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Digitalization - from information to knowledge

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Music is basically an analog experience - an artist or a band is playing and we can listen to it if we are in the same place at the same time. The evolution has gone from this direct experience via analog turntables and cassettes, to digital (but still physical) Compact Discs towards MP3 (no more physical) to today's streaming services. A whole range of new business models and services have evolved around the music itself.

Digitalization can mean a lot of things. It may be the usage of a digital amplifier, to stay with the music example. It can also be the development and provision of a streaming service with completely new possibilities for the user. Not all form of digitalization has the same groundbreaking effect.

Considering this, it is important to look at your own business and ask yourself, what can be changed in which way to get max of the efforts in return? Not everything that involves some form of digital solutions and services results in the expected change and benefits. But if things are approached in a targeted and systematic manner, the idea of Industry 4.0 can be developed further.

Our idea of Industry 4.0 is the availability and the collection of information, the transformation of this information to knowledge with the help of analytics, and the use of this knowledge to do new things and to improve the things you do.

It's not only the product itself that should be at the center of your efforts. There's just as much to gain from taking a look at the value chain itself.

For example, a machine operator gets presented recommendations for problems that may arise during operations of a e.g. milling machine. These recommendations are based on the information available and are linked to the cause of the problem. The operator can vote the recommendation up or down depending on how his problem was addressed. The recommendations are written by experienced operators and this way, their experience and knowledge is made available to everyone - much to the benefit of more effective processes.

Another example is how Audi starts to transition from building their cars on an assembly line with fixed tact times and workstations, towards a dynamic assembly where autonomous vehicles are driving through the assembly hall and find the next free working station. All components and tools are moving in the same way towards this work station and everything arrives there at the same time.
All this is possible with the help of a huge amount of information which is used to continuously adapt and optimize the assembly process. When something didn't work as expected, the pattern leading to the fault is identified from the data. The analysis of this data serves as basis for recognizing such patterns in the future and thus avoiding the occurrence of the same problem. This way, the whole assembly process is self-improving all the time.

But how to get started?

The problem is that no one knows where Digitalization is leading to. Therefore its probably no good idea to buy expensive licenses and replace all of your systems with a completely new platform. However, it is also not an option to wait for 10 years and see what will happen. The challenge is to find these aspects of digitalization which are interesting (e.g. aspects like engineering, product, service), relevant and reachable for each business with its individual products and services and the related value chain. Not every approach has to be disruptive.

At nexiles, we are using a range of characteristics to outline a road-map to get started:

  • To which degree is it possible to access analog and digital methods in a systematic manner?
  • Which level of interaction and communication is possible between the product and its surroundings?
  • How is the product or service interacting with its users?
  • Utilization of digital possibilities in existing processes?
  • To which degree are business models being used which can only be realized with digital means?

When information is collected over time and at real time, it can be analyzed and used to control processes in a dynamic way. It becomes possible to learn of things that happened in the past and that are happening right now, at the same time it's possible to plan ahead and predict future developments. With this knowledge, one can run and improve processes in a pro-active and continuous manner. All this results in improved products and services, new solutions and a more effective value chain.

It is here where the revolutionary possibilities are - dynamic processes, services and products that are continuously adapting to a changing changing environment.

This is the English version of the article Industri 4.0 - fra Informasjon til Kunnskap published on næ

Utilizing Synergies of Industrie 4.0 and IoT​

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Bochum/ Weingarten, November 2016
How well the cooperation is working has already been proved in several cases. So far, we primarily met in projects, where ComputerKomplett ASCAD involved the smaller partner nexiles for technical advice and support.

"The cooperation in the teams is here working so well, as if we would be a single company", confirms Achim Krause, Manager Consulting PTC, ASCAD. In order to strengthen the portfolio and utilize synergies, this cooperation has now been extended with a sub-reseller contract for PTC products together with a Joint Venture covering the topics Industrie 4.0 and IoT.

"We have found a partner in ComputerKomplett ASCAD, who is accepting and valuing us the way we are. This way, we can continue to focus on our core competencies and follow our curiosity related to strengthen our practical applications and technologies. At the same time, the cooperation is also a burst of growth for us. We do not only grow our portfolio, but have also a strong partner at our side helping to give our customers safety and reliability, as well as being more visible on the market." Günter Häußner, Managing Director at nexiles GmbH.

"In quite a similar way, this also accounts for us", says Achim Krause. "With nexiles, we have not only a new location in southern Germany, but also a experienced and innovative tecnology partner. In order to be successful with Industrie 4.0 and IoT, it's not enough to be a reseller for selling and implementing technology. It takes much more solid experience and smart ideas to realize these projects successfully.
Here, we are going to work very close together with nexiles. They contribute to our partnership with their ThingWorx System Integrator partnership with PTC." The next milestone is the integration of our solutions (ProfiPlus and nexiles.elements) and their common future development. A first release will already be available in January 2017.

nexiles GmbH

nexiles GmbH is based in Weingarten (Germany) and in Sandvika (Norway) and is a registered PTC Software Partner and ThingWorx System Integration Partner, as well as registered Microsoft partner. We have a global project footprint and deliver our services and solutions where our customers ask for it.

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nexiles GmbH
Günter Häußner
Birkenweg 12/3, 88250 Weingarten
Telefon: +49 751 270 856-50
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ComputerKomplett ASCAD GmbH

ComputerKomplett ASCAD offers as PTC Platinum partner individual solutions and concepts for effective CAD-Applications, transparent Product Development and intelligent PLM-Integrations for Small-andMedium sized production companies. More than 1800 customers are using the possibilities of managing their products across their complete life-cycle in a wide range of industry sectors. More than 150 employees at 9 locations are realizing solutions for process optimization utilizing PLM and IT. The revenue in 2015 was 30 Mio. €.

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Michael Mannek
Harpener Heide 7, 44805 Bochum
Telefon: +49 234 9594-0
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Internet of Things - Showcase


By now, we have a working setup for our Internet of Things showcase. It features a fischertechnik crane model that is connected to Microsoft Azure and a dashboard for visualization. The Azure back-end takes care of device management, message stream analysis (fishing out the critical alerts), data persistence, as well as data access and visualization.

We have registered 4 Offshore cranes in the showcase. Their individual and current position is retrieved in real-time from the ship's AIS information. Also, pictures and other information about the vessels is retrieved from the same system. Each registered vessel is shown on a world-map - a click on a vessel shows a picture and provides direct access to the Design data of the mounted crane as well as links to its 3D visualization and possibilities to see pending Changes and to create new Problem reports on a specific crane.

The showcase demonstrates how an actual device/crane sends its telemetry data to the Remote Monitoring solution. The solution recognizes critical conditions and issues warnings and alerts. The connected crane can also receive messages from the solution - in the showcase it's possible to order the crane into its parking position and to turn on/off the floodlights.

With this showcase we wanted to create a real-life example illustrating the idea of Internet-of-Things. Again, instead of following and spreading buzzwords, we want to do real stuff and see things in action.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact us. Let's arrange a demo or phone call to see how we can approach your plans together...

nexiles means tied or bound together; interwoven. In this way, we are partnering with our customers to be able to provide holistic help for improvement of their individual value-added processes.

nexiles GmbH is based in Weingarten (Germany) and is a registered PTC Software Partner Gold as well as registered Microsoft partner. We have a global project footprint and deliver our services and solutions where our customers ask for it.