Festo Didactic is the world-leading provider of equipment and solutions for technical education. The product and service portfolio offers customers holistic education solutions for all areas of technology in factory and process automation, such as pneumatics, hydraulics, electrical engineering, production technology, mechanical engineering, Mechatronics, CNC, HVAC and telecommunications. Festo Didactic products combine theoretical knowledge with practical experience in automation and technology. Intuitive and fast learning is achieved through practical learning systems and learning factories, which make the technologies and processes used in industrial production immediately tangible and illustrate them in an understandable way. People learning are able to use these systems to gather the real, practical experience that they need to work independently in industry and quickly contribute to a company’s productivity.
Digitalisation gives companies increasingly better ways of processing data from all areas of their order and production systems in real time and using it in production to increase both efficiency and flexibility. The enormous rise in the quantity of data and complexity in the networking of plant and company areas makes it necessary to develop products that make the flow of data easy to plan and manage – at production level, but also for the training and development of skilled workers. In parts of production that are intended to be digitally networked, components and network technologies have to be defined that are compatible with the relevant interfaces and result, overall, in a stable IT and production system, in other words that can ensure an actual increase in efficiency. Skilled workers from both areas, namely operating and optimising facilities and developing intelligent components, must be taught to develop a deep understanding of the structure and programming of digital facility networks for this purpose. The CP Factory learning and research platform provides higher education institutes and companies with access to the technology and applications of Industry 4.0. The platform demonstrates the production of tomorrow in a locally controlled intelligent network: Workpieces have their own production history and request their processing procedure from machines, whilst diagnostic, error and service messages are generated and communicated independently by the facility and thus set off other processes. The use of open, configurable systems and communications standards enables plant and automation technology to be seamlessly integrated with the process controls and job management system. Using master computers as a level of exchange between the order management system and the production facility is no longer essential. Double data storage and inconsistent data sets are thus a thing of the past, and in this way costs and time can be saved in the manufacture of customised products. The CP Factory was developed for flexible training in a wide range of technologies and subjects: facility networking, PLC programming, drive technology, sensor technology, safety technology, robotics, assembly, as well as value stream analysis and optimisation. For the research and teaching of Industry 4.0, the facility can be integrated with all open systems and communication standards such as OPC-UA. The learning factory is used worldwide by industrial companies, universities and technical colleges as a learning and research platform for production and automation technology.
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