Published On: Mon, Oct 10th, 2016

Sumitomo Demag’s Innovative 3G Remote Diagnostics Solution Wins Award

For the second consecutive year, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag has scooped the coveted title of Best Technology Application of the Year at the Plastic Industry Awards 2016.

Judges at the ‘Great Gatsby’ themed event noted that activeREmote, an encrypted and secure cellular access remote diagnostics tool developed in-house by the company’s IT team, would: “benefit all aspects of product cost, quality and efficiency as a result of rapid machine diagnostics and elimination of downtime.”

Plastic industry

Sumitomo Demag’s Innovative 3G Remote Diagnostics Solution Wins Award

TV presenter Mark Durden-Smith presented national sales manager Darren Herron with the trophy, which acknowledges the company’s unwavering focus on optimising machine performance and addressing the longstanding industry challenge of predictive maintenance.

Utilising industrial 3G mobile technology, activeREmote provides real-time monitoring and troubleshooting of machine settings and issues, linking customer injection moulding machines securely to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s service management system.

Rather than trying to negotiate approval to use a customer’s existing wired network or analogue lines, which many prohibit due to stringent IT protocols, the technology features a wireless cellular router kit and a network agnostic SIM card. This means that if the primary network is unavailable, the remote diagnostics can be switched to another mobile network, guaranteeing connectivity for any injection moulding plant throughout the UK and Ireland.

“To win the technology PIA award for the second year running is a huge honour and is testament to our team’s innovative spirit when it comes to navigating specific technology challenges,” comments managing director Nigel Flowers. “Given the size and broad spectrum of customers we support in the UK and Ireland, we set about creating a simple yet reliable remote diagnostics device in-house that would work for everyone. 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.”

Pointing out that predicting the lifecycle of equipment has been a longstanding challenge in injection moulding, Nigel continues: “We anticipate 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.”

For speed of implementation, one activeREmote system is wired into each machine control panel.

It takes an engineer approximately 15 seconds to connect to the machine, providing the customer has authorised access. During remote access period, the Sumitomo (SHI) Demag helpdesk service engineer can switch between screens, enabling support staff to swiftly identify the problem and decide how best to resolve it. The technology is improving the company’s 24-hour breakdown response time by 80%, as well as increasing first fix rate to over 90%. activeREmote is currently being rolled out to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag all-electric, hybrid and hydraulic machines around the UK and Ireland.

In 2015, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag won the PIA technology accolade for activeFlowBalance, which counters complications such as flash formation, mould damage and under-filling, consequently reducing product rejects and scrap parts by up to 40%.

Hosted at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Friday 30th September, the star-studded awards evening was attended by around 700 people, all celebrating the very best that the innovative UK plastics industry has to offer.