Innovation, technology, mindset: the solution to the new global commercial asset
In recent times, due to the Covid19 pandemic, we have often heard people talking about social distancing to indicate the necessity to keep a safe distance between people in order to prevent contagion.
However, the choice of these terms intails also the perception of an isolation, on a personal and corporate level, from which we dissociate ourselves.
If we choose to look at the new global situation with a propositional attitude, perspectives will change. That is what happened in the virtuous example that follows in which, also thanks to the collaboration among partners with a mindset projected into the future like FAE (Siemens Solution Partner, Industrial Automation and System Integrator), Costruzioni Meccaniche Luigi Bandera (Blown&Flat Die Extrusion lines, Pellettizing and Recycling) and Siemens, it was possible not only to complete delivery, installation and start-up of a plant for the extrusion of recycled plastic material on time, but it was also possible to implement new methods to do it. Easier, more performing, cheaper, in line with the current orientation of the Confindustria’s DIH Lombardia, with which FAE made the assessment to evaluate its own digital maturity.
Technological partners roped together towards the future
The project started because a famous company headquartered in the UK requested a production line of PET sheet for food packaging, in which it is specialized. With the advent of COVID problems, the start-up of the line at the customer’s premises was put at risk by the strict international movement restrictions concerning technicians.
The solution soon took shape: a fully-remote commissioning was carried out, within the envisaged time frame and thus allowing cost reduction.
The remote commissioning was possible because the technology already installed on the plant, under the Siemens brand name, allowed – with some implementations – to manage every phase of the process at a distance. FAE, Industrial Automation Specialists & System Integrator, equipped the plant with Siemens technology that, allowing all the equipment (driver, PLC, safety modules, etc.) to communicate by means of a unique communication protocol, created the interconnection of all the parts of the system by guaranteeing the highest standards of Cyber Security inside the production area and to integrate the OT with the corporate IT network.
A control room connected to the world
The current technology allows to manage not only the commissioning phases but also those concerning monitoring and assistance at a distance, from a control room dedicated to the remote management of the technical control. During the start-up phase, the technicians checked the complete compliance of the system in relation to the project specifications, intervening in real time in case of correction.
Advantages of remote commissioning
In the pandemic context, the commissioning of the plant was carried out within the established time frame but, even without considering the movement restrictions imposed by the Governements to limit the spread of Covid19, remote activities on the plant always guarantee at least three great advantages:
– Constant maintenance and predictive controls
– Immediate intervention
– Specialized support in real time for the technicians during the installation
– Economic advantage
Technology and progress
It is therefore clear how, in a short- and long-term perspective, remote control technologies applied to the plants become not only preferred, but also necessary.
If we consider the commissioning phase, together with the complete management of the machine, the remote control technology will be increasingly required also during monitoring and assistance phases. In the first case, in order to correctly check the functioning of the plants and to prevent machine downtime and, in the second one, to carry out maintenance or correction interventions.
How to turn limitations into opportunities
This may be easy to say, sometimes it sounds arrogant. However, it is possible to turn difficulties into growing opportunities. Sometimes people attempt to do it and sometimes they even succeed.
In this case we wanted to tell you a success story. Not only for the customer or for the partners involved in the implementation of the project, but for all the industrial sector, so that the forward momentum and the success of the project are the spur and the invitation to persevere, attempt, innovate.