The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group
The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group
One year ago, Germany experienced one of the biggest catastrophes of its history – the flooding in the Ahr valley. The country responded with overwhelming solidarity.The Friedhelm Loh Group raised the record sum of 930,000 euros, giving the victims strength and confidence. After all, when it comes to rebuilding their lives and livelihoods, they are facing a long road.
Adaptive cruise control and lane assist are two functions devised by automotive developers some 20 years ago that have long since become standard features in all new cars. However, countless further test drives will be required and huge volumes of data will need to be evaluated before automated driving truly becomes a reality. That’s the goal towards which the BMW Group is working, collecting data during numerous test drives and processing it in a Rittal IT container.
The Scheuch Group from Aurolzmünster in Austria has joined forces with Cideon on the road to a digital future. The journey starts in the “heart of the company”: in engineering. Processes are automated by intelligent models known as “assets”. This way, an offer is created in next to no time. When the order is placed, the designers use the digital model as a template for creating the detailed design. This also speeds up engineering considerably.
The factory thinkers have done their bit. The smart factory is their new holy grail. It’s now the turn of the factory makers. The goals of digital transformation are clearly defined. It all comes down to more transparency, knowledge and speed in operations – but what does that actually mean for production managers and those responsible for plants and machinery? Practical experience and solutions from Rittal, Eplan and German Edge Cloud show, step by step, how it can all be done.
A power failure is a nightmare for any data centre operator. It results in unscheduled downtime with unforeseeable consequential costs that, in the worst-case scenario, can threaten a company’s very existence. Such outages can be caused by system faults, human error or natural disasters, but what can data centre operators do about it? They need IT infrastructure solutions that ensure a reliable energy supply with high availability – step forward RiMatrix NG from Rittal.
Mercedes-Benz Factory 56 started operating in September 2020. The company’s new S-Class Saloon is among the vehicles being manufactured at this showcase factory in Sindelfingen – and all on a zero carbon basis from the outset. Overall, Factory 56 consumes a quarter less energy than other assembly plants. How does it achieve this? The answer lies in the use of DC technology in two energy storage systems powered by Mercedes-Benz Energy and Rittal.
For equipment manufacturers, the interplay between engineering and manufacturing processes is anything but trivial. Data that is relevant for manufacturing needs to be transferred to the relevant processes on machines on a project-by-project basis, which often involves a considerable amount of work and some “interface hurdles”. Help is now at hand with the RiPanel Processing Center from Rittal, a new job management tool for straightforward, centralised production planning. The benefits are being demonstrated in initial practical tests at Müller Schaltanlagen.
In the past, system planners and designers have had to search through parts lists to work out the costs of their newly planned enclosures. The new RiPanel configurator now makes their lives a lot easier, as they can clearly see live prices and alternative options throughout the entire planning and configuration process.
“The order books are full, but the shortage of materials is stopping companies ramping up their production accordingly,” explains Klaus Wohlrabe, Head of Surveys at the Ifo Center for Macroeconomics and Surveys. This is especially true of the plastics industry. Thanks to its rigorously tested procedures for substituting materials, LKH opens up new ways out of the procurement crisis. Supply chains are safeguarded as a result.
As a general rule, the “low hanging fruit” will have been picked long ago. However, industry is constantly on the look-out for other ways to save energy. The enclosure cooling units from the Rittal Blue e+ S range are proof that there is still a fair amount of scope for energy savings. Prior to its market launch, the new development was put through its paces in the in-house production at Diehl Controls, the Wangen-based electronics specialist.
Digitalization is giving a real boost to high performance computing – a sector that needs to be environmentally friendly, too. Providing lots of computer power, using lots of energy for servers and cooling, and staying in harmony with the environment – it’s a Herculean task for companies with ambitious climate targets. Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Infosys are now reconciling these needs by transferring particularly intensive data workloads to the Lefdal Mine Datacenter in Norway, one of the largest and greenest data centres anywhere in the world.
Digital transformation is complex. Not every company has its own software specialists on hand for developing integration projects or data exchange connectors, forexample. Partnerships that work together to produce solutions to boost consistency are invaluable here – such as the Eplan Partner Network with members such as Rockwell Automation, Mitsubishi and Festo. Both the partners and their customers reap the benefits in equal measure.