Platform-independent data exchange IoT laser integration
Laserline has expanded its portfolio with hardware and software solutions for the implementation of fully networked Industry 4.0 process architectures. The focus lies in the possibility for a platform-independent data exchange. All Laserline LDF diode lasers of the latest generation are with immediate effect available ex works with OPC UA interfaces and can thus be integrated into the IoT architectures on the basis of the communication standard OPC UA. Additionally, a retrofit solution is offered for the OPC UA upgrade of existing systems. Currently, this is already available for all LDF diode lasers of the 5th and 6th generation. The digital laser solutions concept will be extended to the compact 19" diode lasers of the LDM series. In addition, the manufacturer is working on simple handling applications that allow convenient digital monitoring and control even for stand-alone laser installations.
The OPC UA interfaces are directly connected with the control unit of the laser systems, and can allow the OPC UA client of a superior system (for example MES, ERP or cloud solution) the real-time read-out of many process-relevant machine values. Besides classical system parameters such as serial number, output power, temperature and humidity development or cooling water flow, this also includes especially warning and error messages. Altogether, depending on the laser configuration, more than 300 machine values can be read out by the ex works built-in interfaces; by the upgraded retrofit-server, about 150. Based on this data, the user can, for example, change from a rigid lifetime-based maintenance process to a flexible predictive or condition-dependent maintenance, including the automated coordination of services, says the manufacturer. Downtimes and trouble shootings are thus shortened, while processes have better predictability. Eventually, estimating when a system will attain the end of its lifetime and when new investments are necessary can be made. Furthermore, the Industry 4.0 compliant communication via OPC UA sets a framework for future analyses and solutions on an AI basis.