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BLANC & FISCHER FAMILY HOLDING
Sustainability Report 2022

PLANET

Give machinery
a second life

FROM ANALOG TO DIGITAL

When electronic devices stop working, they usually end up in the recycling bin – repairing them is usually not worthwhile. We’re finding ourselves in a throwaway society, where repairing a device often costs just as much as buying a new one. E.G.O. Italia S.r.l., Camerano (E.G.O. Italy), is taking a different path. It breathes digital life into old machines, saving resources and money.
Anyone who doesn’t work digitally these days is often left behind and disposed of. This applies equally to older E.G.O.-Group production plants, which have served well for many years. The analog machines are not networked with each other, so they cannot record data and forward or even just evaluate information. This certainly sounds far from efficient in the digital age.

So, what can be done? Discard and throw everything away? Sounds plausible. But that’s far from sustainable, especially if the machines are still running reliably. The employees at E.G.O. Italy have come up with a solution. Together with their colleagues from BLANC & FISCHER Corporate Services, specifically the Corporate Lean Enterprise, Corporate Facility Management, and IT Services divisions, they have developed Machine Data Interfaces (MDI) for the respective machines. These have been specially designed and adapted for the analog machines.

The idea came about as part of a lean project at the Camerano location, in which employees from the location and the Corporate Lean Enterprise division worked together. As part of the project, the potential for waste-free production was to be identified. In the process, the team noticed many older machines for which there was no or inadequate information on the operating conditions.

It took about three months from the initial idea to the specification of an implementation concept. After another three months, the solution was ready to be installed.

The conversion to digital interfaces can also be implemented at short notice. In just one week, sensors can be installed in the systems, and corresponding operating data can be transferred to the IT system via standardized software.

AS A RESULT, IN ADDITION TO SAVING RESOURCES AND FUNDS, E.G.O. ITALY HAS SEEN AN INCREASE IN PRODUCTIVITY OF UP TO 40 %.

A SMALL PROJECT WITH A BIG IMPACT

Nine machines were made connectable through the MDI interfaces at E.G.O. Italy, so they can now exchange data. Thanks to the standardized transfer into a defined data format, they can also be evaluated across the board with those of the newer machines and read out by the SAP system. This means that all machines’ availability, utilization, and capabilities are transparent and can be significantly improved using targeted measures. In principle, all analog machines can be converted. In individual cases, however, the application must be further specified. This applies, for example, to linked machines such as press lines. As a result, in addition to saving resources and funds – as no expensive new purchases were made – E.G.O. Italy has seen an increase in productivity of up to 40 %. Downtimes of the older machines have been easier to detect since they were linked to the MDI interfaces, and the entire production process can be better controlled. Another advantage is that the conversion makes the machines more durable and causes employees to change their mindset, away from the throwaway society mentality.

PIONEERS FOR THE ENTIRE GROUP

With the development of the MDI interfaces and the conversion of analog machines – where they are still in use – the E.G.O.-Group is taking another step towards digitalization worldwide. Following the success in Camerano, Italy, there are now also plans to expand the process of updating the machines to the other locations. Within the E.G.O.-Group, the machines from E.G.O. Elektrikli Aletler Sanayi A.S., Ergene, Turkey, are next in line to be assessed and converted. Projects have already been started at BLANCO Czechia, s.r.o., Havran (Most), and at B.PRO GmbH, Oberderdingen.

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