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Feintool works tirelessly to eliminate manufacturing downtime
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Feintool works tirelessly to eliminate manufacturing downtime

Posted by IoT Now MagazineJune 12, 2017

Feintool is a manufacturer of presses for fineblanking. The company has created a monitoring system that refines data into actionable insights. The solution, called FEINmonitoring, promises to ensure the smooth running of Feintool machines, optimise production uptime for Feintool customers and provide them with a web portal access to its machine data.

If you drive a modern car there’s a good chance you’ve come into contact with a Feintool product. Feintool is a world leader in fineblanking, a production technique for complex steel parts commonly used in the automotive sector. Whether it’s a seatbelt or a transmission part, there’s a good chance that it is a Feintool product.

100 million items a year

Feintool produces around 50 of its large presses a year, each taking several months to build. Once in service, each machine works hard. A press producing clutch parts for an automotive manufacturer could produce up to 100 million items a year, working around the clock.

“These machines typically operate 18-21 shifts a week,” says Marc Schneeberger, the business development manager at Feintool. “Maintenance has to be carefully planned. There is limited downtime.”

For Feintool this challenge represents an opportunity. How to keep its presses running longer, reduce maintenance costs and get closer to its best customers?

Keeping the presses running

Creating a stand-alone condition monitoring solution locally on the press failed to address the problem. “We still needed an engineer to visit or download the data with a remote maintenance tool and assess the press,” says Schneeberger. “Often we were arriving too late. To be really effective we needed to get the data sent from the press, in near real-time, to an engineer off-site.”

Feintool needed connectivity independent of the customers’ network and it needed a global solution. “We’re global, our customers are global, efficiency is a global concern,” adds Schneeberger. “Also, we wanted a platform on which to manage this service, and for customers to make sense of the data. Finally, we wanted a solutions provider expert in data security matters. This is not our area of expertise, and we will not risk our customers’ data.”

The solution

Mitch Greeley, a condition monitoring engineer at Feintool, explains that Vodafone came along at the right time. “We had the idea and our service team were very keen on extending our offer to customers, but Vodafone came with the expertise,” he says.

The Vodafone IoT service sees a Machinelink 3G device connected to all new Feintool presses. This device is then connected via Vodafone global IoT SIMs; customers can then monitor Feintool presses via Vodafone’s Remote Monitoring and Control Service (RMCS). Feintool can ship presses to anywhere in the world and activate the connectivity when necessary. Vodafone, Greeley continues, met every requirement for the successful roll-out of the connectivity. “The 3G connectivity stands separate to the customers’ network, Vodafone understands data security, and it is the complete solution,” he adds. “Since we decided on Vodafone we’ve had to do very little work.”

To read more Vodafone IoT case studies visit: http://www.vodafone.com/iotcasestudies

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