Samson, headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and InfraServ Wiesbaden are announced the beginning of a strategic cooperation with the goal of further developing digital solutions to make the transition to Industry 4.0 and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). Samson is a supplier of products and systems to control the flow of all kinds of media. For over 110 years, the company has been specializing in control valve engineering and is currently focusing on the integration of smart products into Internet of Things (IoT) environments. InfraServ Wiesbaden has been operating and developing Kalle-Albert Industrial Park since 1997. The park is home to 75 companies and the second-largest industrial park in the Federal German state of Hesse.
The cooperation between the two companies is concluded for an unlimited period of time. The key goal is to jointly advance an IIoT platform that digitally supports the optimization of processes and plant control in medium-sized industrial companies inside and outside the industrial park.
UBIX and GES Systemhaus, two subsidiaries under 100 % ownership of Samson and InfraServ Wiesbaden respectively, are both active in plant automation. The Samson subsidiary runs a cloud-based multi-tenant platform for the digitalization, visualization and automated control of industrial plants. The platform includes flexible interfaces for the connection of customer systems and external analytical tools. With the help of the expertise gathered by the InfraServ Wiesbaden group, which offers digital solutions under the product name ‘KI Konzept’, plant maintenance is to be improved based on the smart analysis of data (smart maintenance).
“We want to expand our digital portfolio based on the UBIX platform with InfraServ Wiesbaden as our cooperation partner. Our new partner strengthens our expertise in smart, networked valve engineering, flexible production processes and applications to handle challenging tasks. As a developer of industrial sites, InfraServ Wiesbaden operates its own large systems for supply and disposal. This means that they already know, understand and serve the specific needs of the on-site companies that come from many different branches of industry. We look forward to the cooperation and the synergies it will produce.”
Dr. Andreas Widl, Chief Executive Officer of Samson
“Many medium-sized production companies are facing the challenge of having to build new, digital expertise to keep up with the evolution towards Industry 4.0. Smart automation, process control and manufacturing technologies applied in combination with computer-based big data analyses and networked infrastructures offer them huge opportunities to fortify their market position in the long run. We are very happy to join forces with Samson as a renowned, innovative partner in this area to drive forward the use of digital technologies to our own benefit as well as to the benefit of our customers,” says Mr. Peter Bartholomäus, Chief Executive Officer of InfraServ Wiesbaden.
Digital twins and pilot project
The main goal behind the cooperation is to jointly develop and expand Samson’s UBIX platform. This is to be achieved by InfraServ Wiesbaden placing programming orders with Samson to handle specific control processes within its plants or to implement customer requirements concerning smart maintenance or plant control. The result will be ‘digital twins’ to simulate plant control operations, analyze the flows of energy or goods (value chains) as well as design processes for the smart, predictive, mobile maintenance of plants and equipment. In a next step, these processes can be further improved by cross-linking a larger number of different devices and systems as well as by applying special AI software tools based on big data analyses or machine learning.
InfraServ Wiesbaden will use the UBIX platform to handle customer inquiries and market solutions under its own product name, KI Konzept. To ensure a maximum level of data security, customers will have their own dedicated access to the UBIX platform through the high-performance data centers hosted by InfraServ Wiesbaden.
As part of the strategic development cooperation, the two companies launched a common pilot project. The project goal is to optimize the processes in the biological water treatment plant operated by InfraServ Wiesbaden in Kalle-Albert Industrial Park.
The agreement was signed in Frankfurt am Main, Germany in October 2019. The partners have agreed to not disclose any further details relating to the financial aspects and scope defined in the cooperation agreement.
Conveying & Filling, Packaging, Labeling & Storage Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation
Sustainability is key
Syntegon wins German Packaging Award 2020
The German Packaging Institute (“dvi – Deutsches Verpackungsinstitut e.V.”) has honored Syntegon Technology, formerly Bosch Packaging Technology, with the German Packaging Award in the category “Packaging Machines”: the compact TPU1000 form, fill and seal system convinced the jury with its wide range of possibilities for innovative, sustainable portion packs made of fiber-based material. The German Packaging Award 2020 underlines Syntegon’s focus on sustainable and intelligent technologies.
Every year, the German Packaging Institute dvi honors groundbreaking packaging ideas and machines in a contest that encompasses all industries and packaging materials. This year, one of the coveted prizes went to the TPU1000 paper forming machine from Syntegon. According to the jury, the form, fill and seal machine for paper-based packaging material paves the way for new, sustainable packaging solutions that meet the trends towards replacing petrochemical plastics and individualization. “The TPU offers brand owners with high demands on sustainability and aesthetics completely new packaging options for food, cosmetics and non-food products,” says Matthias Klauser, sustainability expert at Syntegon Technology. “We are therefore all the more pleased that the dvi recognizes our innovation and sustainability efforts.”
The module-based TPU1000 forms environmentally friendly “Shaped Paper Pods” with a filling volume of ten to 100 milliliters, which are suitable for single-portion packs and small-format products that are normally packaged in blisters. The material fed from the paper roll is formed into the desired shape at a speed of up to 15,000 packages per hour. This enables high quality packaging designs and embossing for a variety of products and filling techniques.
“In combination with BillerudKorsnäs’ 3D formable FibreForm® paper, the TPU1000 produces unique packaging with a special feel that meets both brand manufacturers’ needs for an individual look and feel and their sustainability efforts,” says Klauser. FibreForm® allows for up to ten times deeper embossing than regular paper. This results in unique 3D effects that differ from existing packaging solutions on the market. Various types of barrier layers can be applied to ensure the necessary protection of the respective product. The jury of the German Packaging Award praised the innovative material: “This highly stretchable paper allows wrinkle-free processing from a roll and a detailed reproduction of small embossing elements.”
Since 1963, the German Packaging Institute dvi has presented the German Packaging Award in several categories. The international competition takes place annually under the patronage of the Federal Minister of Economics and Energy. 2020, entries from Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey and Denmark were evaluated in a total of ten categories. The focus of this year’s competition was on the highly topical issues of sustainability and digitalization.
Measurement, Instrumentation, Control & Automation Mechanical & Thermal Processes Pumps & Compressors
Bottrop pump specialist is now the holder of the TOP 100 seal for exemplary innovation management
“All things flow” – standing still is not an option: At SEEPEX, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of progressive cavity pumps, the company claim goes far beyond the manufacture of first-class high-tech pumps. With new developments such as the holistic “Digital Solutions” concept, the medium-sized company is leading the classical field of mechanical engineering into the future in a targeted manner. Now the Bottrop-based specialist can officially count itself among the nationwide innovation elite. On June 19, SEEPEX was awarded the “Top 100 Seal” for exemplary innovation management and above-average innovation successes.
In Bottrop, the “InnovationCity Ruhr”, future-oriented ideas and solutions have been developed for the past ten years with the aim to meet the challenges of climate and structural change in urban areas. And there are also companies that have successfully and for a long time already been contributing to such innovations at the heart of the Ruhr area. For almost 50 years, the family company SEEPEX in Bottrop has been developing and building progressive cavity pumps, macerators and control systems. The manufacturer has continuously developed its pumps further and introduced new pump technologies in order to constantly improve its own products and, for example, enable easy maintenance. Digital solutions for the control and monitoring of pumps have long been offering great added value; in most cases, these are developed together with key customers and tailored to their individual needs. The SEEPEX management has risen to the challenge of digital change at an early stage. In the segment of progressive cavity pumps, which conveys ‘delicate cargo’ such as raspberries just as gently as thick chunks of sewage sludge in the environmental technology sector, the company plays a pioneering role within the international industry with its “Digital Solutions”. The holistic concept offers a portfolio of mobile and networked services, ranging from digitally supported maintenance of the pump using virtual reality, through digital pump management with simple spare parts ordering, to data-based services.
80 percent of SEEPEX products are exported worldwide. The company, which was founded in 1972, now has 18 subsidiaries and branches outside Germany, as well as distribution centers in over 70 countries. There are more than 800 employees worldwide, 423 of whom work at the company headquarters in Bottrop. This is also where the heart beats for new ideas.
For the top innovator, digitalization is the most important innovation of the past few years. Pumps can now be monitored in real time. With the SEEPEX tools, maintenance can be carried out partly by the customers themselves and even remotely. This means that customers can access, control and monitor the pumps with a mobile phone or tablet. The measured values are loaded into a cloud where they can be analyzed by customers or by SEEPEX. An internal team of data analysts deals with data mining and anomaly detection. This saves time and costs and also secures production, as malfunctions can be avoided.
In Bottrop, a dozen employees consistently oversee the digital change, while the management commits a large amount of time towards pushing innovations forward. Every year, around 200 suggestions for improvement are received from the workforce, two-thirds of which can generally be implemented. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, SEEPEX was granted 13 patents at both national and international level, plus certificates attesting to the pumps’ highest standards. For example, they meet the highest hygiene standards in the food sector and are certified according to EHEDG. Even the iF Design Award for innovative industrial design has already been awarded to the SEEPEX technology SCT because besides all of its functionality, easy handling is also to the fore.
All this and much more impressed the jury of the TOP 100 competition, which was held for the 27th time this year. Innovation researcher Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke from the University of Vienna and his team tested around 120 parameters for the selection of the top companies on the basis of a scientific system. Here, SEEPEX was easily able to maintain its position in the league of the most innovative German medium-sized companies according to the strict criteria. An award ceremony with the mentor, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar, has had to be cancelled this time due to the corona restrictions. In Bottrop, the management and staff are nevertheless very happy: “The same passion with which we have been working continuously for almost 50 years on the technical side to create top products also drives us to work together continuously on the future. We are proud that SEEPEX is now one of the TOP 100,” says owner and CEO Ulli Seeberger.
“Innovative medium-sized companies like SEEPEX GmbH from Bottrop are not afraid of change, but see it as an opportunity. In the scientific selection process, the company impressed in the largest size category (companies with more than 200 employees) especially in the categories of “External Orientation / Open Innovation” and “Innovative Processes and Organization” according to the competition initiators. They were particularly impressed by the way the company works on new products and services: Innovations are created in a close exchange with the customers. Innovations are developed step by step and tested with the most important customers (“lead users”). “Only when the customer successfully benefits from the added value is further development – or adaptation – carried out,” is how SEEPEX CTO Dr. Christian Hansen explains the procedure. “It is not uncommon for us to discover potential for improvement among the customer’s processes as well – for us, this is an important approach and confirmation that we can provide our customers with greater support in this respect.”
Since 1993, compamedia has been awarding the TOP 100 seal of approval for special innovative strength and above-average innovation successes to small and medium-sized companies. Since 2002, the scientific management has been in the hands of Prof. Dr. Nikolaus Franke. Franke is the founder and director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration. The mentor of TOP 100 is the science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar. Project partners are the Fraunhofer Society for the Promotion of Applied Research and the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW). As media partners, manager magazin, impulse and W&V provide advice and support for the company comparison. More information is available at www.top100.de.
Metal detector GF 4000
German metal detection technology for American flour mill
Founded in the mid-80s, this Sesotec reference customer is among the top five milling companies in the US with mills across the country. They specialize in several kinds of wheat-flour serving the national market. Today, belonging to an Asian group, this company also offers services that include development of formulations and specific blend.
In one of the milling plants, with production capacity of more than 12,000 cwt. and storage capacities of just above 1 MM bu. various wheat varieties are processed.
Pneumatic conveying is common within the milling industry to move large volumes of products. This firm was looking for a metal detection solution to provide enhancements to their food safety initiatives (GFSI) within the challenge of pneumatically conveying the finished product to bulk carriers. This was no easy task considering that the conveying pipes are operated with a pressure of 1.7 bars and a linear spe ed up to 4000 FPM.
Previous locations for installation of detection systems have been in front of, or at the exit of, these pneumatic lines. Previous systems were cumbersome, create dust with a lot of product waste, therefore installation at this part of the process was often deemed too difficult. This left a gap in the food safety coverage of the flour mill.
After evaluation of several metal detectors from different manufacturers, our reference customer decided to go for the GF 4000 from Sesotec. This system rose to the top of the selection list because it detects and automatically rejects metal from within the pneumatic line.
When testing with test bodies, the device could convince to 100 percent, without generating any false rejects. By installing the GF4000, the company could close a gap in production security. They are also impressed with the robust construction of the GF 4000, derived from German technology with engineering suitable for the demands of North American customers.