Industry 4.0

The simulation model set a benchmark

Even though the general trends in the development of the world economy imply a deepening of integration and division of labor, ensuring balanced independence in industrial and agricultural manufacturing is a priority for the state. That is why domestic production of competitive agricultural machinery is one of the most important tasks. In this article, we will talk about the successful cooperation of the "Petersburg Tractorny Zavod" and the engineering consulting company "Solver" at all stages of organizing a new manufacturing of automated transmissions for agricultural, road construction and municipal equipment. Increasing the production of modern automated transmissions for special equipment will provide the increase of its competitive ability and allow it to enter new world markets, significantly expanding the geography of domestic deliveries of engineering products.
30 january 2020

Petersburg Tractorny Zavod JSC (PTZ) is a member of the group of companies of JSC "Kirovsky Zavod — one of the oldest machine-building enterprises in Russia, founded in 1801. Kirovsky Zavod is the ancestor of the Russian tractor industry: the first tractors were manufactured here in 1924.

PTZ was and remains the only domestic manufacturer of powerful energy – saturated wheeled agricultural tractors. The main products of the company are agricultural tractors "Kirovets", road construction and special machines, also based on industrial tractors "Kirovets".

In 2017, the company started working on the first modern competence center in Russia for the development and manufacture of automated transmissions. The project is implemented with the support of the Government of the Russian Federation, Ministry of Industry and Trade and Industry Development Fund (IDF). The total investment of the project will amount to more than 4 billion rubles, the payback period is about five years.

The collaborative work of "Solver" and "PTZ" is the result of the tender for the development and implementation of new technological solutions (technological engineering), and developing the technological project (part for describing operations of the process of getting finished products of desired quality, taking into account safety equipment, ensuring safe working conditions and environmental protection, as well as design documentation).

The technical specification for the tender contained the following criteria and requirements. Created production of automated transmissions have be designed to produce 6500 sets per year with round-the-clock operation. Allocated space for the competence center is 11740 square meters. Production capacity is 45 items of basic equipment with 130 units in total. This includes DMG turning and milling equipment: turning machines of Honor Seiki, milling machines - Tongtai, tooth processing - Gleason, grinding - Jainnher Machine, and Hexagon control and measurement equipment. The new production facility employs 488 people.

The organization of production of automated transmissions was divided into three main stages. The first stage was construction work. At the second stage, preparations were made for the introduction of equipment and technologies. The third stage was the introduction of equipment and technologies, training and certification of new production specialists.

At the stage of construction work, the project team, created from the leading specialists of the company, the general designer and the company "Solver", had the task to develop project documentation in the shortest possible time. At this stage, engineering consultants acted as a contractor for the implementation of the section "Technological Solutions".

The main tasks performed by Solver's engineering consultants to implement tasks in this area were as follows:

  • designing of technological tasks for related sections of design and estimate documentation — water supply, drainage, heating, ventilation, power supply, electric lighting, environmental impact control, development of estimates for construction and installation works;
  • designing of planning solutions for the placement of equipment for preparing foundations for machine tools, plans for the supply of communications, computer networks, schemes of transport and technological flows;
  • technological calculations, including calculation of loading and throughput of equipment, calculation of the capacity of the finished product warehouse, the required number of production containers;
  • designing of the concept of an automated production preparation and management system using the "Industry 4.0" concept»;
  • development of the organizational structure of production management, staff schedule;
  • preparation of an album of technical and commercial offers for auxiliary equipment;
  • designing of local estimate documentation for construction and installation works in terms of technological equipment;
  • development of a new production simulation model.

At the stage of creating the design and estimate documentation, together with PTZ, Solver`s specialists developed a planning solution for the shop No. 225, where a new production of automated transmissions is being organized. For the new shop, the main production subject-closed sections of the shop were formed to produce drums and gears, shafts and rollers, flanges and clips, forks and levers, assembly and procurement and storage sections. There were also marked technological changes that determine the direction of the shop to produce items:

  • procurement and storage facilities;
  • turning and milling production;
  • tooth processing production;
  • grinding production;
  • heat production and the plot of laser hardening;
  • washing production;
  • control and test production;
  • assembly plant.

The implementation of the design and estimate documentation development stage had several features. First, the development of project documentation was carried out in parallel with the construction of the shop. Secondly, the new technology that was being developed needed to be adapted to the equipment that the company had already selected, within certain production spaces and premises, which imposed restrictions on the formation of logistics between production sites. It should be noted that the design work was performed ahead of schedule — part of the work in the working documentation section was performed at the design documentation stage.

The project also needed to develop a simulation model of the new production in order to confirm the specified performance of the created production of automated transmissions. It was developed using the Siemens Tecnomatix Plant Simulation application and provided a number of important data and solutions for organizing new production. The optimal planning periods and item start-up batches were determined to fulfill the plan for the finished needs of the assembly production. We also calculated the necessary areas for storing items in the finished product warehouse and intermediate storage areas at the production stage. Working with the simulation model made it possible to identify bottlenecks in manufacturing (critically loaded equipment). based on the results of the analysis of equipment loading, technological flows were optimized.

In addition, simulation allowed us to solve a few other important tasks for the organization of effective production. These include balanced loading of equipment and optimization of items manufacturing routes. For each item`s name, the production packaging was designed considering the launch batches, the calculation of the necessary warehouse of ready-made parts for the assembly site and intermediate storage of items at the sites was performed. The main types of load-lifting mechanisms were selected for moving production containers both inside the plots and for servicing warehouse areas. As a result of this part of the work, technical tasks were formed for the supply of production containers, warehouse equipment, and load-lifting mechanisms.

The cost of any project depends on the time of its implementation. Therefore, in order to reduce the time for implementing the range of items specified by the project, the working group was assigned to start preparatory work for the second stage — engineering. The perimeter of engineering work covered the tasks of developing technological processes — route and operational maps, setup maps, control maps, snap-in sheets, and sketch maps.

At this stage, the development of design documentation for special technological equipment for turning and milling machines and control equipment began, and orders were placed for its production at partner companies. To estimate the amount of work performed at this stage, here are a few numbers. 270 items were developed for pre-production in total:

  • 2475 technological operations;
  • 515 operations to be implemented;
  • 515 control programs, of which 388 are turning and 127 are milling;
  • 367 sets of equipment for turning group machines, 120-for milling group;
  • 528 sets of control equipment.

The new high-tech manufacturing required the selection of specialists with appropriate qualifications. To solve this problem, Solver together with the enterprise developed plans for selecting and training adjusters and operators of CNC lathes and milling machines. As part of the implementation of the engineering project, Solver also jointly with PTZ evaluated the qualifications of the company's specialists and their subsequent training.

Training of specialists was carried out in two stages. The first stage was held in Voronezh in the project center of Solver company on the basis of its "Personnel Agency for production modernization" (with a modern production base and training classes). The second-directly on the territory of the enterprise after the delivery of equipment. There were trained 48 specialists of the company during the project implementation period: 24 operators and adjusters of milling equipment and 24 lathes.

Here, the joint work of "Solver" and " PTS " on training does not end, in the future it is planned to train about 50 specialists — as the new manufacturing reaches the planned capacity.

For the successful implementation of the engineering project, a joint working group of leading specialists of the enterprise, Solver company and supplier partners started preparing for the implementation of the technology at the construction stage - during the delivery of technological equipment. At the same time, we carried out processing modeling, developed control programs, clarified the characteristics of the equipment in terms of connecting to power supply systems, and made final adjustments to planning decisions before delivering the equipment.

The engineering project involved leading Russian suppliers of Metalworking equipment, including DMG Mori, Gleason, Solver, Creative Rus, Protechnolog, Rosmark Steel, New laser Technologies, Osnastik, FSAC VIM, and 3D Control. The Solver company acts as a technological partner-integrator in the project, also accompanying the company in terms of retrofitting production with auxiliary equipment, load-lifting mechanisms, office equipment, organization of workplaces and warehouse management.

The main value of the joint work of the company and Solver at the engineering stage is that Solver specialists participate in a joint working group at all stages of the project in order to bring the new production to the planned capacity with proven technology, equipped production and trained personnel.

In general, several large blocks of work were completed during the engineering project. The first is preparatory work to reduce the period of introduction of new technologies, which included technological preparation of production, development of a set of technological documentation, development of design documentation for machine tools, development of control programs for the manufacture of items.

The next block includes work on acceptance of equipment and tooling: acceptance of functionality, precision parameters of equipment, postprocessors, machine tools.

During the introduction of new technologies, debugging of control programs and manufacturing of installation batches of items, as well as technological support and management of scaling of the implementation of technologies for the entire range of parts was carried out.

The final event of the engineering stage was the certification of the company's specialists for working with new technologies.

It was not enough to rely on traditional technologies and equipment used in general mechanical engineering to achieve the project's goals. When developing the technology for the new production, the working group primarily used the advanced developments of the company itself, as well as the experience of leading partner companies, especially ZF KAMA. The application of this approach allowed the joint working group to develop the entire set of technological documentation in the shortest possible time using modern technological solutions aimed at improving the quality of products.

To illustrate, here are some examples and facts. The use of the NTX2500 CNC turning centers from DMG Mori made it possible to drill axial and radial holes, thread cutting, and milling slots and slots. Another example is the use of vertical Mate-55 vertical grinding machines from DMG Mori, designed for high-performance grinding of gear-type parts in a single step, which created an ideal base for performing subsequent gear grinding operations.

The next example is the use of laser hardening technology for the surfaces of parts to obtain the required physical and mechanical properties of machine items with minimal deformations and leashes. The process is automated and robotic to ensure process stability and high quality of the hardened layer.

Another example is an automated transmission assembly line using Automatic Guided Vechicle (AGV) bogies to move gearboxes between posts. The assembly line includes equipment for testing subassemblies, test stands for transmissions and a warehouse of component parts. The design of the line equipment, software, components and mechanisms was carried out within the framework of the "Industry 4.0" concept.

Summing up, the joint work of PTZ and Solver, we can conclude, that the results obtained will allow the enterprise to achieve a high technological level of production of automated transmission parts during the transition to new modern technologies, which can then be scaled to the enterprise as a whole.

Today, PTZ aims to continue increasing the production of advanced types of automated transmissions to meet its own needs, as well as other manufacturers of self-propelled equipment, not only in Russia but also abroad, using the acquired competencies and experience, as well as the technological base acquired during the implementation of this project. And in the form of Solver company, the enterprise will always find a qualified and reliable partner on the way to building an effective production that meets modern challenges as much as possible.