Machine monitoring: performance data via app at any time
Machine monitoring: performance data via app at any time
Interview with Dr. Stefan Heinrichs, Innovations Manager, Steinert GmbH
Exclusively for K-MAG
Steinert.view® is a flexible and reliable monitoring solution for STEINERT sensor-based sorting machines. This monitoring solution makes operating and production data from STEINERT sorting systems digitally available to customers. Dr. Stefan Heinrichs, Innovations Manager at Steinert GmbH, explains in an interview how the technology was developed and what the advantages of the web app are. He sees a great potential for the digital future of STEINERT.view®.
Dr. Heinrichs, please explain how the Steinert.view® monitoring solution works and what technical requirements customers need to meet in order to use it.
Dr. Stefan Heinrichs: STEINERT.view® makes operating and production data from STEINERT sorting systems available to our customers in the simplest possible way. The performance data collected by the sorters, such as belt occupancy or particle size distribution, is visualized in a web app. This enables the operator to see at a glance whether his or her machines are currently producing or whether there are problems. Changes in production can be tracked, as can optimization potential, for example in the utilization of machine capacity. In order to be able to send data securely to the cloud environment, a sorting system is required that is "IoT ready". The IoT-Ready package can be retrofitted for machines built in 2018 or later. To view STEINERT.view®, the customer needs a smartphone or tablet with an internet connection, on which the app from the popular app stores can be installed. Alternatively, the application also runs completely in the browser.
What are the benefits for users of Steinert.view®?
Heinrichs: Depending on the size of the company and the plant, the additional display of detailed operating data of the sorting systems in a control station often falls victim to the red pencil during the project planning of a sorting plant. Later programming by the control system supplier is costly and interferes with the operating sequence, which is why this is often not implemented subsequently. STEINERT.view® offers the possibility of retrofitting this functionality, as the visualizations are already implemented here and the data is provided directly by the sorting systems.
Sorting systems that are not integrated inline into large processing lines usually also do not have large control stations or a central control system that processes this data centrally. Here, STEINERT.view® provides a useful supplement, since even widely placed plant sections can be kept together in view in the app. A noticeable reduction in downtimes due to improved machine monitoring is an advantage to be named.
In the plant constellations described, however, it can be an advantage for the operating sequence alone if the operator can save trips to the machine or already knows which tool he or she should take with him or her in the event of an indicated error message.
What prompted the development of the technology?
Heinrichs: The circular economy is constantly striving to make processes and technology more efficient. In addition, there is an increasing effort to make better use of potentials from the data that accumulates. STEINERT.view® now enables our customers to obtain more orientation for better control of their processes in a simple way. There has long been a desire to make this data available in mobile form. We have succeeded in doing so with the web app, which responsively serves different display formats. This means that the performance data of the machines can be accessed on smartphones, tablets or directly on the PC from any location and at any time.
How do you plan to continue driving change in the future?
Heinrichs: Currently, the focus of STEINERT.view® is on making operational data as conveniently accessible as possible according to the mobile-first approach. But that also means only presenting data from which customers can derive a direct benefit.
STEINERT listens very carefully when customers report on their needs in daily plant operation, which is why the wishes of our customers will continue to be a central component of further customer-driven developments in the future. All developments are aimed at enabling customers to make the best possible use of their investments and to recover raw materials as efficiently as possible.
At the same time, our own experience in using our systems enables us to see potential and evaluate it in close consultation with our customers. This circumstance offers an important point of contact between us and them, in which we can further strengthen our competence beyond the supply of machines as a supplier of solutions and as a constructive partner.
For the future, this also means making greater use of the potential offered by digital networking. This can mean integrating further data sources and combining them with additional data evaluation in order to obtain an ever sharper picture of the reprocessing processes and to derive necessary actions directly for operations. The focus here is on strengthening process automation, although long-term topics such as the networked value chain, for example through a digital product passport, also hold further potential on the way to an integrated circular economy.
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