Into the digital future – securely and efficiently

Gerhard Schubert GmbH offers a complete digital package with

By digitally networking production systems, manufacturers can significantly increase their efficiency and availability. With, packaging machine manufacturer Schubert will soon be offering its customers a digital platform that will significantly improve service and system availability. Beginning in May 2018, all TLM machines from Schubert will be ready to connect to this digital platform upon customer request. In the mid-term, it will open up new opportunities for preventive maintenance and communication with customers. The new GS.Gate gateway, which provides the highest level of protection at sensitive interfaces, ensures optimum security during data exchange.

The Crailsheim-based company is a pioneer in the engineering and design of digital packaging machines and has been providing important impetus for the development of intelligent machine control systems and automation solutions for many years. Schubert developed the digital platform in order to be able to offer its customers the full potential of networked machine solutions in the future. As of May 2018, all TLM machines will be able to connect to the platform via the Internet.

Ensuring high system availability

With, customers will soon be able to access TLM system production data from anywhere worldwide. Data sovereignty, of course, lies entirely with the customer. If an intervention by a Schubert service technician is required, remote maintenance can be activated by the customer. With the data collected, predictive maintenance can be used to identify potential problems at an early stage, thereby avoiding downtime and unplanned service calls.

In the future, the system will forward error messages or possible causes of an impending failure to the responsible employee, e.g. via mobile devices. This notification will take place even before the actual part wears out, thus avoiding a costly failure. The operator then receives suggestions for remedial action from the program. The objective is to entirely avoid unplanned downtime.

Optimising overall system effectiveness

On the customer portal, performance data of individual systems and even entire lines can be called up and analysed in addition to individual modules. is an important component of Schubert Customer Services. With the aim of keeping total plant efficiency at the highest possible level over the entire service life of the machines, the performance and deviations from specified target states will be continuously adjusted in the future. The customer will always have an overview of this data via a dashboard and, for example, receive recommendations for increasing production capacity and optimising capacity utilisation. With this information and the results of integrated condition monitoring, customers can increase their productivity and compete more successfully.

On the customer portal, performance data of individual systems and even entire lines can be called up and analysed in addition to individual modules.

Secure data transfer

Ensuring data security for its customers is a top priority for Schubert. The basis for networking the TLM machines is therefore a secure machine interface that collects and evaluates operating and process data, making it available for different systems.

For this purpose, the subsidiary Schubert System Elektronik has developed the GS.Gate machine gateway in cooperation with genua GmbH, a company of the “Bundesdruckerei” or Federal Printing Office. For secure remote maintenance and data transmission, the industrial gateway is equipped with a firewall that securely encrypts the data obtained and forwards it via the Internet to the respective analysis system or to the cloud. To ensure the highest level of protection between the machine and the external network, the GS.Gate is designed according to the “Security by Design” principle.

Data processing applications that are directly connected to the machine are separated from the security systems. This protects the communication and data from access from the external network. The GS.Gate is manufacturer-independent and can therefore be connected to different machines. Through a ‘docker’, individual applications can be installed and connected via common interfaces. Important data for the analysis are already filtered out from the status and performance data. The gateway is administrated and maintained remotely through the encrypted connection. Schubert System Elektronik offers customers services for the GS.Gate such as maintenance, complete system management and individual support packages. This allows manufacturers to focus on their production and capitalise on the many benefits of networked production processes.