When Dennis Hopp began his apprenticeship as an industrial electronics engineer at OSRAM in Berlin in September 1992, xenon automotive lamps were still being made by hand from plastic, metal and glass. The machines were set up manually with the help of checklists. Operators kept a close eye on their machines to ensure they ran smoothly, and if a fault occurred the first thing they would usually grab would be a wrench.
Even today, Dennis Hopp can occasionally be found in the department for xenon automotive lamp manufacture – as a project manager in the Industry 4.0 team as part of the Automotive business unit. Lamp production in Berlin has long been a digitalized, high-tech affair, some processes of which are conducted under clean-room conditions. With his colleagues from the Digital Factory department, Dennis is now turning his attention to another task: making the OSRAM works throughout the world fit for the diverse challenges of digitalized and connected production.
“The work of our mechatronics engineers has become more varied – and
Project Manager Industry 4.0 at OSRAM
Playing a key role here is Ticketmanager, which OSRAM has developed together with electronics giant Bosch. In a successful pilot project in 2017 in Berlin, 80 machines were digitally connected. Employees can check the status of the machines at any time using a smartphone app. They can view upcoming tasks at a glance, such as fault clearance, maintenance work and material deliveries. “It is no longer the case that a particular employee is responsible for a particular machine – now we can bundle and distribute our resources much better,” says Dennis. The system logs a pending task for all to see, so whoever has the necessary qualifications and is currently available will perform the task.
“The work of our mechatronics engineers has become much more varied as a result,” Dennis adds. And more complex because the specialists configure and optimize the app themselves, integrating new machines and updating data. Or they consider which procedure will be most effective in which situation and use this information to derive a rule which will then be modeled in the system. “In digitalized production we cannot leave such tasks to software programmers alone – that would go far beyond capacity,” says Dennis.
“Using Ticketmanager, configuring the app and integrating new rules is not rocket science,” says Dennis. Employees learn all that in a five-day training course. During his career at OSRAM, he has set up machinery, helped to create a fully automatic internal production logistics system and has worked as a process engineer. New challenges spur him on, like those in the Digital Factory department. Following successful completion of the pilot project, Dennis now directs the global rollout of Ticketmanager at OSRAM.
It is now operated centrally in the cloud for all the various works. “The Herbrechtingen, Nové Zámky, Foshan and Treviso works are already connected. Integration of Schwabmünchen and Hillsboro is either in progress or at the planning stage. I am supporting the works in defining the different solutions and in implementing the projects,” says Dennis. And because digitalization of production always takes on new forms, Ticketmanager and its processes are also evolving. “With all this automation, there’s never a dull day.”