Bernhard Günthner, EVP IoT Software at the S&T Group
As the demand for larger-scale industrial operations increases, so too does the need for industrial automation, especially in production plants. Operators are leveraging the latest technology available as they continually seek maximized profit and the automation of time-consuming processes in order to remain competitive in a fast-moving industry. In fact, it is estimated that the number of industrial robots worldwide continues to grow by around 14% annually
Automation is also one of the significant factors behind the new digital transformation, coined Industry 4.0. This term is defined as a new generation of technology and provides operators with a greater level of control and efficiency along with access to data in real-time. Adopting the right Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution, such as the SUSiEtec toolset, can pave the way for this innovation, and can transform a business, financially and creatively.
Keeping up with Industry 4.0
Automated machinery can save time, increase productivity and over a period of time, can generate a significant profit with its multi-tasking functionality, creating new business opportunities and ideas through maximised operations.
By applying a reputable IIoT solution to this machinery, it is easier than ever to routinely monitor operations and identify any issues that are negatively impacting performance in an automated workplace. This allows for optimization across a large production area, where it can often be difficult to have the visibility necessary to monitor large amounts of machinery simultaneously. Due to this, operators can easily tailor their business needs to align with the market, therefore keeping up with rapid competition and industry trends.
A customizable IIoT solution – the SUSiEtec toolset
IIoT software suitable for automated machinery management must be adaptable, application-ready, and most of all, have a secure, built-in connection working at all times. Without this, the expensive machinery associated is prone to experiencing latency issues, reduced working capacity and at risk of system malfunction due to the lack of predictive maintenance. Thankfully, there is a solution that aims to prevent these issues before they arise, and one that is designed to ensure that automated applications can function at full capacity.
Seeking to provide a scalable IIoT solution to help combat the upcoming challenges that lie ahead for operators in automation, multi-national S&T Group developed the SUSiEtec IoT toolset. By enabling the integration of Information Technology (IT) with Operational Technology (OT) for all applications, the cloud-based toolset allows for the deployment of predictive maintenance, real-time monitoring, self-optimization, fleet management and asset tracking. Completely personalized for each respective customer and paired with this technology, the toolset allows for seamless customization and flexibility. Using AI-enabled predictive analytics solutions, businesses can leverage growing data volumes, and gain insights into productivity, knowing what to change and what to maintain in order to gain full productivity across their operations, allowing for increased return on investment (ROI) and more satisfaction with their automated products.
The purpose-built toolset was developed to help customers invest in technology that is crucial for keeping up with the upcoming Industry 4.0 competition, and to provide a solid solution that directly helps customers to excel in their businesses. Offering a toolset that works to enhance cutting-edge automation and furthers potential for success financially. The profitable benefits of the SUSiEtec solution are endless, and investing in this can result in reduced total cost of ownership and day-to-day fees after the initial implementation, accelerated time-to-market and product lifecycles, and in many cases, the increased adoption of further automation on a large-scale.
It is imperative that businesses seek to work with partners that are focused solely on smart IoT solutions and those that have developed a range of innovative applications that can help to transform the digitalization of a business, especially in the rapidly rising automation industry. Leveraging end-to-end ‘application ready’ software will provide customizable options, flexibility and reliability for both large-scale and small-scale automation set-ups, and the SUSiEtec toolset caters to all business needs with its range of applications.
Automated applications that deliver on-demand
One example of SUSiEtec software being put into action can be the integration of predictive maintenance in automated medical equipment for pharmaceutical producers. The toolset can ensure medical devices in the embedded cloud can be maintained in real-time or, if necessary, replaced promptly, saving lives in the process. The medical device can automatically call for a service technician before a defect can occur. This saves costs, reduces the risk of failure, and thus makes the networked operation of medical equipment safer.
This solution can be applied to any industrialized sector, as the use of an IIoT toolset enables automated machinery to work optimally. This is further strengthened when utilizing the FabEagle® MES, part of the SUSiEtec toolset and specially designed for modernizing automation and production warehouses. An example of this was S&T Group’s collaboration with Russian high-tech manufacturer Hevel Group, that specialize in cells-to-module PV production. Using FabEagle MES, the company successfully converted its production output to heterojunction technology (HJT). As a result, power capacity rapidly increased from 97.5W to more than 260W. In addition to increasing productivity, FabEagle also significantly helped to increase visibility, and transparency of productivity reporting, leading to better quality control regulation.
As the age of Industry 4.0 sweeps the industrial sector, it is becoming increasingly important that operators leverage the most suitable technology at their disposal to keep up with the rising demands. Businesses can see profitable results by investing in the uniquely designed SUSiEtec toolset, ensuring that automated machinery is working optimally, problems are rapidly identified and fixed to prevent a loss of profit and full capacity is maximized.