MechChem Africa March 2019

⎪ Local manufacturing, production and food processing ⎪

Assembly line production with smart connectivity

The Connect, an industrial smart hub, recently unveiled by electric assembly tools specialist, Desoutter Industrial Tools, is poised to transform assembly line production. This innovative multi-tool management unit boosts flexibility, uptime and productivity.

T he state-of-the-art Connect is an in- dustrial smart hub that was recently sold to an international motor ve- hicle manufacturer in South Africa. Connect provides a singlepoint of connection for communication between the factory net- work and up to 20 cordless Desoutter tools, facilitating installation, customisation and line rebalancing. “In using Connect, our customers are able to rebalance their line, which provides them with savings in terms of up-time and tool cables,” explainsCorrieCoetzee, business line manager, subSaharanAfrica. “Furthermore, it also frees some tools tobe used elsewhere on the line or as backup tools.” Manufacturers, in aligning themselves with Industry 4.0, are introducing new tech- nologies that will assist them to work more smartly, efficiently and cost-effectively, leading to substantial cost savings and plant optimisation. Designed to accelerate the transformation towards the Industry 4.0 factory,theConnect’sfeaturesenhancetrace- ability and data security to manage all items, actions and information relating to assembly line activities. Available to the local market, the Connect-Xmodel can activate up to 20 Tools, thus allowing a maximum of 20 Desoutter devices to be connected and used simultane- ouslywithcommunications betweenConnect and the tools, constantly transmitting and receiving data without interruption. The Connect-X has both internal and external access points. Each tool is assigned a Tightening Unit on the Connect, which acts as its platform and contains all items, actions, and information related to it. Customising, programming, in- tegration and reassigning is possible without the need to reconfigure the whole system. Application-basedcustomisationisaprime

feature of Connect which provides custom- ers with ultimate accessibility and flexibility. Desoutter feature management is a scalable solutionthatenablescustomersto,atanytime, with a simple activation, add any additional features they require. Connect can be fine- tuned by loading only those features needed foreachapplication.Thesefeaturescanalsobe assigned fromone tool to another in response totheproductionline’schangingrequirements. Furthermore, line rebalancing allows for tool relocationaswell as for theupgradeof the line whenever required by work load. Further adding to the industrial smart hub’s versatility is a removable integrated memory (RIM) that quickly and efficiently transfers data and settings fromoneConnect toanother, enabling customers to reconfigure their assembly lines within seconds for opti- mised uptime and productivity. “Even in situationswhere there is a failure, using the RIM is as easy as removing it from Connect, inserting it into another Connect and switching the unit on,” notes Coetzee, adding that on start-up, the new unit will be identical to the one it replaced before the failure occurred. With a volume of only 4.0 litres, the com- pact unit can be installed virtually anywhere in the plant – at theworkstation, at the end of theproduction line, in the server roomor even on the process manager’s desk. This versatile element ensures a cable-free assembly line and frees up production space, improving overall safety and efficiencies. If all Connect modules are housed in the same area, the op- erator no longer needs towalk fromstation to station to checkeach line, but can simply go to theConnect area togather all the information required for ultimate productivity. Designed to be future proof, all existing Desoutter Wi-Fi solutions as well as devices currently indevelopment are fully compatible

The innovative Connect X industrial smart hub from Desoutter facilitates installation, customisation and line rebalancing. withConnect, futureproofingmanufacturers’ plants and providing themwith solutions that they did not even know they would need. A number of dedicated error proofing accesso- ries suchas stack lights, socket trays, operator controls and remote user interfaces are also available to help assure 100% control reli- ability of the process. Connect harmoniously couples multi-tool management with advanced digital technol- ogy, accelerating factory transformation towards Industry 4.0. This compact, power- ful and smart connectivity solution delivers lowest possible total cost of ownership to customers. “For the Industry 4.0 factory, this solution will allow savings far into the future, which will free up funds that can be spent on other important issues, thereby getting the most out of budgets,” concludes Coetzee. q

March 2019 • MechChem Africa ¦ 21

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