Paessler’s PRTG makes Industry 4.0 a reality for coil form manufacturer Weisser

In Germany, Industry 4.0 – or the fourth industrial revolution – is one of the hot topics of the day. By connecting the virtual and the physical it promises to open up a whole new world of possibilities for manufacturers to do things better, faster and more efficiently.

Industry 4.0 is part of the German Government’s High-Tech Strategy and a focus for The Federal Ministry of Education and Research whose priority it is to define standards so that SMEs can start adopting it. One company that is ahead of the curve and already testing out the principles of Industry 4.0 on the factory floor is Kutzschbach Electronic GmbH & Co. KG (Kutzschbach).

This automation and IT systems house has applied its knowledge of the worlds of both IT and manufacturing. Using Paessler’s PRTG network monitoring tool, it has helped deliver process and productivity improvements for Weisser Spulenkörper (Weisser), a manufacturer of coil forms.

Round-the-clock checks

Established 60 years ago, Weisser is a global manufacturer of coil forms. Weisser’s products are typically used in the automotive industry as well as in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and medical technology – wherever there is a need for electronic components of the highest quality. Weisser uses injection molds in its manufacturing process, which enables it to produce bespoke coil forms to meet customers’ individual requirements.

kutzschbach_logo (1)This is a time-consuming process, the main issue being that it is impossible to know exactly when the machine has actually finished making them. In the past, this has meant a specialist checking the machine regularly – often through the night or over the weekend so that as soon as the machine has finished one job it can move on to the next, for maximum efficiency. However, even with regular checks there was always a period when the machine was out of action.

Establishing communication

The solution seemed clear: the machine simply needs to notify the operator as soon as the job is complete. However, the traditional separation of IT and manufacturing, further complicated by safety issues and lack of standards, currently make this difficult to achieve, which is why the uptake of Industry 4.0 is so slow in some areas. Fortunately Kutzschbach was able to apply its expertise to Weisser’s problem.

It developed a PRTG-based application which makes it possible to connect machines to the world beyond the production floor. The core client reads the signals sent by the production machine and “translates” them into XML. This information is sent to the PRTG Probe and from there to the central PRTG installation. PRTG can then show the status of the machine and provide alerts in a variety of formats such as email, SMS and push notifications.

Tobias Schiffelholz, head of Service and Support at Kutzschbach Electronic
Tobias Schiffelholz, head of Service and Support at Kutzschbach Electronic

Tobias Schiffelholz, head of Service and Support at Kutzschbach Electronic said, “We’ve been using PRTG Network Monitor as a Unified Monitoring solution for years, and it has delivered huge benefits both for us and for our customers. Thanks to the API and the architecture of PRTG, as well as our own expertise and strong relationship with Paessler, we were able to combine the Kutzschbach Connection Wizard and PRTG to create an “Industry 4.0” application.  We now have the perfect solution for bringing together IT and production.”

Optimised production processes

At Weisser, PRTG has helped take the pressure off staff and has led to better and more efficient use of the machinery. In a pilot project, Kutzschbach connected PRTG to the company’s mold-making machine. Now the operator is notified immediately by an email on his mobile as soon as one job is finished – and he can then start the next production process.

Rainer Gschwendtner, head of IT at Weisser Spulenkörper, is delighted with the results: “No more visits to the factory in the middle of the night, no machines resting idle! This takes the pressure off our team and helps us optimise our processes. Thanks to PRTG, Kutzschbach has very successfully put into practice what industry 4.0 promises in theory.”

The Unified Monitoring value-add

Following Weisser’s success with PRTG, the company has decided to adopt it for its entire IT infrastructure. PRTG’s comprehensive features set mean it can be used across the business in virtually all areas. In addition to monitoring the machines used for manufacturing, PRTG is now used to monitor the company’s hardware including network devices, servers and printers, software such as database applications, complete business processes, as well as virtual environments (VMware, DataCore). As a result Weisser now has a Unified Monitoring solution that offers a single overview of production, IT, and engineering. This is Industry 4.0 in the making.

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, iot home automation is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more
RECENT ARTICLES

Infineon and Rainforest Connection create real-time monitoring system to detect wildfires

Posted on: October 22, 2021

Munich and San Jose, California, 21 October, 2021 – Infineon Technologies AG a provider of semiconductors for mobility, energy efficiency and the IoT, announced a collaboration with Rainforest Connection (RFCx), a non-profit organisation that uses acoustic technology, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning to save the rainforests and monitor biodiversity.

Read more

Infineon simplifies secure IoT device-to-cloud authentication with CIRRENT Cloud ID service

Posted on: October 21, 2021

Munich, Germany. 21 October 2021 – Infineon Technologies AG launched CIRRENT Cloud ID, a service that automates cloud certificate provisioning and IoT device-to-cloud authentication. The easy-to-use service extends the chain of trust and makes tasks easier and more secure from chip-to-cloud, while lowering companies’ total cost of ownership. Cloud ID is ideal for cloud-connected product companies

Read more