"A strong partner for data security and protection was crucial for our IT solution."
Norbert Süß, Project Head for BAUDIS IoT at Baumüller
Baumüller: Smart factory from the Open Telekom Cloud
When they start their work, sparks fly. It's hot, it hums and crackles. Toxic exhaust fumes are in the air, the bright light emits ultraviolet radiation. All things that would endanger people but that doesn’t affect welding robots. They produce welding seam after welding seam of perfect quality. The prerequisites for the quick pace are precise and reliable servo drives and high-performance control technology that position the mechanical arms of the welding torch in fractions of a second. Baumüller ensures this happens: The globally active company specializes in electric drive and automation systems – not only for robots, but also for many industrial sectors, as well as for e-mobility and power generation, for example for use in ships or wind turbines.
Baumüller, which is headquartered in Nuremberg, Germany, and has over 40 locations worldwide, is a true global player with production sites in Germany, China, Slovenia and the Czech Republic. Baumüller not only develops drive and automation solutions for almost all mechanical engineering sectors and e-mobility, but is also a pioneer in the field of smart manufacturing. The family-owned company also operates its own systems house, which develops hardware and software solutions for the automation of entire production plants.
Baumüller already introduced the BAUDIS diagnostic system back in 1998, so that machines could be monitored centrally around the clock. The system uses an industrial PC to keep a constant eye on certain parameters, such as lag and motor current, especially for printing presses. Companies that use it to monitor their machinery can always intervene immediately if a machine shows unusual values – and thus avoid breakdowns before they occur. In addition, machines are not only serviced via a secure Internet connection, but can also be reset and errors rectified.
Smart manufacturing from the public cloud
In the 1990s, the Nuremberg-based company was ahead of its time with this system. Today, smart manufacturing and predictive maintenance are important drivers in the industry: Almost 80 percent of companies assume that production will become more efficient through predictive maintenance. This is the finding of a study conducted by the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) together with management consultancy Roland Berger.
Structured smartly: Baumüller controls its machines via a dedicated IoT platform from the cloud.
With BAUDIS, Baumüller showed that it had already recognized this over 20 years ago. At the time, there was a special focus on equipping larger systems, such as newspaper printing plants. The new BAUDIS IoT system was developed on the basis of this experience and it is continuously being developed further – today, many machines worldwide are equipped with this system. It should also be cost-efficiently applicable for smaller systems so as to be able to serve serial production customers in mechanical engineering. At the same time, the system should optimize processes: In a project with a textile manufacturer, for example, machines overseas were to be monitored from Germany. Baumüller was therefore looking for a way to monitor machines – regardless of manufacturer or year of manufacture – not just with a local industrial PC, but from any company location. The solution: Networking using the Open Telekom Cloud. "We were looking for a strong partner for data protection and data security," says Norbert Süß, project leader for BAUDIS IoT at Baumüller. "We opted for Deutsche Telekom's public cloud solution at the 2017 Hannover Messe.”
It was a solution that corresponded to the Baumüller IT expert’s ideas: For example, the Open Telekom Cloud is certified in accordance with the Trusted Cloud Data Protection Profile (TCDP) 1.0, which means it offers companies the technical prerequisites necessary to meet the requirements of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Various other certificates also confirm the high level of security. However, this alone was not enough for Norbert Süß. He also visited one of the highly secure data centers in Munich and there he was personally convinced by the company’s security concept.
Increased production with the Open Telekom Cloud
The overall impression was convincing: Since April 2017, Baumüller has been networking its drive solutions using the BAUDIS IoT solution in the Open Telekom Cloud – and also offers the system to its customers in two variants: As a retrofittable solution for brownfield applications, i.e. for existing applications, and as an integrated system for new greenfield applications. A hardware box or industrial PC uses external sensors, the controller, the inverter, the motor or other components to collect information, depending on the application, such as temperature, runtime or load changes. These are transmitted to the cloud via WLAN, LAN or LTE. This enables companies to monitor their production robots, ship engines, wind turbines, etc. from any location and analyze their performance to identify possible improvements and potential faults before they occur. This is thanks to the fact that BAUDIS IoT reports and warns as soon as a machine exceeds its standard values.
However, it’s not just Baumüller's customers that can reduce costs with the new solution. Baumüller itself also benefits from BAUDIS IoT. Its own plants are already networked with the public cloud and are constantly being upgraded. "With BAUDIS IoT we are improving the running times of the machines," says Süß. "In many cases, technicians no longer have to be sent in as we are already using the cloud to manage a lot of things flexibly – which ultimately saves time and money and enables employees to be deployed optimally.”
Baumüller is a leading manufacturer of electric automation and drive systems. The internationally active company works on intelligent system solutions at 40 locations worldwide. The company has its own systems house, “Baumüller Anlagen-Systemtechnik,” which supplies it with suitable hardware and software components. It was here that the global player developed the BAUDIS diagnostic system back in 1998, which enables companies to monitor their machines and detect impending faults in good time, even before they lead to malfunctions.
The new BAUDIS IoT had to be flexibly scalable and convincing in terms of data security.
The BAUDIS system for predictive maintenance used to run on local industrial PCs.
To be able to centrally monitor machines from different manufacturers, Baumüller wanted to bring the system into the cloud.
Baumüller opted for Telekom’s public cloud solution at the Hannover Messe industrial technology trade fair.
This allows companies to monitor the condition of their machines and analyze their performance in order to become more productive through fewer breakdowns and more efficient maintenance.
Now the company is using the IT resources from the Open Telekom Cloud and companies always have an eye on the machines.
Thanks to the Open Telekom Cloud’s easy scalability, Baumüller can integrate new machines into the system at any time.
Users are no longer reliant on industrial PCs.
Customers can retrieve machine data online from the cloud, regardless of their location.
BAUDIS IoT can be installed in the machinery regardless of manufacturer and year of manufacture.
The platform is operated in Telekom’s highly secure data centers.
Cloud computing in the enterprise must be examined holistically. This includes networks and the infrastructure as well as applications and processes. This must take place in a standardized and individual manner.