Process-oriented documentation for Industrie 4.0

Operating instructions, safety instructions, BOMs: documents contain important information and must be available quickly when needed – especially in industrial settings with their complex machines and robots. How can the documentation of a machine pool be linked and automated?

For four years, KUKA Corporate Research investigated documentation processes of the future in the ProDok 4.0 project together with automation specialists from ISRA Surface Vision, dictaJet Ingenieurgesellschaft and Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences.

Easier operation and maintenance with the right documentation

Machine data are linked in a process-oriented documentation system independently of their format. This enables the user to find the desired information quicker than before. The operation and maintenance of machines are thus simplified, for example.

“Within the scope of this project, KUKA was searching for a connection allowing a robot to be linked with previously collected information from KUKA’s in-house knowledge base KUKA Xpert”, says KUKA’s project owner Dr. Daniel Braun.

If a problem arises, the robot application independently recognizes the possible causes on the basis of the recorded data. The user merely needs to choose the appropriate solution from those proposed. This reduces the troubleshooting effort, and the robot can continue production as quickly as possible.

Finding solutions faster with robot analysis

To allow for automated error analysis, known problems are modeled first of all. In response to an error message, the sensitive KUKA lightweight robot LBR iiwa searches the modeled information. If the robot finds problem descriptions in the database that match the error which has occurred, it lists the possible causes of the problem and presents the corresponding solution approaches. The user finally chooses the relevant description of the problem and rectifies the error.

“We have achieved the goal of establishing a faster link to the documentation, and collaboration with our partners in the project went really well,” Dr. Daniel Braun concludes. This is an example of how digital solutions can help users to maintain an overview – even in highly complex industrial processes.


Author: Sofia Wolf

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