Commonly described as Industry 4.0, a revolution is in progress that will change shop floors all over the world: Smart machines will be connected with one another and soon make smart factories a reality.
However, the path to the factory of the future won’t happen in one single jump. Instead, it will take a lot of steps. An important aspect is connectivity: enabling machines to communicate with one another to deliver data wirelessly and to be accessed from remote service centers. With its rConnect digital service platform, GF Machining Solutions already provides an Industry 4.0-ready solution.
Digital services for higher productivity
Available for all GF Machining Solutions technologies, rConnect comprises various services which empower manufacturers to increase their productivity. First, there is the Customer Cockpit, the user interface and the door to GF Machining Solutions’ digital service world. It connects customers with their production facilities via personal computer (PC) or mobile device from anywhere at any time. rConnect’s Live Remote Assistance (LRA) module provides direct access to GF Machining Solutions experts; it facilitates face-to-face assistance by using audio, video, chat and many more functionalities.
In addition, the rConnect Messenger app delivers machine data to users’ mobile devices. With Messenger, manufacturers gain insight into the efficiency of their workshops by continuously monitoring their GF Machining Solutions machines. Messenger delivers notifications such as machine status, messages and jobs to users’ mobile devices to keep users constantly informed about their production. Users can supervise their workshops from anywhere and monitor the progress of their machines from their mobile devices. Combined with LRA, Messenger is an indispensable app for daily business activities, keeping users continuously connected with their workshops.
Certification by the independent organization TÜVIT guarantees an optimal level of security for the server on which GF Machining Solutions data is hosted and stored. An encrypted, point-to-point connection guarantees the security of users’ sensitive data.
Peace of mind through Messenger
The benefits for the customer are evident. Thanks to rConnect Messenger, customers’ machines can run unmanned in the evenings and on weekends with greater peace of mind, because machine status can be checked remotely.
Look into the future
The world of digitalization is evolving rapidly and so are GF Machining Solutions’ digital products. Therefore, rConnect will soon be extended by a new Dashboard module that will allow workshop managers to analyze machine performance.
With its rConnect platform, GF Machining Solutions ensures that customers achieve a clear return on their machine investment and greater machine uptime, productivity and reliability.
Demonstration supports VDW sector initiative
Additionally, as a member of the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association’s (VDW) Connectivity for Industry 4.0 sectoral initiative, GF Machining Solutions will partner with Beckhoff to demonstrate the OPC Foundation’s OPC Unified Architecture (UA) on an AgieCharmilles wire-cutting electrical discharge (EDM) machine at AMB 2018. The OPC UA is a machine-to-machine communication protocol for industrial automation.