Industry 4.0 Manufacturing

The new 250 million-euro Rittal plant in Haiger embraces the principles of Industry 4.0.

It represents the company’s largest-ever single investment, enabling them to establish the world’s most advanced manufacturing facility for its new compact and small enclosures.

The plant’s highly automated production processes – working in conjunction with the neighbouring distribution centre (GDC) – enable seamless order fulfilment, guaranteeing ongoing availability of standard products and accessories.

Rittal is putting Industry 4.0 theory into practice. 

The world’s leading provider of solutions for enclosures, power distribution, climate control and IT infrastructure (as well as corresponding software and services) is creating a smart factory which will become the world’s most advanced production plant for compact and small enclosures.

“The plant will be fully aligned with highly efficient Industry 4.0 principles,” states Professor Friedhelm Loh, Owner and CEO of the Friedhelm Loh Group.

“The new manufacturing site will also safeguard future competitiveness for our customers and our own business. The total investment of 250 million euros is a positive statement in terms of the regional economy and the 290 jobs at our Haiger plant. We have quite consciously decided to proactively shape the future with the local people who made us what we are today.”

The new factory halls cover 24,000 square metres of floor space and will soon house more than 100 high-tech machines.

Around 9,000 AX compact and KX small enclosures will be manufactured every day, processing approximately 35,000 metric tons of steel annually.

Manufacturing in a smart factory

The equipment will be highly automated, producing individual items which are then assembled with exceptional efficiency.

In the past, individual steps such as cutting to size, edging, welding and painting were transactional, sequential and independent of one another. In the new era, all workers, machines and materials will be increasingly integrated into the manufacturing execution system.

At the end of the process, the individual assemblies are automatically merged and a QR code is applied, for easy identification and onward processing by the customer.

Both the machines and handling systems communicate with each other and with higher-level control systems via modern industry 4.0-capable communication networks.

Materials and components will be moved using 20 automated, guided vehicles. Packaging, marking and transfer to the distribution centre are managed automatically. Knowledge-based “learning” systems will enable predictive maintenance, preventing faults from occurring and minimising downtime.

Automated order management and fulfilment will guarantee the ongoing availability of standard products and accessories in the nearby global distribution centre, creating an end-to-end digital process chain – from configuration and engineering on the part of the customer, to shipment of the end-product.

A new world of work in Haiger

The new era of industrial manufacturing will also usher in major changes for the associated manpower.

There will be fewer strenuous manual tasks, such as lifting and carrying; instead, the focus will shift to controlling, monitoring and fine-tuning processes.

“The expertise and capabilities of experienced employees are one of the keys to the success of smart factories: systems can only learn and gain intelligence if they are taught systematically by humans,” explains Professor Loh.

Rittal proactively develops the digital skills of its workforce through training courses held at the Loh Academy.

The new technologies will bring improvements to the working environment as a whole. The Haiger facility will be quiet, clean and energy-efficient. For example, waste heat from the new paint shop will be recovered and reused, e.g. for degreasing components or for heating the factory halls. Efficient use of water is also a high priority. Process water is managed within a closed-loop system, where it is cleaned and reused.

Digital value creation at the customer organisation

Rittal will be manufacturing its new AX compact and KX small enclosures at the new plant.

Digital transformation has created new challenges in terms of the products themselves, the operating environment, and its availability. Rittal has therefore rethought and redesigned this offering inline with the imperatives of Industry 4.0.

Rittal provides effective support for the entire value chain for the production of panels and switchgear, from engineering to ordering to automation. Its digital product twin delivers high-quality data for the entire design, configuration and manufacturing process. This approach for the new AX and KX range echoes the successful launches of the Blue e+ cooling units and VX25 large baying enclosures.

Digital transformation is vital to business success

The Haiger facility is a pilot for the real-world implementation of Industry 4.0 and will act as a role model for Rittal’s international operations.

It will also be a pioneer and reference for Rittal’s own products and services in terms of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Blue e+ cooling units further increase energy efficiency and are integrated into the monitoring and energy management systems via the IIoT interface. The entire machine park permanently provides data from the control system and the current operating states.

Production systems in the new factory deliver an ongoing source of actionable data on their operational status. In future, this information will be collected by an on-site edge data centre and analysed using powerful applications developed by sister company Innovo.

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Rittal’s RiMatrix S Data Centre roadshow

Packed into a shipping container on the back of an articulated lorry, Rittal’s RiMatrix S will again be at DatacenterDynamics Converged London 2014.
Alternatively, take the opportunity to come and see this innovation first hand at your nearest Rittal location where experts will be on hand to answer any questions.
Enfield – Unit 10, The Arena, 1004 Mollison Avenue, Enfield, Middlesex EN3 7NJ.
21 November between 0900 – 1700.

Rotherham – Braithwell Way, Hellaby Ind Est, Hellaby, Rotherham S66 8QY.
24 & 25 November between 0900 – 1700.

Aberdeen – Premier Inn, North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, AB15 6DW.
27 November between 1000 – 1700.
28 November between 1000 – 1300.
RiMatrix S is perfectly tailored to the requirements of the small to medium sized enterprises that require short delivery times and a system that can be easily be adapted to their own infrastructure. Key to the immediate delivery is Rittal’s ability to produce mass standardised data centre modules which include fully functional network racks, climate control and power distribution as well as back up, monitoring and DCIM (Data Centre Infrastructure Management).
Rittal’s RiMatrix S opens up a new perspective for the IT World and is the revolutionary alternative to individual Data Centres. Please visit http://www.rittal.co.uk to find out more.

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Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, 19″ Racks, Software & Service – http://www.rittal.co.uk

Ergonomics in enclosure assembly

Allowing panel builders to work in the most ergonomic and safest way possible, Kiesling Maschinentechnik, a member of the internationally successful Friedhelm Loh Group, supply Assemblex assembly frames that support and rationalise processes throughout every stage of machining, assembly, wiring and testing of enclosures.

Three types of assembly frames offer simple and variable fixing of mounting plates using quick release fasteners, are mobile, can be tilted, independent of mains power and depending on the version, height adjustable with a maximum mounting plate or enclosure size of 1900 mm x 1900 mm.

Optional extras include the management of cable reels to the installation of the mounting plate inside the enclosure directly from the assembly frame to prevent heavy lifting. Furthermore, Assemblex assembly frames take up minimal space when not in use and with the absence of mains power, eliminate the risk of careless damage to floor power leads.

Read more at: http://www.rittal.com/uk-en/content/en/unternehmen/presse/pressemeldungen/pressemeldung_detail_32256.jsp

Assemblex assembly frame

 

Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, 19″ Racks, Software & Service – http://www.rittal.co.uk

Peter Holthuysen’s Kilimanjaro Charity challenge

He did it! Rittal service engineer Peter Holthuysen is safely back home now and on target for a total of £1000 raised for the Daisy Appeal (still time to sponsor if you were waiting to see if he actually did it)  https://www.justgiving.com/PeterHolthuysen/

Peter and his wife have been involved with the Daisy Appeal charity for some time and have been working hard to help raise funds for 2 new cyclotron scanning machines to be located, one at Hull University and one at Castle hill hospital Hull.

These units are intended to assist in the training of the new generation of doctors and surgeons. The machines and specifically designed centre to house them cost £7.5m which has to be funded entirely from charitable donations. Peter started his expedition in Africa on the 26th September  spent 7 days walking the mountain which is 5895 meters high which is the highest point in Africa.

The money raised will contribute towards the purchase of the machine and will help many people over a long period of time.

So proud of Peter, and thanks to all that supported and sponsored him so far.

Peter climbs kili

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https://www.justgiving.com/PeterHolthuysen/

Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, Software & Service – http://www.rittal.co.uk

Automation in enclosure assembly

Kiesling Maschinentechnik, a member of the internationally successful Friedhelm Loh Group, is a specialist for automation solutions in switchgear manufacture. After a five-year development period, the Averex, the world’s first robotic wiring centre is production-ready. But first, two real-world field tests will be conducted in the second half of 2014.

Averex has been specially developed for wiring enclosure mounting plates. The system cuts the wires to the correct length before stripping and crimping with wire ferrules, feeding the wires through the cable duct and attaching them to components such as terminal blocks, contactors and motor circuit breakers.

On average it takes around 180 seconds to complete this wiring process manually but Averex finishes the same task in approximately 40 seconds. Exceptionally reliable, Averex uses lasers to identify parts and check their dimensions against the assembly tolerances. Automation reduces the number of required working hours by approximately15 per enclosure compared to manual wiring (based on 300 wires).

Control software, with routing module, is particularly simple to use, featuring an intuitive graphics-based operator interface and can be integrated conveniently with electronic wiring lists and CAD layout tools. The solution’s stand-out technical feature is its’ patented machine head, which can be rotated by 270 degrees and includes cable routing, cutting, stripping and crimping units, torque-controlled screwing and, pre-punched holes are provided in the reinforcing plate.

http://www.rittal.com/uk-en/content/en/unternehmen/presse/pressemeldungen/pressemeldung_detail_31616.jsp

 

The Kiesling

 

 

Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, Software & Service – http://www.rittal.co.uk

A World of Knowledge with Rittal CIBSE CPD Seminars

Rittal Ltd has launched three new accredited seminars to support customers in their Continuing Professional Development (CPD). The seminars have been reviewed and assessed by the Chartered Institute of Building Engineers (CIBSE), to ensure the technical content is of a high standard and offers valuable CPD to delegates. All attendees will receive a certificate as evidence of their participation.

The seminars, which are free of charge, take the form of short informative presentations, a workshop and are as follows:

Building a Data Centre in the Perfect Storm:

Covering aspects of complete relocation of a Data Centre, including refurbishment and regeneration, this CPD seminar takes the form of a real life case study of Nottinghamshire County Council (NCC). Connecting 130,000 users across 700 buildings and 60,000 computers the case study looks at how NCC delivered a new state of the art data centre and coping with the perfect brain storm of migration and updating whilst maintaining essential IT services.

Aimed at all levels of mechanical engineers, facilities managers, estate managers, electrical engineers and IT managers, this course can be presented at consultant and contractors offices or at Rittal’s specialist Data Centre location in Enfield.

An Introduction to the Application of IEC 61439:

Designed to give a brief introduction to the IEC 61439 (the new switchgear and controlgear assembly production standard), this seminar looks at how it should be applied to the design and manufacture of low voltage switchgear and controlgear assemblies.

Incorporating four key parts: enclosures, climate control, busbar and the devices, the standard looks at assemblies as a total system and not as individual components and how they react together and perform under test conditions.

Aimed at all levels of expertise within engineering departments, courses can be either presented at consultant or contractors offices or at Rittal’s Head Office showroom and demonstration centre in South Yorkshire, Rittal’s offices in Livingston or, alternatively, at Rittal’s production factory in Plymouth.

Date Centre Energy Efficiency:

Looking at different strategies that can be implemented and the potential gains and compromises that could occur, this seminar covers a broad spectrum of technologies and processes including Data Networks, Data Centres, Computer Rooms, Heating and Ventilation as well as IT infrastructure and Building Management.

Aimed at all levels of mechanical engineers, facilities managers, estates managers, electrical engineers and IT managers, this CPD course can either be presented at consultants and contractors offices or at Rittal’s specialist Data Centre location in Enfield.

For further information about Rittal’s new CPD programme email info@rittal.co.uk or call 01709 704000. Pdf is available at

http://www.rittal.com/uk-en/content/en/unternehmen/cpd/produkte_3.jsp

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Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, Software & Services – http://www.rittal.co.uk

130,000 euros raised for repairs and relief in south-east Europe

Friedhelm Loh Group employees, and CEO Friedhelm Loh himself, have donated some 130,000 euros for victims of the floods in south-east Europe. The funds will be used to repair the damage and relieve the suffering caused by torrential rain in Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina in May. The money will be divided between six international aid organisations.

In response to the devastation caused by the floods in south-east Europe, the Friedhelm Loh Group launched an initiative to collect donations. A total of some 130,000 euros was raised, and given to aid organisations Caritas International, the German Red Cross, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe, Humedica and World Vision. The money will fund the distribution of food, drinking water, the deployment of water pumps and drying equipment, and other aids and resources.

“On behalf of the recipients, I’d like to thank the staff for their generous donations. It’s encouraging to see, and it again clearly demonstrates that we’re an organisation willing to act as a community, and not only to assume responsibility for ourselves, but also for others,” stated CEO Friedhelm Loh.

Support for several aid projects

On receiving 30,000 euros, Michael Frischmuth, responsible for Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe’s work in Europe, said “We’d like to thank Rittal very much for their contribution. We used the funds to ship drying equipment originally deployed during the 2013 floods in Germany to the countries affected in south-east Europe. This equipment will accelerate the process of making flood-damaged houses habitable again.”

Record-breaking bad weather

Torrential downpours in the Balkans this May led to the worst flooding since records began. Large swathes of south-east Europe were under water. Whole cities and villages were cut off from the outside world and many people were forced to abandon their homes. The Balkan floods impacted a total of 1.3 million people. Thousands were evacuated, and 50 lost their lives.

The scale of the damage only became apparent once the floodwaters had receded. In many regions, the ground has been contaminated by toxins, vehicle fuel and sewage. The cost of the damage has been tentatively put at more than a billion euros in Serbia and hundreds of millions in Bosnia-Herzegovina. In Croatia, the cost to the agricultural industry alone is thought to exceed 30 million euros. Many people have not only lost their homes, but also their livestock, and as result, their livelihoods.

How donations are used in practice

Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe is focusing its efforts in Serbia on the areas affected by floods in the centre and west of the country. In Bosnia-Herzegovina, aid is concentrated on the north. The very first action taken by Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe was to ship 280 dryers to disaster areas for distribution to local partners who employ them to make buildings habitable. Currently, a further shipment of more than 200 dryers is on its way to Serbia, where it is expected to arrive in mid-August. The local population is also being provided with food, hygiene packages and water pumps.

Farmers have not only suffered from damage inflicted directly by the floods; they are also not permitted to sell their remaining crops. Many livelihoods are therefore at risk. The Galonic family in Serbia operate a cattle breeding business. Miraculously, 30 of their livestock survived, but their feed was swept away by the floodwaters. Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe, in cooperation with local aid organisations, has provided them with new feed and fast-growing seed. As Mr Galonic himself explains: “The floods destroyed many buildings on our farm, including the cowshed. Our cows survived, as they were able to escape the shed of their own accord. But we were not in a position to feed them. Thanks to the aid we received from Germany, we have been able to carry on. Our cattle will not starve to death, and we will not lose our livelihoods.”

Other aid agencies also remain active in the region, helping the victims to rebuild their lives. They provide psychological counselling, legal advice, and assist with reconstruction work. The donations received from Germany play a key role in making this support possible.

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2014 © Rittal GmbH & Co. KG
Friedhelm loh Group Logo

Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, Software & Services – http://www.rittal.co.uk

Business Growth Through IT

White Paper from IDC and Rittal: Data Centres Are Increasingly Becoming a Competitive Factor

In a recent White Paper sponsored by Rittal, provider of IT infrastructure solutions, international market research company IDC examined the influence that data centres have on the economic success of small and medium-sized businesses. The results show that IT infrastructure and especially having one’s own data centre are perceived as essential in permanently securing competitiveness and expansion. The White Paper also shows that companies want to take advantage of new technologies such as cloud, Big Data and mobile computing in order to develop new revenue opportunities. The results are based on an IDC survey of around 500 managers and IT heads in medium-sized companies in Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, the Netherlands and Italy.

The most important findings at a glance:

Direct correlation between IT spending and revenue growth

If a company was commercially successful last year, this has a direct impact on the IT budget. As many as 98% of organizations with increasing sales reported that they would enlarge their investment in IT, or at least keep it at the same level. Furthermore, the survey showed that economically successful companies invest an average 20% more in their IT than businesses with flat sales figures.

Having one’s own data centre is the key to success

No fewer than 93% of the IT managers questioned found it important or very important for a company to have its own data centre. Of those companies surveyed that registered a growth in sales last year, 97% operated their own data centre.

Energy efficiency offers the potential to cut costs

Companies have some catching up to do, particularly when it comes to energy efficiency: 57% of respondents report PUE (power usage effectiveness) values exceeding 2.0. For every kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed by the IT equipment, roughly the same amount again is consumed by cooling and further building and plant technology. The PUE represents the energy consumed in the data centre in relation to the energy consumption of the computer: The closer the PUE value gets to one, the more efficient the data centre is. In industrial applications, a PUE value of 1.4 is regarded as excellent while large IT service provider with optimized systems reach values of 1.2 or less.

The data centre is too cold

The IT managers surveyed indicated that they operate their data centres at an average of temperature of 15.5°C. According to IDC, there are enormous savings potentials in this area. Instead of cooling entire rooms, it is more efficient to work with direct cooling within the rack or in the individual aisles. As a result, a higher overall temperature is allowed in the room, reducing the costs of cooling.

Greater reliability needed

Existing redundancy concepts are often out-of-date and not sufficiently reliable to ensure the high level of availability that customers expect in today’s competitive market environment. 24% percent of the IT administrators questioned cited redundant infrastructure as the key area in need of modernising. Overall, only 46% of IT experts assess the viability of their own IT as very high. Nevertheless, the majority (79%) of IT decision-makers believe that none of the demands is insurmountable.

Investment backlog in the data centre

The participants surveyed reported that their data centres were an average of 6.9 years old. With this age it is already difficult to use modern IT equipment as they have a higher energy density and must be highly available. For example, the energy efficiency of IT components and the cooling concepts for racks and server rooms have evolved considerably in recent years. This creates demand for IT modernisation.

New technologies are changing IT strategy

IT systems need to evolve continuously so that a company’s own data centre will also be able to meet such business needs as greater agility and cost efficiency in future. Six out of ten companies would like to meet the new market requirements with public or hybrid cloud capacity, but they shy away from the risks. This means, for example, a greater focus on in-house data centres, which are operated by the company itself and offer private cloud solutions. More than 75% of managers expect a modified IT strategy, either due to mobile computing or as a result of Big Data.

This research has shown that IT is an important factor in achieving business goals. This means that many companies are willing to invest in technologies such as cloud, Big Data, or mobile computing. The key to success is having one’s own data centre, as aspects such as reliability and availability have a high priority”, says Dirk Miller, Rittal’s Executive Vice President, Marketing.

“IT infrastructures need to be renewed to keep pace with the market. The question is whether to modernise or to rebuild”, explains Bernd Hanstein, Vice President Product Management IT at Rittal. “We see a great deal of potential in efficient, adaptive cooling concepts. Then IT managers can fully exploit the advantages of greater flexibility and reductions in ancillary costs.”

Modular data centres increase agility

The concept of a modular data centre helps companies achieve greater agility and scalability. This permits shorter product life cycles, as well as the more rapid commissioning of new systems or implementation of new regulations. Even if these concepts are still relatively new on the market, awareness of them is growing. According to IDC, this market segment has recorded double-digit growth in recent years. In EMEA, investments worth hundreds of millions amounts have been made.

“Modular data centres are a rational way of meeting current business challenges. The preconfigured modules or containers tend to be more cost effective than newly built conventional data centres, and they can be set up within a few weeks”, explains Chris Ingle, Vice President, IDC.

The study is available at http://www.rittal.com/idc-whitepaper

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Rittal Enclosures, Power Distribution, Climate Control, IT Infrastructure, Software & Services – http://www.rittal.co.uk

Interesting Article on DP&A – Looking forward to 2020 . . . on Mars

Interesting Article from DP&A

While the Curiosity rover continues to interrogate Gale Crater on Mars, planning is well under way for its successor—another rover that is currently referred to as Mars 2020. The new robotic explorer, scheduled to launch in 2020, will use much of the same technology (even some of the spare parts Curiosity left behind on Earth) to get to the Red Planet……..

– Looking forward to 2020 . . . on Mars.