Greatest transparency along the entire manufacturing process with life data: Relaunch of the internal Cloud solution at SW

Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW) has developed an internal SW Cloud Platform to make customers' machine data from their machining centers even more transparent, accessible and user-friendly. This ensures optimum conditions for customers for continuous performance monitoring and preventive maintenance. By 2020, all functionalities will be successively transferred from the previous Cloud solution to the new system.

SW has already taken on a pioneering role in the industry, as it has been offering its customers access to machine data – via a portal since 2004. To be able to present this information more clearly and concisely and in a more modern format, SW has developed its own Cloud solution based on the Predix IIoT platform from GE, thereby making it even easier for customers to meet quality and production goals.

With the existing platform, SW has already been evaluating machine data for more than 15 years with the consent of its customers. About 2000 machines are currently connected; 700 million data points and 25 million machine events have been collected. The new SW Cloud Platform is the result of advanced development and offers continuous performance monitoring, which ensures greater transparency over the entire manufacturing process. "A profile is saved for each of the machines connected worldwide that makes all the machine information and process data available via a dashboard. A map of the world and various production lines provide an initial overview of machine locations and states," explains Jochen Heinz, Director of Industrial Data Services at SW.

In addition, the design of the user interface including all graphics and statistics are arranged clearly and concisely, which makes inconsistencies and problems in the operating sequence easy for the user to identify. Care was also taken to ensure intuitive operating guidance, which makes for easy error analysis. SW attaches special importance to data security: "The issue is given high priority at SW. Since a large amount of data in a system is saved in the SW Cloud Platform, we have paid special attention to this aspect," explains Heinz.

The Cloud solution is part of "life," the complete uniform service concept, as part of the "life data" module: It expands the data services portfolio, which includes, in addition to online services, the components digitization, consulting, factory simulation and data analytics. These solution modules will be further expanded in the future to meet all the challenges of Industry 4.0 proactively.