Rittal helps spur global revolution around IIoT

Glenn Wishnew, senior product manager at Rittal Corporation, discusses both the historic ties Rittal has with Hannover Messe and the new prospects surropunding the Industrial Internet of Things (IioT) and its potewntial impact on global manufacturing.


Glenn Wishnew, senior product manager at Rittal Corporation. Courtesy: RittalManufacturers with long histories in both Germany and the United States as especially excited about the U.S. having Partner Country status at the 2016 Hannover Messe on April 25-29. Rittal is one such company, with a long association with the show, and a expanding footprint in the U.S. Glenn Wishnew, senior product manager at Rittal Corporation, discusses both the historic ties Rittal has with Hannover Messe and the new prospects surropunding the Industrial Internet of Things (IioT) and its potewntial impact on global manufacturing.

CFE Media: Rittal has had a long association with Hannover Messe. In this year with the U.S. as the Partner Country, why should Hannover Messe be important to the U.S. market? How is that market different than its German counterparts?

Wishnew: Germany, where Rittal is headquartered, has a long history as a center of machine technology and for industrial innovation. Hannover Messe is where the whole Industry 4.0 concept was born, which has had a particularly profound effect on Rittal in the United States because Rittal embraces manufacturing on a global level.

With the world's largest economy, the United States has been experiencing a manufacturing resurgence in a few areas. From our perspective, Industry 4.0 is part of what's making that resurgence possible, by making us more responsive to emerging customer needs and eliminating rework and waste.

CFE Media: We've seen a surge of interest in IIoT and Industrie 4.0 in Germany. Our research shows a lot of interest, but not a lot of awareness of specific benefits. What is Rittal's message about IIoT and its importance to the future of manufacturing?

Wishnew: The Industrial Internet of Things is the next step in the evolution of integrated design and production. It will impact how all manufacturers build their products, as it is already affecting the way Rittal designs and builds customized enclosure solutions for its customers. The underlying concept is an outgrowth of a variety of production processes made possible by new technologies.

The focus is no longer simply on optimizing individual engineering, production or logistics stages separately but rather on integrating them to establish efficient, cost-effective processes with maximum flexibility and high customer benefit. Customer requirements need to be understood and applied at the engineering stage in order to keep product and production data consistent.

By linking people and information with design and production equipment, IIoT tools provide Rittal and its enclosure customers enormous advantages:

  • They make it easy to modify enclosure designs to meet customer requirements precisely and know what all the ramifications of a design change will be quickly. That includes changes to costs, production timetable, impact on other aspects of the manufacturing process, etc. long before production of the enclosure begins.
  • They allow for faster design and production turnarounds for significantly shorter delivery and commissioning times. That allows Rittal customers to get the new equipment they need to support their own operations in place faster, and have greater confidence about meeting their own deadlines.
  • They allow engineers to predict how a design will perform in the field before the enclosure is ever built so design modifications can be incorporated early and inexpensively.
  • They ensure greater energy efficiency of the completed enclosure.

In order to remain profitable, all manufacturers need the ability to integrate data from a growing array of sources in order to gain a "big picture" of their operations. Although commercial tools have long been available to provide Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) information to factory management, they tend to be focused on finding root causes for problems that have already happened rather than on providing predictions that managers can use to prevent problems.

The IIoT concept goes well beyond real-time condition monitoring and fault diagnosis. Tools for peer-to-peer comparison and factory health information gathering from systems and their components will allow triggering maintenance activities and process adaptation. IIoT will ultimately link all aspects of production from engineering to manufacturing in one value-added chain.

In essence, IIoT is all about data, software and interfaces and the ability to use them to model and simulate the final product in a virtual environment to optimize the design and eliminate errors prior to actual manufacturing. Rittal is bringing IIoT technology to electronic enclosure and panel manufacturing by integrating the offerings of several sister companies to create a seamless value chain.

A seamless value chain can make it possible to slash engineering/production costs by up to 50%. Some manufacturers have also been able to shorten design times by up to 60% by reducing delays caused by repetitive rework involved in design changes.

CFE Media: What should U.S. manufacturers, regardless of size, be focused on today to get stronger?

Wishnew: Embracing the principles of Industrie 4.0 and IIoT and making the investments needed to make them a reality are critical. They especially need to focus on making the capital improvements necessary to make that happen now, when the cost of borrowing for these improvements in the United States is at historic lows—interest rates are only going to go up from here.

CFE Media: Manufacturing has faced significant challenges in the early stages of 2016. What's the message to your customers today about why it's still important to continue to invest in manufacturing?

Wishnew: A big part of the challenges in terms of investment in manufacturing has really been driven by the drop in the oil and gas market. With gasoline now at less than $2.00 per gallon and a lot of supply on the market, this has put a damper on investment for that sector. Fortunately, it appears that drop has bottomed out, and it's limited to a single sector. But from our perspective, improving your manufacturing capabilities and integrating your systems to serve your customers better and faster is always a good investment.

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me