KraussMaffei: Keeping pace with manufacturers’ Industry 4.0 ambitions

KraussMaffei: Keeping pace with manufacturers’ Industry 4.0 ambitions

Internet of Business speaks with Malte Manke, CIO at industrial equipment maker KraussMaffei Group, about emerging needs and expectations among digitally savvy manufacturing companies.

“Don’t underestimate the readiness of manufacturing companies to implement IoT and digital technologies). Many are further down the road than you might imagine.”

That’s the message from Malte Manke, CIO at KraussMaffei Group, one of the leading manufacturers of plastic machines in the world.

Appointed to the role four months ago, Manke splits his time 50/50 between the traditional responsibilities of the head of IT and the newer demands of being a digital transformation pioneer at the company, assisting in the identification and development of new business models for KraussMaffei.

These new business models focus not just on making the company’s products more connected, but also building new services around the data that they produce. And customers are more than ready for them, according to Manke.

Read more: Adding additive manufacturing to the smart factory set-up

Ready and waiting

“We have many, many customers that are already thinking in very advanced ways about digital. They’re very much aware of IoT, of big data analytics, of predictive maintenance, 3D printing and so on. And, in many cases, they are already exploring how to deploy such technologies in ways that might make sense for their businesses.”

In that respect, the challenge for any supplier of industrial machinery, as he sees it, is keeping pace with customer needs and expectations. And here, he says, these companies can learn a great deal from the automotive sector – an industry in which he himself worked for the best part of two decades.

For many years, automotive companies have increasingly thought of the automobile as a piece of connected machinery that represents the focal point for an ecosystem of data-driven services. In-car telematics, after all, have led to the creation and collection of data that help drivers get the most from their vehicle and brings them into closer contact with manufacturers and dealers for vehicle maintenance, for example. Today, makers of industrial equipment are starting to think the same way, says Manke.

For example, around 2,500 customers worldwide are already using KraussMaffei’s Advanced Process Control machine function software products, APC and APC Plus, to control injection molding machines, enable them to adjust to recycled materials and lower material wastage rates. “APC and APC Plus are already installed in many customer sites and taking tons of data from KraussMaffei machines in their environment, to boost productivity and create new efficiencies,” says Manke.

For KraussMaffei, then, along with countless other industrial machinery specialists, one of the key factors in the coming years will be to anticipate manufacturing companies’ needs and, wherever possible, be one step ahead. Says Manke: “It’s all about spotting new possibilities, new opportunities for customers and working alongside them to make them a reality.”

Malte Manke will be a speaker at the Internet of Manufacturing event to be held 6 & 7 February 2018 in Munich, Germany. Attendees will get the chance to learn more about how connected technologies open up new paths to increased productivity and profitability for industrial companies. 

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Internet of Business

Keeping it green: IoT for sustainable retail

Stuck for a New Year’s resolution? Shopping more sustainably might be a good one. Especially if you’re suffering pangs of guilt following a Christmas plastic binge (think Christmas cracker toys and disposable cutlery, for instance.) Sustainable retail means many things, from opting for responsibly farmed produce, to keeping an eye on your carbon footprint. And retailers themselves have a part to play, by managing their stores with waste reduction in mind. With all this, the IoT can help. Let’s take a look at some sustainable shopping practices that might find their way into 2018.

Reducing waste in the retail store

Traditional stores and shopping malls face a challenge when it comes to operating sustainably. That’s due partly because a large physical footprint, temperature controlled interiors and lighting are somewhat unavoidable. Such a composition makes for high energy consumption because of sheer size and long opening hours.

As there are so many variables around how a store is used. From the number of people who are inside, to the weather outside, it can be difficult to apportion energy appropriately. It’s not easy to plan which parts of the store will be most visited, and which unused, at what times.

Then, there’s the equipment to maintain. Factor in a fridge with a door that refuses to close, and suddenly there’s yet more wasted energy. The fridge has to work harder to keep its contents cool. And the heating system has to compensate for the sudden drop in temperature.

But this needn’t be the case. By making stores ‘connected’, retailers can more efficiently manage energy and utilities to meet actual demand and avoid unnecessary waste.

What “connected” look like

A connected store is instrumented with sensors that measure data like occupancy in real-time, and transmit it to an IoT platform. When the platform is connected to operational systems like heating and lighting within the stores, it becomes possible to automatically manage those resources according to actual, not anticipated, need.

IoT solutions can help fix our faulty fridge, too, in the form of predictive maintenance. This means that a flaw or fault is spotted as soon as it happens – or better yet, when it’s about to happen – so that it can be attended to. Sensors that detect flaws in the machinery can report to the IoT platform, and automatically trigger a work order for a technician to investigate the issue. There’s no reliance on manual investigation and word-of-mouth reporting.

Helping shoppers make wiser choices

Of course, sustainable retail practices go beyond the stores themselves. As consumers, we also have a choice about the products that we buy. We can choose produce resulting from sustainable agriculture practices, that promote animal welfare and limit use of pesticides and antibiotics, for example. We can opt to buy Fairtrade, or prioritize goods with a low carbon footprint.

It seems that people are generally willing to choose sustainable goods over unethically manufactured ones, even if they come with a heftier price tag. According to a survey by Nielsen, around 75 percent of Millennials and Gen Zers would be willing to pay more for goods that are sustainably sourced.

The spirit is willing, then. But the tricky part is getting the information to help us make these choices. Sure, some labels include small print that tells you where the stuff has come from. But who’s got time to read all that detail? Here, the IoT could help make the process more streamlined, especially when we enlist the help of a smartphone app.

Shoppers could adopt a point-and-shoot method – scanning smart barcodes to instantly pull up key information. You could even make it super simple, by combining various attributes into a 1-5 rating system. A score of 1 is bad, while 5 is good. The rating could take into account factors to form the final score. These could include mileage, carbon footprint, point of origin, and whether or not food produce comes from a farm with a good reputation for humane livestock husbandry.

Hundreds of data points could be combined to give a robust rating that fairly evaluates sustainability based on multiple factors. That way, shoppers can get the key information at a glance. No ploughing through the details. And they’re safe knowing the scores are the result of thorough research.

The future of sustainable shopping

While some of these solutions aren’t yet widely used, the connected store is fast becoming a reality. IBM and Honeywell have been working together to achieve this, as you can see from this video. Meanwhile, you can check out our website to learn more about our other IoT for Retail solutions.

The post Keeping it green: IoT for sustainable retail appeared first on Internet of Things blog.

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Satsafe keeping motorists safer in North West England

Satsafe keeping motorists safer in North West

Start-up Satsafe makes the regular in-vehicle black box redundant by taking its concept a step further and opening up new opportunities to keep drivers safer in a range of environments. Satsafe is currently working with the expansive Manchester CityVerve project, and with Liverpool City Region’s LCR 4.0 program.

Bye-bye black box……hello Satsafe TelematiCam

Black Box technology is already being used by fleet managers to monitor driving behavior, and is increasingly also used by insurance providers to measure driver performance information that can help reduce insurance premiums – particularly where younger drivers are concerned.

However, technology start-up Satsafe has developed its TelematiCam, a device that’s designed to make the black box redundant. The device works by sending data to a cloud analytics platform where it is merged with other data sets to give a more granular picture of driver behavior than can be provided by standard black box technology.

The TelematiCam combines driving monitoring technology with intelligent in-built GPS, while accelerometers monitor driver behavior. It can also record high definition video.

Safety first

Given the nature of these features, the device has many uses. In the case of a crash, for example, supposedly the GPS data could help pinpoint the location, while the video footage could be helpful to insurers in assessing claims, and to emergency services in determining the causes of a crash.

Meanwhile, the TelematiCam’s ability to detect unusual motions via the accelerometer could be used to identify a crash or other incident. It is then possible to automatically alert the emergency services to the precise location and time of an incident. The speed with which emergency services get to accidents can be crucial, so this can be a life-line to those who may be injured.

LCR 4.0

Statsafe has received support for its technology from the Liverpool City Region business support program, LCR 4.0, which is providing business support to help SMEs innovate in areas like big data, Internet of Things, cloud computing, augmented reality and systems integration.

This support has enabled Satsafe to work with the Virtual Engineering Centre (VEC) and the Hartree Centre in a project to connect the TelmatiCam, a mobile app and a cloud platform, the company claims.

Read more: AI and IoT snatch almost half of insurtech investment in 2016

Manchester CityVerve

Satsafe is also the lead partner for road safety of CityVerve, the UK’s £15m city demonstrator project in Manchester, which is focused on using the Internet of Things to deliver a smarter, more connected city.

Satsafe told Internet of Business that, while it is only halfway through the project, so far it has deployed 40 telematics black box systems with a popular taxi company in the city, which is helping to encourage good driving practices. The black boxes can identify drivers with low scores, which may indicate that they could benefit from re-training, presenting safety benefits for the driver, passengers and other road users.

Stuart Millward Founder and CEO of SatSafe told Internet of Business, “This project is of particular significance for Satsafe as we have already spent two years refining our product for insurers and fleet managers with the support of various programs, such as the European Space Agency Business Incubator, LCR4.0, IoT Boost and more.

“CityVerve is an opportunity to demonstrate how telematics technology can also help other drivers such as minibus/community transport operators, those driving for work and courier companies.”

Read more: Automotive insurers admit to being ill-prepared for digital risks

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Internet of Business

With money pouring in, are security and RoI concerns keeping IoT in the hype zone?

Valued at one trillion dollars, the global Internet of Things (IoT) market continues to garner keen interest from innovators, receiving a record $ 1.4 billion in venture capital in 2016. But barriers to its adoption in the enterprise seem to keep the sector in the hype zone, as four of every ten companies report security concerns […]

The post With money pouring in, are security and RoI concerns keeping IoT in the hype zone? appeared first on IoT Now – How to run an IoT enabled business.

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