Coaxing a 20th-century factory into the new millennium

Retrofitting legacy machinery with IoT-ready control units

Once the plant of an established manufacturer of metal-mesh personal safety equipment was highly innovative. Built in the 1960s and upgraded with the most modern electronic controllers available in the 1980s – is starting to show the weaknesses of its age: although the machinery still works smoothly, the electronic components are woefully out-of-date: replacement parts are no longer easily obtainable, so malfunctions can result in stoppages of unforeseeable duration. In addition, manual processes make process flows more difficult: Starting up a production batch involves flashing a memory card with the process instructions and walking it over to a controller box mounted onto the equipment, where it is slotted in by hand. The procedure has been repeated for each new run, several times a day – for the last 30 years.

Aufbruch in Industrie 4.0 The customer’s forward-looking R&D department turned to The Positive Thinking Company for a solution. On their wish-list besides fewer breakdowns and better management of maintenance: a prediction environment, a central data management system, the ability to optimize the manufacturing processes. This case study explains, how the Positive Thinking Company ahieved these goals and implemented an IoT-ready solution.

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