The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group
The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group
After nearly a decade of Industry 4.0, some factories are still at the very start of the digital transformation. So what is needed to really drive the progress of smart production forward? A genuine understanding of ecosytems is the answer and that in fact depends on the synergy between three digital twins and their interaction in seamless networked digital continuity – the system twin, the product twin and the digital twin of the manufacturing process.
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.
Frustrated! That’s how mechanical and plant engineers often report feeling when supply chain issues, missing parts and staffing bottlenecks interfere with their time-to-market. If everything could run smoothly right from the planning stage for a machine/plant, that would make a big difference. The new Eplan Platform 2023 is now ramping up the pace in engineering, boosting opportunities for collaboration and thus freeing up time to deal with any problems that may arise further down the line.
A data centre must be reliable. It needs to remain effective, available and safe around the clock, while also being energy-efficient. A good overview of the entire IT and OT infrastructure’s status is therefore a must. This is now possible thanks to Rittal and Paessler, who are combining their solutions for IT and OT monitoring.
Soltau is something of a hotspot. When the ovens at Harry-Brot reach over 200 degrees Celsius, the bread rolls and loaves aren’t alone in feeling the heat. The company’s staff and equipment also work up a sweat. Despite a room air temperature of 45 degrees, everything needs to run like clockwork – excellent test conditions for the new Blue e+ cooling units from Rittal.
Fossil-free steel is set to transform the markets. Initial quantities have already been announced and will be available in practice in two or three years’ time. The market lacks transparency, though, and there are currently still no uniform standards defining what constitutes green steel. With a blockchain application called “SteelGate”, Stahlo is now offering a way of boosting confidence in the new ecosystem of “green” supply chains.
Industry requires new methods. The goal is clear – faster digitalization of manufacturing processes, together with enhanced flexibility and agility when it comes to adapting production processes. At the same time, new applications need to be created directly on the shop floor with next to no programming. This isn’t just a futuristic vision – Scheer PAS and German Edge Cloud already offer an IIoT platformwith microservices and low-code technology.
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.