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The Magazine


The Magazine
Plant Data Services collects and analyzes data to help companies make sound decisions


Greater efficiency for maintenance processes

The cumulative knowledge of Plant Data Services allows machine manufacturers in the printing industry to provide customer support for printing machine maintenance and enhance the performance of customers’ machines.

Sophisticated service programs are becoming increasingly important for printing machine manufacturers that are seeking to gain and secure a competitive edge – because, ultimately, customers should continue to receive the best possible support after the machine has been delivered and throughout its entire lifecycle. But machines are often distributed the world over, so manufacturers usually have access to only a limited amount of information about the current condition of their machines. Most manufacturers also lack a general overview of their fleet of machines, so helpful comparative data are nonexistent as well. But thanks to Plant Data Services and MindSphere – Siemens Cloud for Industry, these limitations are now a thing of the past. Insightful data from machines in locations around the world can now be evaluated and converted into added value in the open IT ecosystem.

Making sound decisions

Printing International – a Belgian specialist in pad printing machinery for a diverse range of materials and industries, with more than 30 years of experience – is taking full advantage of two key services: Plant Data Services and MindSphere – Siemens Cloud for Industry. Plant Data Services collects and analyzes the data that are continuously produced by the individual printing machines. This helps the company make sound decisions regarding preventive maintenance and measures to increase energy efficiency and even machine performance.

The new MindConnect Nano, a Simatic IPC–based cloud gateway, records the data agreed upon between the partners locally on the machine (data collected via sensors, e.g.) and securely transmits this information to MindSphere – Siemens Cloud for Industry. The data provided and displayed on this open cloud-based platform, which uses technology from the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, allow printing machines all over the world to be monitored continuously and their current status to be assessed. The printing head and the servo-axes, for example, are checked for wear and tear in this way. Comparisons can also be made between the printing machines. “Perhaps, for instance, a different kind of ink needs to be used in the tropics in order to ensure that the capacity of the printing machines is fully exploited,” explains Marc Joris, who is responsible for Plant Data Services at Siemens Belgium.

Anticipating problems

Long-term trends can also be identified thanks to the secure storage of data – which remain the customer’s property – so problems are detected and rectified before anything can go wrong. Printing International is among those benefiting: the company has proactively improved its own digital service models for customers thanks to the extensive analyses and has significantly improved the efficiency of its maintenance processes as a result.

Picture credits: Siemens AG