Industrial applications of Industry 4.0
Jan Polzer - PhD Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland
Jan is the Coordinator of Industrial Projects and a Professional Teaching Fellow at The University of Auckland, working with Prof. Xun Xu at the Faculty of Engineering. Xun is one of New Zealand’s leading researchers in the area of Industry 4.0. Jan’s duties include initiating and supervising new R&D projects with industrial partners and PhD students of the University. He has successfully initiated and carried out this kind of projects in the German process industry over the last 18 years.
Until his move to New Zealand, Jan was head of Downstream Automation at BFI, a renowned institute of applied research closely connected to Germany’s steel industry; http://www.bfi.de/en/about-us/ . The range of projects led by Jan worked on new automation concepts, process optimisation and mechatronic systems with a strong focus on Industry 4.0 technologies. Jan has a sound practical understanding of industrial production processes and is experienced in linking researchers with industry practitioners. An important part of his last job was the ‘translation’ of industrial problems into topics for Ph D students and then ensure that original problem is still solved.
This presentation shows the industrial application of a new Industry 4.0 concept and digital twins in process industry. The developed concept for decentralized production optimization is based on digital twins and autonomous agent communication. The digital twins gives the product to be processed a certain "intelligence" and decision-making authority. Contrary to the conventional approach, the digital twins "say" the next process stage the optimal setup parameters for production. The presentation also shows how such a system works in a real-world production environment with an increase in productivity as a result. The concept can be easily transferred to many other types of industry.