It is becoming more and more clear that making processes more flexible must be accompanied by decentralization,
because otherwise the complexity of a central controlling system would be unmanageable. Therefore, a different light is shed upon an element of Industry 4.0 – the demand for more decentralized structures: it is about smart processes and more decentralized freedom of choice – technology itself is only secondary. Looking at the connections and the relevant examples pays off.
By Markus Diesner, MPDV Mikrolab
Contrary to the widespread practice of hierarchic production control, more and more self-regulating systems and smart control mechanisms are being used in modern factory halls. Therefore it is not only about smart machines but also often about smart processes, to give manufacturing workers more freedom of choice. An important foundation for this is all the relevant information being available decentrally. The local instance can be enriched with its own information and can make decisions based on that. Decentral technologies in the dimensions of cloud computing or CPS are not absolutely necessary for decentralization on a small scale.
Conclusion: Decentrality in production and intra-logistics?
In summary, it can be ascertained:
- Decentralized intelligence and freedom of choice significantly reduce the effort of planning as well as the complexity of a central position.
- The synchronization with a central instance – for example, a MES-System – is vitally important.
- The technology used often plays just a minor role and only supports the decentrally organized processes.