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The Magazine


The Magazine
Save energy with the digital transformation today

Unlock the potential

Energy efficiency: A starting point for a digital enterprise

The digital transformation is already showing up everywhere in industry. But many companies are holding off on digital solutions. Yet companies can already profit from digital energy-efficiency solutions today, while at the same time laying the groundwork to achieve their future digital potential.

Today, pioneering companies are already taking advantage of the opportunities that the digital transformation offers. They’re extending their communications infrastructure, integrating industrial software into automation, and expanding their cloud computing networks, fleets of 3-D printers, and ranges of digital services. 

Yet a glance at the German business scene shows that many companies are still holding off on digital solutions. According to a study by the DIHK (only in German) – the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce – 67 percent of German companies foresee opportunities and possibilities in digitalization, especially by way of developing new business models. But only somewhat more than a quarter of them feel really well positioned to meet the challenges of Industrie 4.0. And in that regard, German companies lag only slightly behind their international partners. Only 33 percent of the more than 2000 companies surveyed said they would call their company advanced in terms of Industrie 4.0. (Source: pwc)

Only 33 percent of the more than 2000 companies surveyed said they would call their company advanced in terms of Industrie 4.0.

Saving energy can be the first step toward a digital transformation

Industrie 4.0 companies connect physical products and digital interfaces, work within digital ecosystems, optimize production processes with an extensive database, and realize their digital potential by tapping new business models. But it’s a long road up to that point, and one of the biggest challenges of the digital transformation is to implement complex digital processes in a company’s day-to-day workflows. Companies face the question of whether and how they might have specific applications where integrating digital solutions really makes economic sense. In other words, where to start?

Digital technologies help companies remain competitive in globalized markets, and offer them extensive chances to cut their operating and production costs. For many industrial companies, energy consumption represents a major cost – one that can already be analyzed and reduced with digital solutions today. So in many industries, the reason for taking a first step into the world of digitalization can be very simple: Visualize and analyze energy data and by this, save energy and cut production costs.

Implement now, profit now, and lay the groundwork to unlock your digital potential in the future.

How Gestamp is saving energy with digital solutions

Spanish automotive supplier Gestamp Automoción S.L. decided to adopt a digital energy management solution from Siemens because the energy-intensive hot-press technologies were driving up its energy needs. As a solution, Gestamp worked out a concept with Siemens based on the EnergyIP software solution, to analyze, monitor and control energy consumption in production. 

The system it implemented uses large volumes of data – “big data” – as a basis. Data-collection devices and sensors gather some 800 million data points a day from Gestamp’s various systems, providing a real-time view of the company’s general energy consumption, previously undetected peak loads, and production components that are not fully utilized. At the end of the complex chain of sensors, bits and bytes, followed by intelligent analytical software, Gestamp gets savings on both energy consumption and CO₂ emissions, at a low investment cost:

  • Last fiscal year alone (2017), the company saved a total of 105 gigawatt-hours of energy, equivalent to the power consumption of about 29,000 households (calculated on a basis of 3,600 kWh per household per year).
  • In 2017, Gestamp recorded a savings of 16,000 metric tons of CO₂ compared to the prior year. 
  • Siemens Financial Services supported the implementation of EnergyIP by providing a rate payment model without investment or license costs for the customer. With this, implementation is expected to pay for itself within just three years.

The first step toward a digital company

Gestamp has taken the first step toward digitalization, and is now integrating its digital solution worldwide. It’s already integrated 15 systems; the figure will climb to 23 by year’s end. 

The company has identified its specific needs for energy-saving measures, and by implementing digital solutions it has laid the cornerstone for a full digital transformation. It’s an example that other companies can follow: implement now, profit now, and lay the groundwork to unlock your digital potential in the future. An established data infrastructure, extensive data analysis tools and an established confidence in data security are the foundations of a digital company.

Pioneers like Gestamp are already implementing these basic principles today by discovering and understanding what data from their production can be made visible, how they can make the most of those data, and what kind of efficiency enhancements they can get from them. Initial systems can be expanded later into entire digital ecosystems with digitally integrated business processes and mapped value chains.

Digitalization offers companies a way to discover new business areas and models, and thus to achieve their digital potential. That potential starts with the digital transformation and the first step in implementing it. And that first step toward a digital company can be something as simple as the desire to save energy.