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Two years ago, the companies of the Friedhelm Loh Group presented the ONCITE Digital Production System (DPS) platform from German Edge Cloud (GEC) for the first time in Hanover. Now, for the third time at their joint booth at the Hanover Fair, the companies are demonstrating the role that combined hardware and software development can play in data consistency in the value chain. As a prerequisite for the industrialization of processes. The principle of the open platform remains at the forefront. The declared goal: to enable more added value in partnership.

Markus Asch, CEO Rittal International and Rittal Software Systems (Foto Rittal)

Markus Asch, CEO of Rittal International and Rittal Software Systems, puts it this way in a press release for Hanover Fair 2024:

“The action principle of industrializing entire process chains needs the clever combination of software and hardware. However, this only works on the basis of data consistency along the entire value chain. Our approach is standardized, modular solutions that are precisely tailored to the specific application.”

In the midst of its digital transformation, the industry must meet requirements for greater sustainability and cope with a declining number of skilled workers on its way to becoming an “all-electric society”.

According to the Friedhelm Loh Group, the key is to optimize and industrialize processes along the value chain.

This year, its offerings in Hanover will focus on the four areas of Industrial Automation, Panel Building, Energy Transition and Smart Factory. Accordingly, specific products, software and system solutions will be presented in four areas. Each individual point will then be explored in depth.

The Friedhelm Loh Group’s approach is exemplary. With the ONCITE Digital Production System software from German Edge Cloud, the entire factory at the new Haiger plant was set up as a real smart factory within just a few years. And while everything focused on supporting optimal production and maximum transparency, a common data room was created that connects all specialist disciplines and all parts of the process chain.

Digital twins of control cabinets from engineering, production planning and production itself form the basis for communication between customers, the shop floor and product management. Changes to the product and process due to requirements that arise at short notice can be implemented on the new platform at a speed that is almost unthinkable for conventional MES systems.

Joint stand of Rittal, Eplan, Cideon and German Edge Cloud at the Hanover Fair 2023 (Photo Sendler)

Following the successful implementation of the platform both in-house and at customers – such as Schuler – further potential was uncovered at Rittal: The platform facilitated and accelerated the development of new services such as energy monitoring with the prospect of production management, whose control parameters will also include energy consumption in the process in future.

At the same time, the platform has already proven that it plays a good role in the extended value chain beyond company and division boundaries. It was the first application to be certified for the CATENA-X lighthouse project in the automotive supply chain.

With ONCITE DPS, German Edge Cloud is one of the pioneers of open, Linux and Kubernetes-based platforms for industrial automation. This type of smart automation is expected to play a central role in the practical implementation of Industry 4.0 in the near future.