July 20, 2017
LQ opts for standardised interfaces with “Industry 4.0”

Industry 4.0 is a buzz word that will change the whole working environment. The intention is for machines and systems to communicate directly with each other – without human intervention. Different modules in a production line send data to each other via data signals. The system knows at all times the current status of each of the products to be manufactured.

José Quero, Managing Director, summarises the LQ Group's approach to the industry platform 4.0: “The basic prerequisites for Industry 4.0 are intelligent components, which can think in complete functions.”

More specifically, what this means for the LQ Group is, firstly, standardisation of interfaces and, secondly, a reduction in complexity.

Standardised interfaces are enormously important to make communication between machines and systems easier. This is because every connection is a special solution. LQ uses standardised solutions to reduce the complexity that results from this – the same interface on different systems. This ensures that data can be exchanged safely and without errors. It also creates the basic prerequisite so that different machines, functions and systems can communicate with each other, thus allowing the idea that is Industry 4.0 to be realised.

The concept adopted by LQ is to bring together different electrotechnical components such as terminals, contactors and fuses to form complete functions, thus creating the basis for intelligent and communicative functions. This is how conventional components are brought together in LQ's modular switchgear cabinet to create functional modules and, in each case, assigned one defined input, output and software interface. As a result, the number of different parts used in the switchgear cabinet is reduced and it keeps the amount of effort required for procurement and warehouse management to a minimum. According to Mr. Quero, this kind of standardisation is so significant for mechanical and plant engineers because, without systematic reduction in components and a functional direction, an intelligent and communicative basis is not possible.