PIA Automation introduces technology-to-business strategy

by David Fleschen

Under the umbrella of the "Digital & Innovation Labs" PIA is testing together with
Industrial and research partners - Innovation projects of digitization to enable customers even greater plant availability.

The PIA Digital & Innovation Lab is an integral part of the PIA 4.0 vision to drive digitization projects across departments, geographies and locations worldwide. Every innovation or new technology aims to improve OEE (Overall Equipment Efficiency). Claude Eisenmann, who is in charge of PIA 4.0 as Chief Digital Officer, explains the approach: "We follow the 'Technology to Business' principle; H. new technologies are tested and tested for their relevance in terms of cost-effectiveness, quality improvement and performance. The goal is a MVP (Minimum Viable Product), a product that promises added value and can be added to the portfolio. "

In so-called Technology & Innovation Roadmaps, it is determined annually in September / October which use cases could be worthwhile the following year. There are 19 such roadmaps in this financial year, for example for robotics, cobotics, image processing, standardization of building blocks or industrial security. An example from the latter area illustrates the procedure: A company presented to PIA a device (hardware and software), the integration of which can protect a production plant even more reliably against cyber attacks. What sounded good on paper was then tested in real terms at the PIA sites in Grambach (Austria) and Bad Neustadt (Germany). H. Wired to appropriate lines, configured and the results were studied comparatively.
Subsequently, factors such as cost-effectiveness, initial costs,
Installation and configuration effort and relevance to the operational business are weighed until a final assessment can be made.
Symposium 2019: Experience innovation live

At a conference of PIA Automation in June 2019 on digital automation, projects from the Digital & Innovation Lab were presented live in ten "Innovation Show Cases" together with partners. Customers and visitors could each experience a concrete implementation of a use case. The different projects allow customers' digitalization roadmaps to be reviewed, substantiated and supplemented, as Claude Eisenmann emphasizes: "We want to accompany the customer on his journey in the world of digitization with pioneering concepts, concrete software products and associated services."

An important aspect of the Digital & Innovation Labs is the risk minimization through trial-and-error. The technical risk for customers behind new developments is drastically reduced thanks to the research. "Even mistakes or failures of an innovation project are an important insight," says Claude Eisenmann.
"It is possible that the product can not be offered economically, that it does not offer the necessary flexibility or robustness technically or that it does not fully convince the function. So it's only being tested on a small scale within the Digital & Innovation Lab, rather than failing in the worldwide PIA deployment. "

Ensure data connectivity without problems

What is possible through the research in the Digital & Innovation Lab, showed a spontaneous live demonstration at the symposium with one of the sensor and device manufacturers of PIA. At a screw station, two gateways were first tested, which were connected to an IBM Watson platform and to the Cloud platform from Bosch. Both platforms indicated what could currently be recorded on data at the station. The device manufacturer, Balluff, was then able to pair their own new IO-Link smart device with the gateways in close cooperation with a specialist from PIA, thus also including data in both IIoT platforms, such as temperature, motion, axis speed or sensors , show live. "By testing new gateways, we can ensure very flexible data connectivity and easily connect all data producers in the plant with different IIoT platforms," ​​says Claude Eisenmann - a success of the Digital & Innovation Labs.
Source and Photo: PIA Automation

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