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activeREmote: A trophy for the innovative diagnostics tool

activeREmote: A trophy for the innovative diagnostics tool

News 13.10.2016

TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith (left) hands the trophy for Best Technology Application 2016 to Darren Herron of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag (middle). Nigel Baker, managing director of BMB, sponsor of the award category, accompanies them onstage.

September 30, London Hilton hotel on Park Lane hosted a ‘Great Gatsby’-themed awards evening that welcomed some 700 people celebrating the top innovations that the British plastics sector currently offers. One of the trophies was handed by Mark Durden-Smith, a local TV host, to Darren Herron, the national sales manager of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag. The award acknowledged the company’s resolute focus on optimizing equipment performance and predictive maintenance.

The new remote diagnostics system baptized activeREmote was entirely developed by the IT team of the company. The industrial 3G mobile technology provides secure encrypted cellular access, allowing activeREmote system to carry out real-time monitoring and swift machine troubleshooting. Thus, injection molding machines by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag at customer’s facilities are securely linked with the company’s service management system. As a result, downtimes are eliminated, costs reduced, and product quality and production efficiency enhanced.

The size and spectrum of customers supported throughout UK and Ireland pushed the company towards creating “a simple yet reliable remote diagnostics device in-house that would work for everyone,” as Nigel Flowers, the managing director of Sumitomo, put it. The innovative technology bypasses the existing wired or analog customer lines completely. Instead, it employs a wireless cellular router and a SIM card, network-agnostic in the sense that in case the main network becomes unavailable, remote diagnostics is switched to another cellular network. Connectivity is thus secured for any injection molding plant regardless of its location in UK or Ireland.

Flowers admitted that winning the technology award at PIA for a second consecutive year “is a huge honor and […] testament to our team’s innovative spirit when it comes to navigating specific technology challenges. With us moving ever closer to the digital factory where cyber-physical systems monitor physical processes, the technology also needed to be easy to adapt.”

Equipment lifecycle prediction has been a long-lasting challenge in injection molding. This is why the company anticipates that “data collected by remote access will soon be used to identify trends, preempt possible faults and schedule corrective action. Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s goal is to give customers zero machine downtime,” emphasized Nigel Flowers.

Each activeREmote system is easily connected to a machine control panel; it only takes 15 seconds for an operator with authorized access. Helpdesk service engineers of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag have the possibility to switch between screens for rapid problem identification and decision-making. Impressively, the new tool reduces response time by 80 %, and increases first fix rate by over 90 %.

Presently, activeREmote is being deployed at all the electric, hydraulic and hybrid machines by Sumitomo (SHI) Demag across the UK and Ireland.

In 2015, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has already won the PIA technology prize for activeFlowBalance system that identifies technical hitches such as flash formation, mold under-filling and damage. The system boasts a reduction in rejects and scrap by up to 40 %.

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