"We offer holistic digital solutions and services"
Interview with Digital Pioneer Dr. Stefan Kruppa

Digitization has grown up, says Dr. Stefan Kruppa. The potential of KraussMaffei's digital solutions for customers is explained in an interview by the Director Smart Machines and invites visitors to visit the exhibition stand at K in Düsseldorf (Hall 15).

Text KraussMaffei  Photos KraussMaffei

KraussMaffei

Digitalization is taking giant leaps forward and felt faster and faster As we look at the plastics industry, how do digital tools change this industry? What opportunities and risks are the changes brought about by digitization?

Dr. Stefan Kruppa

The machine technology in K-industry is now very mature. Individual machines and production cells today produce highly efficiently with low energy consumption. At the same time, digitization has taken hold in the industry. Machinery and equipment have already become smarter in recent years, and the factories have been networked together using host computer systems. Nevertheless, there is still much potential for improvement in plastics processing companies. Especially in the overall network of an intelligent factory (smart factory) there are potentials to be able to produce more seamless and efficient components and subassemblies on the one hand, and to make optimum use of the machinery on the other.

In recent years, an increased use of systems for process control and other assistance systems has been observed. Demanding processes today require special attention, scrap costs are quickly becoming a critical factor. Therefore, product and process quality continue to be the focus of every production. Digitalisation offers opportunities to reduce complexity and to provide targeted support to people in the factories, thereby relieving pressure on them.

Dr. Stefan Kruppa
Dr. Stefan Kruppa
Director Smart Machines

KraussMaffei

Digitalization is making huge advances and the pace seems to be accelerating all the time. Looking at the plastics industry, to what extent are digital tools changing this industry? What opportunities and risks result from the change brought about by digitalization?

Dr. Kruppa

The machine technology in the plastics industry is now highly advanced. Today, individual machine and production cells produce with high efficiency and low energy consumption. Simultaneously, digitalization has taken hold in the industry. Just in recent years, machines and systems have become smarter and the factories have been connected to each other by master computer systems. Still, a great deal of potential for improvement exists in plastics processing companies. Latent potential exists in the overall interconnected system of a smart factory, which makes it even more seamless and efficient to produce components and subassemblies as well as to achieve maximum utilization of the machine pool.

In recent years, we have seen increased use of systems for process control and other assistance systems.  Today, challenging processes require particular attention, with scrap costs quickly becoming a critical factor. Therefore, product and process quality continue to be the centerpiece of any production. Here, digitalization offers opportunities to reduce complexity and provide targeted support to the people in the factories and thus to lessen their workload.

KraussMaffei

To what extent can we call KraussMaffei a pioneer in digitalization? Which innovative solutions does KraussMaffei provide to support its customers on the way to a digital world? Are there similar solutions on the market (such as in the area of networking, efficiency, etc.)?

Dr. Kruppa

In recent years, KraussMaffei has already gained a great deal of experience with self-regulating systems and intelligent wizards—here, the key to success was always data from the machines. Therefore, even at an early stage, we set up a team dedicated to added value gained from process and machine data. The goal is always to gain information from (raw) data and use it to develop solutions in the form of applications and services for users. Accordingly, KraussMaffei offers users products such as dataXplorer so that they can access (usually unused) data. The innovation leadership is particularly evident in the fact that KraussMaffei offers comprehensive solutions and services that make it easy to generate added value from data. The digital service socialProduction, for example, features artificial intelligence that makes it possible to detect exceptions and errors in the production process before they happen in the first place. A technician or operator is notified immediately of the impending incident using a mobile app and can intervene quickly to correct it.

"The innovation leadership is particularly noticeable because KraussMaffei offers holistic solutions and services that make it easy to generate value from data."
Dr. Stefan Kruppa, Director Smart Machines

KraussMaffei

What innovative solutions do we offer our customers on their way to a digital world?

Dr. Kruppa

In the digital service socialProduction, for example, there is an artificial intelligence with which it is possible to recognize conspicuous features and errors in the production process before they even occur. A technician or operator is guided by a mobile app on a smartphone directly to the impending incident and can thus intervene quickly and correctively.

The socialProduction app
The socialProduction app
is a digital service with artificial intelligence.

KraussMaffei

What has changed since the last K in 2016?

Dr. Kruppa

We see that digitalization is maturing. While at the last K three years ago, we mostly saw screens, displays and dashboards, today we see that systems and services are more integrated and more intelligent. The trend is moving away from the superficial management dashboard to direct benefit for the users. Much has happened at KraussMaffei as well. For example, in the scope of the corporate strategy, a separate segment for Digitalization & Service Solutions has been founded.

KraussMaffei

What are the can't-miss exhibits at the show?

Dr. Stefan Kruppa

The show highlights are everywhere at the booth. A 15-year-old used machine demonstrates impressively how easy and effective a digital retrofit can be. A used screw demonstrates impressively how Condition Monitoring and wear measurement work in practice. The potential becomes evident to the visitor quickly when they test the tools for themselves on their smartphone or tablet.

Live @K

Meet our "Digital Pioneers" at K 2019! Dr. Stefan Kruppa, Director Smart Machines at KraussMaffei, will be happy to answer your questions at our booth. Find out more about our digital solutions, not only in the field of new machines, and attend one of our presentations on "DIGITAL INSIDE - Boost your used machine". On 16.10., 17.10., 18.10., 21.10. and 22.10. at 14.00 each at our booth in hall 15.