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The future smart factory


What does the future factory look like? In Danfoss Drives they have set out on the journey as to how they want to produce and ship drives to their customers by 2025.

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A team of colleagues, test and experiment with new technologies: robots, real-time factory data, analytics, simulation, smart glasses, automatic guided vehicle, autonomous intelligent vehicle, alarms on smart watches.

The future smart factory is just around the corner.

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Meet Martin Høgsbjerg, Director, Global Manufacturing Technology, Danfoss Drives. He is the one appointed to lead the team to try out all the smart technologies within manufacturing. These years we talk a lot about digitalization of products, however, just as much is happening in the production areas to exploit and experiment with new technologies – getting to know what works and what doesn’t.

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”These are fast paced projects where we try out new technologies. We try out, make a proof of concept and implement where relevant and best suitable. And most importantly, we share knowledge about the pros and cons to a certain technology across our business,” he says.

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Robots are everywhere, and more and more a part of modern production facilities.

Say hello to Fedtmule (Goofy) – a new collaborative robot – that helps Günther Hartmann in his daily job.

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The programmed Universal Robot applies thermal paste to power-modules in an assembly cell. This is the first robot in Gråsten, Denmark, that is not fenced but works on the work station next to colleagues.

There are collaborative robots installed at the Danfoss Drives plants in Denmark, Finland and USA.

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At the high-power assembly line in Loves Park, USA,
Amie G Loyola wears her smart glasses to see the work
instruction procedures online.

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Typically, operators must walk around the product to assemble it and need to walk to a certain counter to read their instructions. So, when getting the images shown in the glasses it speeds up assembly and secures quality.

“I think it will be perfect for this area to use the glasses.”

If Amie needs help she calls a supervisor and he connects to the image on his computer. The smart glasses are part of a proof of concept project.

Look on the next to see what she can see.

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This is what Amie sees when she looks at the instructions in her glasses.

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At 5 km/h Minnie runs the factory floor in the yellow marked driving zone and carries up to 100 kilos. The vehicle drives 200 meters from one end of the factory to the other carrying small plastic bags with accessories to be placed in outbound goods.

But what about safety? How does Minnie detect traffic? Her colleagues in the trucks and on the lift truck know her from the sound she makes and the flag she carries on top. And she uses sensors to detect moving objects close to her.

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“Within the last 12 months we have had 20+ technology
projects leading the way towards our future smart factory
and new ways of assembling. These tech experiments are
our long-term goal of how we see our supply chain operation.
And it is not only about technology, we see this very much as trying out new ways of working. We experiment and help colleagues get used to new technologies and get new ‘tech-friends’ that will help them in their daily work,” says Martin Høgsbjerg.

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Published by Danfoss
Written by: Lene Ilsøe Nielsen

Photo and video: Glenn Simonsen and Lene Ilsøe Nielsen

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Chapter 2 Martin is heading the way

Martin is heading the way

Chapter 3 Now, let’s dive into some of the smart technologies

Now, let’s dive into some of the smart technologies...

Chapter 4 Teaming up with a robot

Teaming up with a robot

Chapter 5 Smart glasses show what to do

Smart glasses show what to do

Chapter 6 Minnie in operation

Chapter 7 20+ tecnology projects running

Chapter 8

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