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.

02/29/2016


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.



Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
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.
June 2018
2018 Lubrication Guide, Motor and maintenance management, Control system migration
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
June 2018
Machine learning, produced water benefits, programming cavity pumps
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

After two years of economic concerns, manufacturing leaders once again have homed in on the single biggest issue facing their operations:

It's the workers—or more specifically, the lack of workers.

The 2017 Plant Engineering Salary Survey looks at not just what plant managers make, but what they think. As they look across their plants today, plant managers say they don’t have the operational depth to take on the new technologies and new challenges of global manufacturing.

Read more: 2017 Salary Survey

The Maintenance and Reliability Coach's blog
Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
One Voice for Manufacturing
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 Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Blog
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Machine Safety
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
Research Analyst Blog
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Marshall on Maintenance
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
Lachance on CMMS
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
Electrical Safety Update
This digital report explains how plant engineers need to take greater care when it comes to electrical safety incidents on the plant floor.
Maintenance & Safety
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
IIoT: Machines, Equipment, & Asset Management
Articles in this digital report highlight technologies that enable Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies.
Randy Steele
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Matthew J. Woo, PE, RCDD, LEED AP BD+C
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Randy Oliver
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me