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Fault-free 24/7

voestalpine Automotive Components in Dettingen produces 750,000 parts for the car industry every week. The innovative smartphone app from Schuler – a member of the ANDRITZ GROUP – provides valuable assistance here.

Christian Schneider knows the way through the plant like the back of his hand. With rapid steps, he crosses the production shop of his employer voestalpine in Dettingen and heads for the door of a meeting room. The machines that he passes on the way are humming, hissing, clicking, and roaring. 750,000 parts made of steel and aluminum are produced in the Alb hills of Southern Germany every week for the automotive industry: punched and formed parts such as oil pans, but also complete group assemblies, gear and safety parts, as well as components that provide protection in the event of a collision. With its 700 employees, Dettingen is an important location for voestalpine Automotive Components. Car manufacturers can obtain everything from development work to large-scale manufacturing and quality assurance from a single source.
Christian Schneider is director of production. With a staff of 250, he is responsible for serial production and ensures that operations run continuously and smoothly as far as possible. The primary goal? “Fault-free and efficient production,” says the 38-year-old, because breakdowns and outage ultimately cost money.

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ANDRITZ supplied a woodyard for the project with the world’s biggest HHQ-Chippers, which guarantee excellent chip quality and thereby enable a high pulping yield. In addition, the supply included the world’s largest single fiberline, two energy-efficient pulp drying lines, the largest evaporation plant in the western hemisphere for black liquor, and one of the world’s largest and most energy-efficient white liquor plants, which meets the highest environmental standards.

Furthermore, ANDRITZ supplied the largest recovery boiler in Latin America. It can burn all harmful, non-condensable gases and also methanol, supplies steam and energy for the entire mill, and generates a substantial energy surplus that is fed to the public grid. In addition, ANDRITZ delivered a chloride and potassium removal system to enhance the chemical recovery process as well as a liquid methanol plant for production of biofuel.

Another mill that went into operation in 2017 is the one in Äänekoski, a small town in Central Finland. The Metsä Group, a Finnish forestry industry group, has built a bioproduct mill with a particularly sustainable design. The mill produces 1.3 million tons of pulp a year. In addition to high-quality pulp, it generates a broad range of other bioproducts, such as tall oil, turpentine, bioelectricity, and wood fuel. Furthermore, 90 percent of the wood used is of certified origin and fully traceable.

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Our service app provides all-round assistance, voestalpine can take photos or make videos of a fault directly at the machine where it is happening and send them to our service experts at the Schuler headquarters in order to obtain immediate assistance.

Christian Schneider

A piece of software that appears unimposing at first glance has been helping Christian Schneider to achieve this goal recently: It is a smartphone app from Schuler, a member of the ANDRITZ GROUP and world market leader in metal forming technology. Daniel Lang, Schuler’s product manager, awaits Christian Schneider in the meeting room. There are various Schuler presses operating here in Dettingen. “Our service app provides all-round assistance,” the 35-year-old explains as he slides his finger over the screen of his smartphone and scrolls from top to bottom through the service history of a press. Texts, photos, and videos appear. “voestalpine can take photos or make videos of a fault directly at the machine where it is happening and send them to our service experts at the Schuler headquarters in order to obtain immediate assistance.” If a component needs to be replaced, its QR code can be scanned directly with the smartphone’s camera in order to submit an order query. At the same time, the customer can call the Schuler service hotline directly using the app.

Remote service 24/7

If there is a fault, engineers or operating staff send information as well as sound and video recordings to Schuler's remote service center. Problems can be analyzed and solved immediately.

Digital service history

A clearly laid out digital service booklet to which all machine operators have access. It logs work steps, actions, repairs, and information in the long term, in the form of text, photographs, or videos.

QR Scanner

All the relevant information on the spare part can be retrieved directly at the plant using the integrated QR scanner. Inquiries to Schuler from customers can thus be processed effectively.

Schuler news

The latest information and news about plants, new developments, and events at Schuler.

“With this app, we are creating an effective, digital knowledge pool,” says Christian Schneider. Using the app generates a complete digital service history of the press concerned. All concerns and problems in connection with a machine are archived in sound, text, and images. “In this way, the app assists staff who do not have much experience or are less technically minded. It provides certainty in the diagnosis and in troubleshooting.” Another advantage: Experienced staff like Schneider can be called in online at any time using the app’s group function if there is a fault, regardless of whether they are at the plant or not. All users always have the latest information.

And Schneider also finds the further perspectives attractive. The machine data stored in the Schuler database in encrypted form and with several backups make it possible to provide comprehensive forecasts: Where is trouble brewing in the plant? When would be the best time for the next maintenance cycle? Which component could cause difficulties in the next few weeks? Schneider is convinced that “digitally supported, predictive maintenance will soon be the order of the day. So we are moving with the times – and this is exactly the right thing to do.”

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