Digitalization is a major key to higher levels of availability and systematic process improvement. In its role as one of the world's leading pump manufacturers, Grundfos sees the trend toward digitalization as a golden opportunity to improve plant availability and productivity while developing new services.
Soren Bro, Chief Digital Strategist at Grundfos, explains: "We want to pass on our know-how and experience in the field of pump systems to give our customers real added value in connection with digitalization." The company employs over 19,000 people worldwide and belongs to the trendsetters in pump technology, setting standards in innovation, efficiency, reliability and sustainability.
Innovation and new digitalization technologies are two important pillars of this approach, which is why the Grundfos digital partnership with Siemens fits perfectly with their strategy. Soren Bro reports: "We are able to draw on 20 years of joint, innovative project work, and together we are setting the course for a digital environment in industry and infrastructure with all the associated benefits." These benefits first emerged in a pilot project at the end-customer Danish Crown, a food manufacturer in Horsens, Denmark. Siemens and Grundfos pooled their development expertise in a joint project to develop a motor/pump system with IoT features. The process data from the motor/pump assembly is collected, analyzed and visualized using a standard sensor system from Siemens, data transmission to the Cloud and an app for data evaluation.
Soren Bro confirms: "Our entire sector stands to profit from the new opportunities offered by digitalization." By employing a Cloud-based condition monitoring system, Grundfos enables operators to observe the operational behavior of their pump systems and plan required service activities in good time. This kind of condition-based monitoring prevents potential pump or motor failures. "But digitalization provides many more benefits in this sector," assures Soren Bro.
These include service management concepts which enable the constant analysis of operational behavior. In the event of any deviations from the standard state, spare parts are ordered, for example. This optimizes warehousing as well as the procurement process for materials such as spare parts. Soren Bro emphasizes: "This is where digitalization reveals its true potential – it supports the asset management of every single customer."
Crucial to the success of such innovative system solutions is the perfect symbiosis of different requirements. For example, in the partnership between Grundfos and Siemens, expert knowledge from both companies was utilized in the development phase. The result is a digital solution that makes it easy for pump users to increase the cost-effectiveness, productivity and reliability of their pump systems. "We see intelligent motor/pump systems as vital to making production processes even more efficient and cost-effective," says pump expert Soren Bro, before adding, "Moreover, wide-ranging information such as that supplied by our app creates a basis for process improvements at all levels."
According to Soren Bro, proof is provided by the pilot project at Danish Crown, where the drive system for a hot water pump used for cleaning the systems is monitored digitally. In conjunction with the Siemens "MindSphere" Cloud, the modern, app-based system can deliver the advantages of digitalization to users from various sectors with a minimum of effort. This solution has enormous potential from which a wide range of digital services can benefit. On the one hand, it simplifies pump leasing as well as fleet and service management. It also means that the digital information and transparency of the operating data increase energy efficiency as they permit targeted process and technology improvements.
As far as Soren Bro is concerned, the digitalization project realized by Grundfos and Siemens is a major success in terms of regarding pump solutions as part of a system. It enables further improvements to be made in the operating characteristics of pump systems, and the systematic optimization of service management.
Fine-tuned spare parts management in conjunction with condition-based service and maintenance instructions in the app round off the digital solutions portfolio. Soren Bro summed up by saying: "Grundfos aims to establish digitalization at a fast pace in the pump sector, which will benefit many areas of industry and infrastructure. Our digital solution is therefore a trendsetting solution."
By Christian Mundo, Head of Digital Office at Siemens