IPS

The «Integrated Production System» is a crucial contribution towards achieving the aim of digitalisation, as it provides a platform for meeting the upcoming challenges. It offers support for users and operators of Starrag production systems and machines as they carry out the complex task of using data in a way that adds value in a networked world of production.

Cell Controler

The FMS solutions from Starrag provide users with a production system from a single source that is customised, offers process reliability and – not least because of its dependability – is profitable.


A cell controller developed by Starrag serves as a core element that monitors all processes. The cell controller controls the entire process – from the automatic loading and storage of the raw material to the unloading of the finished components, depending on requirements. The controller manages all data and resources such as tools, pallets, fixtures, etc. The orders are automated by the cell controller, accepted by the primary ERP system and reported as complete once the process is finished.

The cell controller guarantees digital transparency in the factory through measures such as visualisation of the plant status because the cell controller centrally manages all of the FMS information, which it forwards on as required via standard interfaces to primary computer systems or to control rooms and display overviews.

Internet of Things

Starrag is working together with other key players on solutions that use the IoT.


Rapid development in the field of cloud-based data storage offers great future potential for the analysis and optimisation of machines and processes, thus paving the way for even greater availability and productivity.

Machine Qualification System

The MQS combines the most important components for status monitoring and diagnostics on machines.
Fingerprint: Starrag has developed a process that can help with measuring the actual status of all feed drives in a machine, which enables the amount of wear to be ascertained.


Maintenance: The maintenance module offers a compact overview of the current maintenance status of a particular machine and thus indicates the maintenance work required at an early stage.

Integrated sensors: When it comes to complex and highly productive machine tools, sensor-supported monitoring of all media (e.g. coolant and lubricant, hydraulics, thermal stabilisation of the machine) is an important task.

Efficiency Control

Starrag machines are equipped with methods for using energy efficiently. These methods are combined in a comprehensive concept for each machine.


Energy-saving measures such as minimising friction by using high-quality bearing systems or FEM-optimised reduction of moving masses. In addition, modern energy-saving electronic components with low heat dissipation are being used, thus further increasing the lifetime of machines. Methods such as recovering energy to feed it back to the mains when motors are braked and dynamic reactive power compensation across an entire machine are also being implemented to reduce operating costs. Electrical and pneumatic energy consumption are recorded and users can use the information to tackle internal corporate energy management.
In addition to shutting down the entire machine at the end of the machining cycle, it is also possible to configure the machine to restart independently so that it warms up before production begins.

Process Quality Control

The Starrag PQS system supports users when it comes to recognising and avoiding process instabilities via intelligent evaluations on the integrated sensors.


Damage to the machine spindle must be avoided effectively. A system for automatic recognition of chatter vibrations has been developed to support the user with this task. This "chatter monitor" indicates the process status to the user using simple colour signals and warns against exceeding the process limits.

The electronics identify tool imbalances, the absolute vibration level of the spindles and process instabilities. This entire process depends on close interaction with the monitoring camera and the data from the CNC.

Human Machine Interface

The HMI is the interface between a human and a machine.


In the past, usage in the consumer sector has developed rapidly in relation to smartphones and tablets, but until now machine tools have conventionally been operated via keys and command prompts. The main objective when developing the Starrag HMI was to transfer the modern-day possibilities of mobile end devices in terms of ergonomics, interactivity and flexibility to a production scenario.

By adapting state-of-the-art user prompts from contemporary smartphone programs, the safety of your manufacturing process can be increased because faults caused by incorrect operation are eliminated.

Machine Protection System

By using the Starrag MPS, you are protecting yourself and your machine from human errors.


Whether you need to launch new NC programs, adapt a tool or manually operate a machine, the Starrag MPS reliably protects against collisions of all types.

The collision guard works with 3D models of the machine, the workpiece and the tools, and compares their position in the room in real time. If the control system detects an impending collision, the danger is represented as a 3D visualisation on the HMI (Human Machine Interface) and the machine prompts the operator to make a correction.

Highlights

Industry 4.0 Statement

The unique selling point and basis for reliable production planning is the cell controller technology that Starrag has developed in house, and that is used to control manufacturing systems and lines with maximum process reliability.

“Industrie 4.0” and the Starrag Integrated Production System (IPS)

The internally developed IPS from Starrag offers customers a modular system of solutions tailored to their needs within the context of “Industrie 4.0”.   

Customers receive networked manufacturing solutions that are completely tailored to their needs using customer-specific modular systems, living up to the claim "Engineering precisely what you value". The impressive results include increased profitability, improved safety and higher growth.

But what exactly does “Industrie 4.0” mean? We have moved through Industry 1.0 (mechanisation), 2.0 (mass production) and 3.0 (automation), and we are now on our way to “Industrie 4.0”. This new stage of development will shape the future of industry like never before. Ultimately, it is about forming an integral link throughout the entire value chain, from developing initial ideas right up to final recycling, including the customer services that are connected to each stage of this process.

By developing IPS, Starrag has made a crucial contribution towards achieving this aim. It allows customers to gradually automate their production processes so that they can ultimately take full advantage of all the options provided by the system. This begins with individual machines with add-on functions and moves on to flexible manufacturing systems (FMS) and even entire production lines. At each stage of expansion, modules are available that are adapted for the respective specialised task.

The unique selling point and basis for reliable production planning is the cell controller technology that Starrag has developed in house, and that is used to control manufacturing systems and lines with maximum process reliability. The cell controller monitors all the processes, thus ensuring digital transparency. It manages all the information relating to the production system centrally and passes this on, if necessary, to higher-level data processing systems via standard interfaces. 

If a customer operates at the final stage of expansion, all they need to do is feed the parts for processing into a material accumulator. The rest happens fully automatically: from loading and storing the raw material, to various machining steps and, finally, to unloading the finished workpieces. All the data and resources are managed by the cell controller, which receives the orders directly from the end customer's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.

Communication between the individual components provides invaluable benefits. For example, it can safeguard production reliability by monitoring the condition of machines, greatly reducing costs relating to maintenance and downtime. It also provides an opportunity to monitor and control energy requirements and consumption throughout the manufacturing process, optimising energy management. By better utilising their capacities and controlling production, companies can greatly increase their profitability or generate growth.

The linked ECOSPEED F provide a significant increase in productivity.

If a customer operates at the final stage of expansion, all they need to do is feed the parts for processing into a material accumulator. The rest happens fully automatically: from loading and storing the raw material, to various machining steps and, finally, to unloading the finished workpieces. All the data and resources are managed by the cell controller, which receives the orders directly from the end customer's ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system.

Communication between the individual components provides invaluable benefits. For example, it can safeguard production reliability by monitoring the condition of machines, greatly reducing costs relating to maintenance and downtime. It also provides an opportunity to monitor and control energy requirements and consumption throughout the manufacturing process, optimising energy management. By better utilising their capacities and controlling production, companies can greatly increase their profitability or generate growth.

The components in the Starrag IPS system also address issues like mobility by making information available on mobile end devices or state-of-the-art human-machine interfaces such as "smart operation". Humans play a central role when it comes to “Industrie 4.0”. They are, after all, the ones who ultimately control and monitor the production.

The "Integrated Production System" is a crucial contribution towards achieving the aim of digitalisation, as it provides a platform for meeting the upcoming challenges. It offers support for users and operators of Starrag production systems and machines as they carry out the complex task of using data in a way that adds value in a networked world of production. Starrag IPS allows customers to gradually automate their production process so that they can ultimately take full advantage of all the options provided.

The components in the Starrag IPS system also address issues like mobility by making information available on mobile end devices or state-of-the-art human-machine interfaces such as "smart operation". Humans play a central role when it comes to “Industrie 4.0”. They are, after all, the ones who ultimately control and monitor the production.

The "Integrated Production System" is a crucial contribution towards achieving the aim of digitalisation, as it provides a platform for meeting the upcoming challenges. It offers support for users and operators of Starrag production systems and machines as they carry out the complex task of using data in a way that adds value in a networked world of production. Starrag IPS allows customers to gradually automate their production process so that they can ultimately take full advantage of all the options provided.

On linked large machines, sheet metal forming tools can be completely machined in one clamping operation. The result is a 31% reduction in processing time.

IPS, large machines

Flexible manufacturing system for chinese aircraft industry

Chengdu Aerospace: Industry 4.0 at its finest

Chengdu / China

While others are still romanticising Industry 4.0, the Swiss-based Starrag is already realising digitally networked production in Southwest China. With a completion date of summer 2019, six ECOSPEED F 2060 are to be installed at Chengdu Aerospace‘s aircraft factory in China to create one of the most productive and efficient plants in the world. The plant will be used for the complete processing of aluminium structural components. A high level of investment is being made in the Chinese aviation industry. The industry plans to build over 1900 new aircraft by until 2025 at a total cost of around 300 billion US dollars and is investing heavily in new production technology. Chengdu Aerospace Plane Aviation Machinery Equipment Ltd. has now ordered a digitally networked flexible manufacturing system (FMS) with cell controllers from the Starrag. 

Work will take place between January 2018 and summer 2019 to install an FMS comprising six ECOSPEED F 2060 and a total of 20 pallets, two set-up stations, a transfer car and 17 storage locations. The ECOSPEED machining centres are characterised by 120-kW high-performance spindles (30,000 rpm), a pallet size of 6,000 mm x 2,000 mm and Sprint Z3 parallel kinematic machining heads. Thanks to its unique patented kinematic process, the Sprint Z3 head greatly exceeds the position speed of a multi-axis milling head. In addition to standard components such as angular milling and drilling heads, the FMS also contains two new highlights: The Sonic Eye measuring head significantly reduces the effort required to take measurements during the production of structural components which require documentation. The ultrasonically measured data (measuring accuracy: ± 20 μm) is wirelessly transmitted via radio antenna to the CNC, which also controls the use of the Sonic Eye.

CIMT, Chengdu, Ecospeed, closeup

Digital, networked, productive

With a completion date of 2019, six ECOSPEED F 2060 are to be installed at Chengdu Aerospace‘s aircraft factory to create one of the most productive and efficient Industry 4.0 plants in the world for the complete processing of aluminium structural components.

Ecospeed, IPS

Matter of opinion

At the CIMT in Beijing, the Starrag showed the Sprint Z3 parallel kinematic machining head; for decades these have set world records in the aviation industry for the machining of aluminium components in conjunction with ECOSPEED machine technology and Industry 4.0.

CIMT, Chengdu, Ecospeed, closeup

The CNC program ECO-TRIM also saves time and money as the operator can quickly check the machine and compensate for any deviations as necessary. A clearly saving of time allowed the automatic calibration. This program takes a fully automatic check of the current status of the machine and generate a log with a time stamp. This log is then saved in the CNC as an electronic fingerprint. Other technical details also contribute to making the FMS a complete system that is unique for its type: A central plant supplies all six machines with coolant and a central collection system with silo and briquette presses takes care of chip extraction. A robot magazine located above the FMS features 1,500 slots to supply the machines with tools from a central location. The integrated workpiece washing system ensures that components remain clean.

Such projects are rare today and even then are usually only pilot projects during green field development of a new factory. Thanks to a large number of successfully handled large projects, for example in the global airline industry, the Starrag can provide this type of customised digital manufacturing solutions with a high level of process reliability almost off the shelf. ”We have laid the foundations for Industry 4.0 with our own ’Starrag Integrated Production System‘ (IPS) and the cell controller technology that has been developed in house“, says Walter Börsch, CEO of the Starrag. ”With our digitalisation solutions, we can provide all of the typical customer requirements, such as higher productivity, greater safety and high levels of growth“.

Interested parties learned more about Industry 4.0 at its finest at the CIMT China International Machine Tool Show in Beijing in April 2017. The Starrag showed the Sprint Z3 parallel kinematic machining head. This can now also be driven by a newly developed 150-kW spindle, which – when compared to the figures achieved using the 120-kW spindle – increases the machining performance when processing high-strength aluminium by 25 % to 12 l/min.

Company profile Starrag

Starrag is a global technology leader in manufacturing high-precision machine tools for milling, turning, boring and grinding workpieces of metallic, composite and ceramic materials. Principle customers are internationally active companies in the Aerospace, Energy, Transportation and Industrial sectors. In addition to its portfolio of machine tools, Starrag provides integrated technology and maintenance services that significantly enhance customer productivity.

The products are marketed under the brand Starrag. Headquartered in Rorschach / Switzerland, Starrag operates manufacturing plants in Switzerland, Germany, France, the UK and India and has established a network of sales and services subsidiaries in numerous other countries. The Starrag Group Holding AG is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.

For further information:

Michael Schedler
Head of Marketing
T +49 2166 454 0
F +49 2166 454 300
info@starrag.com

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