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.
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Siemens and Pixeom
Acquisition of Edge technology
Siemens is planning the acquisition of Edge technology from the US company Pixeom. With this action, Siemens is strengthening its Industrial Edge portfolio by adding software components for Edge runtime and for device management. Siemens Industrial Edge provides an ecosystem, which enables the flexible provision and use of apps. This means for example that appropriate apps can analyze data locally at the machine and send relevant data to the higher-level Industrial Edge Management System for global analytics. With this acquisition, Siemens is driving forward the expansion of its Digital Enterprise portfolio and the integration of cutting-edge technologies for the digital transformation of industry.
With the resulting Industrial Edge ecosystem, industrial companies can use production data even more efficiently and react more flexibly to changes in conditions. Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO of Business Unit Factory Automation, explains: “Cutting edge technologies such as Edge Computing open up new scope for automation. With Siemens Industrial Edge, we are creating an open edge ecosystem which offers benefits for companies of any size.” Siemens is using Docker standard container technology: the provision of apps in the management system will therefore be just as simple as functional upgrades and updates of Edge devices in the factory from a central point.
Siemens intends to acquire this technology from Pixeom and use it in the Business Unit Factory Automation, which is part of Siemens Digital Industries. Pixeom has sites in San José, California and Udaipur, India and employs 81 people worldwide. Closing of the transaction is planned for the fourth quarter of 2019. Both companies have agreed not to comment on the financial details of the transaction.
Mixer and process data
Quick and easy graphical analysis
ProView process data visualization is a universal tool that is not tied to any specific platform, enabling efficient analysis of operating data. It can be used on a PC in the office or on a tablet or smartphone while on the move.
In many industries, monitoring the mixing process is necessary for reasons of quality assurance, particularly if plants are working automatically, without direct control by a designated member of staff. Changes in the properties or quantities of raw materials/of the product, for example, result in changes in the mixer’s power draw or in the moisture content of the mix. ProView enables simple and quick analysis of the process values in such situations.
Up until now, reading off operating data has been a laborious business. In most cases, data from the plant controller can only be downloaded using a USB stick, and the operator is then required to import this into existing programs. It takes a lot of time and practice before usable displays and reports are achieved.
ProView process data visualization makes life easier. All parameters monitored by sensors in the plant can be viewed in detail in diagrammatic form, on a PC in the office or using a mobile phone while on the move. The data remains in the company, and is stored locally on the machine/plant, not in a Cloud.
As browser-based software that is not tied to any specific platform, ProView works with any controllers, whether from Siemens, Rockwell or Mitsubishi. An industry router connects the world of the machine with the world of the office. Installation on the company network is easy. The program is preconfigured for each machine or plant, but can also be adjusted by the user at any time. This allows other presentations and selection structures to be created to suit customer preferences. Useful tools such as graphical navigation on the time axis, zoom and curve comparison make using the program easier. Statistical parameters such as the mean and the standard deviation can also be displayed as standard.
With ProView from Eirich, easy access to real-time and also to historical data becomes possible. Information is acquired that can be used directly by Quality Assurance, Service or Process Engineering, and which in many instances makes optimizing production flows possible.