The Training Factory consists of the factory modules storage and retrieval station, vacuum gripper robot, high-bay warehouse, multi-processing station with oven, a sorting line with color detection, an environmental sensor and a swiveling camera. After delivery of raw materials, they are stored in the high-bay warehouse and after ordering in the dashboard, the workpieces pass through the respective factory modules and the current-status is immediately visible in the dashboard.
The integrated environmental sensor reports values for temperature, humidity, air pressure and air quality. Due to the vertical and horizontal swivel range, the camera can see the entire plant and can therefore be used for web-based remote monitoring.
The individual workpieces are tracked by NFC (Near Field Communication): each workpiece is given a unique identification number (ID). This enables the current status of the workpieces in the machining process to be tracked and made visible.
There are three different versions of the fischertechnik Training Factory Industry 4.0 24V, which differ in the scope of delivery of the controller. This variant is already wired and prepared for connection to the PLC.
The Training Factory Industry 4.0 24V with PLC connection board is controlled by a PLC, independent of brand. The PLC is not included in the scope of delivery. The Training Factory Industry 4.0 24V with PLC connection board is fully wired and prepared for the connection of a PLC. All inputs and outputs of the individual adapter boards are brought together on a central collective board. The Training Factory Industry 4.0 can be conveniently connected to the PLC via two connecting cables. A ready-written sample program (as structured text, ST) is included in the scope of delivery. The program was created based upon a Siemens S7-1500 (for details, see "Downloads" on this page) and was written in Siemens TIA Portal V.16.
A fischertechnik TXT controller is also installed. This is supplied with power via the adapter board and provides the connection to the fischertechnik cloud. The TXT controller also communicates in MQTT to the IOT gateway (Raspberry Pi), which in turn translates in OPC-UA to the PLC controller. In this way, the 9V-based components such as the environmental sensor, the USB camera, the brightness sensor, and the NFC reader can be addressed via the MQTT interface and read out by the PLC. Even more interesting, however, is another function of the IOT Gateway, namely the possibility of an optional connection to a separate cloud. Thus, Training Factory 4.0 offers maximum flexibility for the respective user.
The PLC program for controlling fischertechnik Training Factory 4.0 was created as structured text (ST) based on a Siemens S7-1500 and can be called up in the eLearning portal. It can also be viewed, used, and downloaded free of charge at Github.com/fischertechnik. Of course, the Learning Factory can also be controlled with other PLC models and brands and individual solutions can be programmed and implemented by the user. It may be necessary to make small adjustments to the example program, which can then be implemented independently.
The connection to the fischertechnik cloud is established via the WLAN router which is integrated in the learning factory. The use of the Chrome or Firefox web browsers is recommended. www.fischertechnik-cloud.com. The servers of the cloud are located in Germany and ensure that the strict European requirements apply for the storage of data. Personal data is protected in an account with password access, which uses the very secure "OAuth2" industry standard. All data sent to the cloud is encrypted with certificates (https standard).
2 Dashboards, Raspberry Pi and Node-RED
The fischertechnik dashboard in the cloud can be called up and operated via mobile devices such as tablet and smartphone as well as on laptop and PC. In addition, a local dashboard, created with Node-RED, is implemented on the Raspberry Pi (IOT gateway), and own dashboards can also be created via Node-RED.
The dashboards included in fischertechnik Training Factory Industry 4.0 enable the presentation of platforms from three different perspectives:
- Customer view
- Supplier view
- Production view
The customer view shows a web-shop interface with a shopping cart, where you can order a workpiece and track the current-status of the order in the shopping cart. This process is displayed on the interface for the customer so that he/she is informed about the status of his/her order.
The process of ordering the raw material is displayed and visualized in the supplier view.
The factory status, the production process, the stock, the NFC/RFID reader, and the sensor values can be queried in the production view. In addition, the camera that monitors the production line can also be controlled here. All these functions are controlled within a window and actuated via the menu.
In Factory status, the status of the respective module is visualized via a traffic light display. If a fault occurs in production, it is acknowledged via a button after the cause has been rectified and production is continued. Each of the individual manufacturing steps are visually simplified using connected nodes and represented in the Production process view. The currently active node (= production module) lights up green or red when the respective process step is being processed live or there is an error and is waiting to be corrected.
The Inventory production view visualizes the current inventory of workpieces including minimum and maximum stock. A reorder point procedure is stored. This production view is used exclusively for visualization. The production view of the NFC/RFID reader displays the workpiece data and can be used to read or delete workpieces manually. The raw data of the NFC tags can be read using a standard NFC app from mobile devices with NFC readers. Each workpiece has its own unique ID and displays the following data: Status, color and timestamp from delivery to dispatch. The camera is also controlled via the production view and the read values of the environment sensor can also be viewed here.
Additional teaching material
The teaching material is available in the eLearning Portal
REQUIRED--PLEASE NOTE: Includes all cabling up to the PLC (PLC not included), and includes 24V power supply. One 9V Power adaptor (for TXT Controller) is required--sold separately.
For communication with the fischertechnik Cloud, the TXT Controller requires firmware version 4.7.0.
For older versions, an update must be carried out. More information here