With a SIM card for plants to new sales and business models

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4 minutes Reading time
4 minutes Reading time

A SIM card for industrial furnaces: An IoT and connectivity solution makes machine data visible and, above all, usable. The recorded sensor data enables important remote analyses, and not only for furnaces – the use case is multiply transferable. The industrial automation company Routeco has brought the digitization expert A1 Digital on board to implement the project.

The challenge: Machine and component manufacturers want condition monitoring for their customers - predictive and in real time

Identifying and tracking equipment problems and risks early can prevent costly failures and extend equipment life. In industry, process data that makes this possible often still remains hidden. New technologies are needed to obtain the data and make it visible, and further to increase machine and production efficiency.

The technology providers of this use case are A1 Digital and Routeco. The user is RAUCH Furnace Technology GmbH, a special equipment manufacturer in the field of industrial furnaces. One of RAUCH’s daily challenges lies in monitoring temperature data and optimally setting the heating controllers. There is currently a lot of untapped potential in terms of CO2 reduction and energy consumption. In order to continuously improve the performance of its systems, RAUCH was looking for a solution that, in addition to internal experience, could also benefit and learn directly from data from the end customer’s plant usage. A comprehensive (remote) analysis of temperature data meets these requirements and raises new added values for suppliers and users.

The solution: Using A1 Digital to evaluate sensor data from melting furnaces

Routeco enables its customers to optimize processes through remote analysis and visualization with Managed Connectivity from A1 Digital – SIM cards for machines and plants. Unlike the SIM card for a smartphone, M2M (machine-to-machine) SIM cards have to withstand the harsh conditions of their environment – in industrial furnace construction, these are primarily the immensely high temperatures. In addition, the SIM cards must be individually manageable for a large number of devices. A1 Digital meets these requirements and also impresses with its highly available network coverage worldwide. Connectivity as the basis of digital processes: secure and available 24/7 worldwide.

What is the overall solution offered to manufacturers like RAUCH? With the help of an industrial router and edge devices, customers are provided with secure remote access to their devices and assets – in real time. The router has a slot for MultiNetwork M2M SIM cards. These guarantee 100% availability, as they always log into the best network. The so-called SiteManager collects data such as temperature, speed or runtime of the machine equipment and sends it to the IoT platform of A1 Digital International GmbH at predefined intervals. This is where the expertise of another partner comes into play: Software AG’s cloud-based IoT modular solution Cumulocity offers the configuration of industry-specific applications for managing and monitoring devices and services. All relevant sensor data is analyzed on the IoT platform and visually processed via a modern, customizable user interface. The customer can retrieve the data incl. real-time evaluation around the clock. The user-friendly designed dashboard facilitates this process. The data is hosted by the A1 Digital Internet platform Exoscale. With its six data centers in the DACH region, it convinces with 100% GDPR compliance.

The result: Lower costs, more sales and efficiency

Thanks to the data acquisition and visualization of various sensor data via the A1 Digital Cumulocity Cloud, RAUCH and its customers can detect problems and risks of their plants at an early stage and thus prevent failures. The acquisition of process data increases machine and production efficiency and extends the service life of the equipment.

Plant users not only purchase furnaces from the manufacturer, but also a comprehensive range of services. This is also a great benefit for equipment manufacturers like RAUCH, who can build new business models and generate new revenues with the support of digital experts like A1 Digital or Routeco.

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