May 23, 2022

Friedhelm Loh Group publishes a new edition of “be top”

What the smart factory of tomorrow needs today

The goals of digital transformation in industry are clearly defined. It all comes down to more transparency, knowledge and speed in operations – but what does that mean for production managers responsible for machinery, equipment and systems? The new issue of the “be top” company magazine provides answers and presents practical experiences as well as solutions from Rittal, Eplan, Cideon and German Edge Cloud (GEC) that may prove helpful for customers when embarking on the journey to smart production. Also included: Stahlo and LKH with contributions on Green Steel and ways out of the procurement crisis, and a look at the two biggest fundraising campaigns in the company’s history. Around € 1.5 million were donated in total by employees and owners for flood relief in Germany and Ukraine.

The new issue of the “be top” company magazine presents practical experiences as well as solutions from Rittal, Eplan, Cideon and German Edge Cloud (GEC) that may prove helpful for customers when embarking on the journey to smart production.

The cover story “Speed and transparency” of be top starts with perfect examples of what a “smart factory” involves. On the one hand, it reports on the world’s biggest press manufacturer: Schuler, a company that is using solutions from German Edge Cloud (GEC) and Porsche in its new smart press shop in Halle (Saale). On the other hand, it presents the operations of the new Rittal plant in Haiger, another pioneering project for smart manufacturing. Schuler uses complete transparency through end-to-end digitalisation to speed up its manufacturing processes. A track & trace solution from GEC helps the automotive manufacturers to trace their components down to master data level and order level at all times – whether during the manufacturing process itself or later on as part of a recall.

Insights and learnings from Rittal’s new plant in Haiger show that setting up smart production was pioneering work because there were no off-the-shelf solutions. Collecting, structuring and analysing manufacturing data is anything but simple. However, this is already part of everyday work on its shop floor. The IIoT solution from GEC deployed in the Rittal plant in Haiger serves as an example for the industry.

Enclosures into the cloud
The same principles that apply to smart manufacturing processes apply to the operation of plants and machinery, too – these also need to be smart. “be top” shows how Rittal and Eplan are migrating the lifecycle files of panel and switchgear systems to the cloud with Rittal ePocket. By scanning a QR code on the enclosure, users can easily access the system documentation, including the digital twin. In the event of a fault or modification, maintenance engineers and those responsible for machinery and plants have full transparency and readily available data so they can make the right decisions.”

From energy efficiency to green steel
Sustainability is one of the key priorities for the Friedhelm Loh Group. Manufacturing companies are constantly on the look-out for other ways to save energy. To this end, 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. Trials conducted at Diehl Controls showed energy savings of 60 percent compared to previous solutions. The new Rittal IT container solution at KUKA Industrie and the use of high-performance computing by Mercedes-Benz Group AG and Infosys at the Lefdal Mine Datacenter show that companies can significantly improve their carbon footprint with solutions from the Friedhelm Loh Group. 

Finally, be top provides insight into the biggest transformation of the steel industry, using the example of Salzgitter AG’s challenges in converting the existing steel production process to one that is as climate-friendly as possible. To this end, Stahlo provides transparency and clarity for Green Steel with the first transparency label in the steel market to date.

Other topics in the latest issue include: 

  • “Plastics in the procurement crisis“: As a plastics specialist, LKH shows alternatives through bioplastics, recycling, regranulation and paper injection moulding.
  • “When the going gets tough“: In the global procurement crisis, plant manufacturers such as ATR are relying on Rittal’s ability to deliver.
  • “A fresh breeze in the workflow“: Cideon supports the Scheuch Group in the digital transformation in engineering.
  • “Pit stop for 17 TB of data“: Rittal uses containers to create an IT infrastructure at the BMW Group for the development of automated driving technologies.
  • “Looking forwards”: The Friedhelm Loh Group collected a total of almost € 1.5 million for those affected by the flood disaster and for Ukraine.

The PDF of the issue is available via download at: be top 1-2022