tk Materials Services expands use of digital platform toii
by Hans Diederichs
In 2017, thyssenkrupp Materials Services began to digitally connect its machinery network, using their self-developed IIoT platform toii. Now that the product has successfully proven its value, thyssenkrupp plans to make the potential of digital networking available to other industrial companies in the future. "From the beginning, we built toii not as a project, but as a product," says Axel Berger, Head of Digital Transformation at Materials Services. "toii has a modular structure, so it is highly scalable and suitable for use by other companies dealing with the challenges of Industry 4.0"
Automated processes thanks to digital platform
The name toii refers to two things: on the one hand it turns around the abbreviation IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things), on the other hand the name is pronounced like the word toy, calling to mind fun things. In that regard, toii makes it easy to connect machines of different generations and allows connections between machines and IT systems - across locations worldwide. The goal is to make the production processes transparent, thus increasing quality and performance and at the same time automating more and more processes.
Figures confirm potential
More than 30 thyssenkrupp locations are now working with toii – including companies from Materials Services, Components Technology and Steel Europe. Nearly 300 machines have been integrated into the system, including numerous slitting and cut-to-length lines, slitting lines for steel slabs, packaging lines, band saws, measuring systems and high-bay warehouses. In addition, there are numerous cranes, forklifts, wheel loaders and other vehicles in the network. In total, toii encompasses thousands of "Things" from the individual machine control panels to sensors to the manual measuring devices. The advantages are reflected in concrete figures. For example, a single plant in the production of slit strip and sheet can expect an increase in annual production of up to 10,000 tons. In other areas, production line downtimes have been reduced by up to 10 percent.
Component for strategic realignment "Materials as a Service
Although Materials Services developed toii especially for its own requirements, the platform can be easily integrated into the processes of other companies. "Now that we have brought digital change to our facilities, the next step is to offer toii to our customers and other industrial companies," said Klaus Keysberg, CEO of Materials Services. The digital platform is a further component in the strategic development of the business area. With the "Materials as a Service" approach, the largest materials dealer in the western world not only guarantees access to global supply markets but also passes on its knowledge to its customers.
Source and photo: thyssenkrupp Materials Services GmbH