Even sectors that are traditionally dominated by skilled craftspeople, such as woodworking, are increasingly feeling the impact of the fourth industrial revolution. That's why the HOMAG Group thought it was time to showcase the first completely autonomous workshop. The prototype is made up of two cells, the automated edge cell and the CNC robot cell, both of which are already fully automated in their own right and interlinked. These two cells are connected by autonomous assistants - automated guided vehicles (AGVs) - that take care of all the parts logistics tasks between the cells, making this workshop concept the first ever "autonomous cell" for skilled woodworking. The aim is for these "autonomous cells" to bring their flexibility to both highly skilled and industrial environments, to series manufacturing and to batch size 1 production, thereby harnessing untapped potential in future manufacturing operations at small and medium-sized companies.
The HOMAG ControllerMES production control system is the key to ensuring networked communication within and between the cells, as it communicates universally with the separate control systems for the automated edge cell, CNC robot cell and AGVs. The control system for the AGVs is closely connected to a fleet manager that is responsible for all aspects of route planning for the AGVs. There are clear advantages to using the HOMAG Group’s cellular concept since, besides offering material management from a single source, the processing cells can be flexibly interlinked thanks to the lack of rigid roller conveyors. What's more the workshop can be connected to the tapio ecosystem and users can easily make retrospective modifications to the product portfolio and processing sequence. Last but not least, the modular and scalable design means the workshop can be easily extended at a later date.
HOMAG Group AG (72296 Schopfloch, Germany)