Case Study

Vertiv’s manufacturing transformation runs through digital twin

The extended reality model implemented by Reply leads Vertiv towards Industry 4.0 in key EMEA Locations.

Digital transformation: Vertiv’s challenge

Being able to organise and digitise information relating to internal processes, from the production process to the planning and management of work shifts, as well as making all the related data shared and available on the cloud, is an essential point to many manufacturing businesses.

With this goal in mind, Vertiv, global provider of critical digital infrastructure solutions, has accelerated the digital transformation of its most strategic plants in EMEA. In the next few years, the project will lead to a total integration and synergy between the company’s key plants within the EMEA region.

Management efficiency and digital twin: the Brick Reply solution

Vertiv initially pursued the adoption of the Brick Reply platform, which allows them to manage all production processes and is able to communicate with both the management system already in use and the production lines. Brick Reply, a Reply group company specialising in Industry 4.0 technologies, offers many process improvement options, including one of the most innovative aspects of the digitisation process carried out by Vertiv - the creation of a digital twin. A digital twin is the creation of a digital model capable of studying and simulating the real behaviour of the production plant and enabling structured analyses that allow the simulation of different scenarios which could eventually lead to a different organisation of the plant itself.

A “retrofitting” integration for monitoring and predictive analysis

Moreover, the support of Concept Reply - Reply's research and development centre on the Internet of Things (IoT) - has made it possible to integrate processes and machines thanks to a “retrofitting” action. This allows Vertiv to obtain strategic information from machinery, such as the usage of electric power, temperature, and activity status, and use this information to manage production but also to set up predictive maintenance actions. “Retrofitting has allowed us to connect and integrate most technologies within our plants, despite the age and complexity of each piece of machinery, allowing us to consistently track the most important parameters which are key to our business processes,” says Marian Kurc, Operational Excellence Director for Vertiv in EMEA.

Legacy equipment with iot sensitivity

With an Industry 4.0 perspective where all elements within a production site must have a digital approach, it was essential to implement a solution that would eventually allow machinery to be equipped with ”intelligence”. Thanks to Concept Reply's retrofitting action, critical machine tools have therefore been equipped with IoT sensitivity through the use of ad hoc sensors. “Because of IoT and this retrofitting approach, we can now manage data and implement changes informed by data-based predictions that will be helpful to drive the performance of our plants to the next level,” Kurc says.

Data processing on the edge

By deploying an edge computing approach, it has been possible to work on the conversion of protocols. The Concept Edge industrial IoT solution is in fact able to “dialogue” with the Brick Reply platform and allows both control and monitoring of individual machines by selecting the data locally and sending to the cloud only strategic information which is key for fostering a better synergy between all plants.