Anuário da Indústria de Implementos Rodoviários 2022

60 For the time being still restricted to the largest companies in the sector, Industry 4.0’s connected digital manufacturing systems are being adopted by highway implement manufacturers with significant gains in productivity and quality. In addition to robot lines, this technological leap digitizes and connects the entire industrial and administrative environment online, involving longterm investments of millions of dollars. “It’s not enough to install robots. Industry 4.0 is a much broader and constantly evolving journey that begins with empowering people before installing machines and systems. We need to assimilate this culture. We just setting out, but we have begun, and we are getting faster,” says Marco Camargo, chief operating officer of Librelato, which is investing about R$ 100 million in industrial technologies. This is half its five-year investment plan that began in 2018. Randon Implementos has invested about the same in digital manufacturing processes and systems in ten production lines in Brazil, which is the equivalent to about 25% of its R$ 400 million budget over the last five years. “It’s not a one- or two-year project. It’s a strategic option that creates a journey with no end because every year we have new technologies to add. Digital transformation is what makes us competitive today and in the future,” says Sandro Trentin, managing director of the Assembler Division at the Randon group. Trentin says that Randon Implementos has automated about 30% of its industrial processes with Industry 4.0 systems. Its goal is to reach 60% in the next five years. “We cannot go beyond that now because some procedures must remain manual. The biggest challenge is to plan machines and systems for the standards we will have in the future.” Long-term investments, quick returns - Randon and Librelato have been investing in digital manufacturing for a decade, and the results are clear. Productivity gains are over 30% in areas that have been automated and connected to the company’s Internet of Things (IoT) network, which allows monitoring and control of machines through laptops, tablets. and smartphones. In recent years, Librelato has made two major technological changes at its plants in Santa Catarina. In October 2021, it invested R$ 10 million at its Içara unit, installing a 15,000-watt, fully automatic, Hans Laser steel cutter that can cut 30 meters of 15-inch steel sheet in just a minute. The machine operates 24 hours a day and the only manual operation is the loading of the ten magazines that hold 30 tons of plates. Everything else is automatic and the process can be controlled in real-time by online engineering. Librelato has invested R$ 12 million at its Criciúma plant in the largest robotic welding cell in Latin America. Installation began in late 2021. Robots weld a trailer in 30 minutes, replacing 35 to 40 people, who are hard to find in the region, 35% faster. They make 25 trailers a day, which is a 20% increase in productivity. “The investment is low given the return,” says director Marco Camargo. He says that without increasing floorspace, digitalized processes have already increased capacity from 60 to 70 products a month. The plan is to digitalize all the production lines, creating a “digital twin” environment, in which the plant is reproduced and controlled in the virtual environment. Randon intends to do the same and has already digitalized and connected several industrial sectors. At the Interlagos plant in Caxias do Sul (RS), the adoption of Industry 4.0 processes has increased production from 100 to 130 implements a day without the need to increase floorspace. At the same plant, Randon has invested R$ 30 million in one of the largest complexes in the Americas for laser cutting and automated plate storage, on 2,500m2 of floorspace housing 17 processing stations and 815 parts storage positions. The project began in 2018 and operates began in 2020, with cost reductions of around 30%. “We have mapped where the application of Industry 4.0 processes is most efficient. We have also digitalized the entire research, development and engineering environment with PLM programs that follow the product life cycle, from conception, through purchasing, manufacturing, to distribution and aftersales,” explains Sandro Trentin. The next big step will be the opening of a fully automated logistics center, which will supply parts to Randon. From ordering suppliers, moving parts in self-guided conveyors, and invoicing and transport contracting, everything will be done in the digital environment, online, in real time. Plans also include the adoption of collaborative robots (working in cells alongside operators), expanding the stamping center with automated lines and installing new painting robots. The idea is to implement Industry 4.0 throughout the company, in product design, manufacturing processes, sales, and services. “It is not machines that transform the company, but a concept of constant deployment of technology aligned with the adoption of Industry 4.0 processes and PLM programs. This planning ensures long-term competitiveness,” Trentin says. Industry 4.0, yes sir! The largest road implement manufacturers are adopting connected digital manufacturing systems with productivity gains PRODUÇÃO | PRODUCTION | PRODUCCIÓN