The ROI-EFESO management consultancy has established a benchmark for the industry in the shape of Industry 4.0 Award. Every year, it honours companies that are doing pioneering work for German industry with smart factories. Rittal won the “Industry 4.0 Award 2022” for digitising production at the Haiger plant with German Edge Cloud, its sister company.
The goals of digital transformation in industry are clearly defined. These are greater transparency, knowledge and speed. With their joint solution to fulfil these requirements – implemented at the Rittal plant in Haiger in central Hesse – Rittal and its sister company German Edge Cloud won the ROI-EFESO Industry 4.0 Award. The focus was on how modern IIoT technologies could be used to make processes customer-centric, realise efficiency potential and enable new business models. Rittal manufactures up to 8,000 compact enclosures daily in Haiger using 250 highly digitally integrated machines.
Rittal and German Edge Cloud impressed the 30-strong jury of renowned industry executives and manufacturing specialists. The jury’s decision was based on intensive audits by experts from the ROI-EFESO. “At the Rittal plant in Haiger, technologies and team spirit are com-bined in an exemplary manner. Complete networking, from customers to machine control systems on the shop floor, and data-based learning are moving the entire company forward, even where traditional automation reaches its limits,” said juror Dr. Jörg Ulrich, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations Region Europe, from BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, at the awards ceremony: “All in all, Rittal’s unique orchestration of people, machines and data is setting new benchmarks for smart factory performance.”
Dr. Marc Sesterhenn, Rittal’s Chief Operations Officer stated: “We are delighted to receive the award from such an expert jury. It reinforces our view that production is essential for digitally integrating the whole company. We are consistently pursuing this path.” Moritz Heide, Head of Digital Operations at Rittal added “Together with our colleagues from German Edge Cloud, we have managed to contextualise the data in such a way that we now benefit from the new transparency in production every day.”
In Haiger, German Edge Cloud has implemented a virtual service as part of the ONCITE Digital Production System. The system collects and structures data from a wide range of sources, supplements it with signals, image and sensor data and makes it usable for a cycle of analytics, alerts and live dashboarding. “The detailed visualisation of manufacturing processes in near real-time is a powerful tool for identifying optimisation potentials to increase overall equipment effectiveness,” said Dieter Meuser, German Edge Cloud's CEO Digital Industrial Solutions.
Problem solvers on the way to smart production
Moritz Heide named two key problem solvers for the path to smart production based on his own experience. First: High data quality and consistent data not only within production processes but also in the appropriate envi-ronment. If it is possible to create a complete digital twin for each plant, product and production process and then connect them intelligently, this represents leverage on the road to smart production.
Second: Bringing together domain knowledge from automation and IT – human and technological. “We have formed interdisciplinary teams in the project, ramp-up and support stages of the systems. The ‘Call 4 Help’ feature, with multi-level support in the system, ensures that teams are used efficiently. It also allows us to record the operations and solutions to problems and compare them with data from the field to analyse causes and continuously improve,” Mr Heide explained.
One thing is clear for Rittal and German Edge Cloud: Digital transformation is an integral building block of customer orientation and smart production.