Erich Marchart, manufacturing manager at Hydro Extrusion & Components Nenzing, explains: “The plant in question has three extrusion press lines, with roughly 40,000 m2 of installed equipment. These lines can handle around 46,000 tonnes of aluminium per year, creating over 30,000 different extruded aluminium profiles, sometimes with as many as 250 different products per day. More product variety demands greater flexibility and agility and in turn this both relies upon and generates more data.
“The detail, grade and complexity of the profiles we can deliver are continuously increasing,” he continues, “and the quality expectation of Hydro itself is growing year by year. The position we have established, means that the maintenance of our plant must be further optimised. Customer expectations in terms of delivery speed and reliability in meeting the specified properties are now driven by new methods. And we want to exploit the possibilities which arise from new technologies – such as sensors, IIoT and miniaturisation – as soon as possible, in order to grow and maintain our market lead.”
Through the deployment of new smart technology, Hydro gained access to a wealth of additional operational data, but it realised that it must make access to this data and the insight it provides available to its employees in a mobile and flexible way.