Optimisation

 

The future of Predictive Maintenance

When we discuss the increasingly hot topic of Industry 4.0, we tend to limit the focus to products and solutions, forgetting that this industrial revolution revolves around the human factor. The purpose of the digital transformation we are facing is not to remove people from the big picture, but to make their work easier. This is the starting point for this simple experiment, which we highlight in our new blog article “The future of Predictive Maintenance”:

Read More

Smart manufacturing: boundaries fade – requirements stay the same

For companies in the process industry, the transition to an open architecture through edge systems offers the opportunity to optimise manufacturing and operational processes. But it is also an opportunity to unlock and enhance the value of existing systems and data. An industrial cloud architecture reflects the interplay of existing and future systems by aligning plant and operational processes with value chains. Unlike traditional concepts, the DX architecture starts from market requirements and customer experience. It extends from applications and operational processes to hardware and data.

Read More

Symbiotic autonomy in the process industry

Only if we start and follow the path from industrial automation to industrial autonomy do we have the chance to actually get closer to this goal. Join us on our blog with more topics on digital transformation in the process industry.

Read More

A city within a state? The process plant

The people of ancient Greece worshipped the goddess Automatia (“the one who comes by herself”). In addition, the Greeks at that time created city states (polis) with the claim of “autonomia”, to live as an independent unit. Today, on the journey from industrial automation to industrial autonomy, we are using an understanding that people already had in ancient times. However, the question remains: will the process plant of today develop into an autonomous polis?

Read More

Risk Assessment: First Step to Securing an OT Environment

Imagine this scenario: A chemical processing company decides to launch a cybersecurity program for a manufacturing plant, so it brings together an IT expert and someone from operations who is moderately well versed in the plant networks. The two have other responsibilities and complete their task quickly by inserting a smattering of security appliances at strategic points and declare the plant protected.
Meanwhile, a hacker who has been systematically analyzing the plant’s networks over several months, has a better grasp of the architecture and what assets are deployed than anyone in the facility. The hacker gained access because some system integrator, a few years ago, installed a Brand X PLC to solve a chemical injection problem. The technician left a path to access the PLC via the internet for follow-up service, but everyone has forgotten about it. The hacker is aware of a key vulnerability—a default password—with that PLC because its characteristics were published, but the plant never acted on changing it because they had forgotten it is even there. This vulnerability provides the hacker a path into the larger network through an unprotected connection from the PLC to the automation system.
While this scenario is an oversimplification, it illustrates the problems many companies face as they consider how to approach cybersecurity strategy for operations technology (OT) networks. A well-thought-out strategy will find and correct these problems, and for the rest of this article, we will look at how to implement this type of plan.

Read More

Real-time, Model Based Digital Twin for Energy and Emissions Management

The Visual MESATM energy management applications suite is configured to work autonomously, gathering, and processing the necessary forecasts of the external variables—such as fuel/power price projections and weather forecasts -, executing calculations, historizing key performance indicators, producing and distributing the resulting reports. These can run as open loop or closed loop actions, depending on whether targets generated from the schedule are to be automatically passed from the scheduler to the optimizer and, from there, to be manually implemented by the Operators or flowing down to the Advanced Process Control (APC) or basic control layer.
Consistency among the decisions systems at different time scales, optimizing in real time but accounting for the constraints imposed by the optimal schedule is guaranteed. Consequently, overall cost and GHGs emissions can be substantially reduced with the help of a real-time, model based Digital Twin approach.

Read More

Autonomous robot surveillance: How can we make operators’ lives better?

Frequent and thorough monitoring takes up valuable time from operators and management. Robotics is the right way to improve efficiency. ATEX/IECEx Zone 1 certified robots will be the new benchmark for inspection and monitoring of hazardous areas.

Read More

Smart Maintenance – Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies neatly streamline all areas of the value chain in companies

The ideal solution is achieved through the tactical combination of Smart Manufacturing and Smart Maintenance. Smart, innovative technologies such as smart sensors, edge computing, big data and artificial intelligence (AI) ensure that all assets in production operate at 100% efficiency.  For example, assets are now equipped with industrial smart sensors such as the Sushi Sensor for data acquisition. These IIoT sensors transmit the data to computer-aided maintenance management systems. These systems use advanced analysis options such as AI or cloud-based machine learning to determine the complete data pool in order to ultimately deliver results in real time that can be called up at any time from a smart device. In this way, anomalies can be quickly detected and immediately communicated to the appropriate employees. The tasks of Smart Maintenance include. monitoring and knowing the condition of the assets. In addition, there is the dedicated planning of maintenance and the improvement of the performance and effectiveness of the resources. 

Read More

TDLS 8000/8100 – Optimum solutions for optimum combustion

What is the optimal strategy for combustion control and safe combustion process? Generate as little CO as possible and reduce O2 as much as possible within this framework. For safety’s sake: monitor fuel gas (methane) metrologically. And this is exactly where TDLS comes in!

Read More

Single source of truth – the time’s come for Industry 4.0!

However, throughout the entire production process, from the purchase of raw materials to the sale of products, countless data are generated that are somehow interrelated. It is therefore not without reason that a central demand in the context of digitisation is the Single Soruce of Truth. This concept of data storage enables all departments to access a central data source which is constantly maintained and therefore only contains consistent and redundancy-free data. This data storage prevents errors due to the use of different data bases, but above all it makes certain evaluations possible. Only in this way can the profit of a company be consistently depicted over the entire value-added chain and across all levels. It is not without reason that it is considered indispensable to lead Industry 4.0 projects to success.

Read More