) receive individual digital solutions.ITA
"Digitisation is not yet tangible for many SMEs. But it is already in full swing. Those who do not keep pace with digital change will be left behind in the market and opportunities will be missed. It is therefore our task to show small and medium-sized enterprises their digital possibilities," explained ITA Institute Director Prof. Dr Thomas Gries at the opening ceremony. "The focus in our showroom in Aachen is on the digital support of people's work in production. Work processes and procedures are optimised through assistance systems and learning close to the workplace. In addition, the expertise of the ITA and our various partners is bundled under one roof in our digital centre. As a result, we offer a wide range of expertise to cover the most diverse areas of digitisation. This enables us to offer fast, competent and comprehensive assistance in this dynamic area".ITA
Juliette Melzow, Deputy Head of the Department ‘Mittelstand-Digital’ at the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi), underlined: "Small and medium-sized enterprises can only benefit if they recognise the challenges of digitisation in good time and understand them as an opportunity and use them. The ‘Mittelstand 4.0’ funding initiative of the Federal Ministry of Economics offers targeted support for this. Meanwhile, 23 ‘Mittelstand 4.0’ competence centres, which are regionally and subject-specifically oriented, deal with almost all questions relating to digitisation. With this large network of contact points, we want to ensure that the help reaches those who need it."
Numerous guests from business and industry were given a guided tour of the digital learning factory to explain the production of the future. They discussed changes in the workplace, the use of new technologies and the challenges and hurdles of digital transformation.
Work support such as an augmented reality system makes actual work processes visible to the machine operator, for example via a tablet PC, and enriches them with virtual instructions for action. This expert manual allows even laymen to carry out repairs independently without the help of a technician, which in turn leads to less machine downtime and an increase in productivity. According to calculations by the Digital Capability Center Aachen, up to 75 % machine downtime is avoided and work output is increased by 50 %.
The ITA is part of the ‘Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Textil vernetzt’, which also includes the four partners Gesamtverband textil+mode, Sächsisches Textilforschungsinstitut (STFI), Deutsche Institute für Textil- und Faserforschung Denkendorf (DITF) and Hahn-Schickard. Textil vernetzt is part of the funding priority ‘Mittelstand-Digital’, which was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology (BMWi) to promote digitisation in SMEs and the skilled trades. At www.textil-vernetzt.de you will find further information on cross-linked textiles.
What is ‘Mittelstand-Digital’?
‘Mittelstand-Digital’ informs small and medium-sized enterprises about the opportunities and challenges of digitalisation. Regional competence centres help both small retailers and larger production companies with expert knowledge, demonstration centres, networks for the exchange of experience and practical examples. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy enables the free use of all offers from ‘Mittelstand-Digital’. Further information can be found at www.mittelstand-digital.de.
Marco Saggiomo (ITA Academy) explains the advantages of digital solutions, on a narrow weaving machine, source: ITA