“The control panel plays a special role in the intelligent networking of machines and processes, because it’s indispensable for optimal communication between man and machine,” explains Jochen Pfeil, Head of Business Unit Service
at Vecoplan. Vecoplan also offers a powerful digitalisation concept with its Vecoplan Smart Center (VSC): One component is the modern communication interface VSC.connect. The integrated, intuitive VSC.control panel is a communication medium for the machine’s control system and a live link to the Vecoplan technicians. Vecoplan technicians can use the panel to assist employees with operation and service by connecting to the cloud. “When service is required, our experts can use this to check the system and get it up and running again perfectly in more than 80 percent of cases,” promises the Divisional Head. Another possibility: With the support of cameras or data glasses, they look over the shoulder of the customer’s service technician on site and help him step by step with the solution. Vecoplan has also created specially developed service tutorials that enable the customer to optimally prepare for the maintenance of the machine.
Vecoplan already presented this digitalisation concept at LIGNA 2019. In the meantime, it has supplemented its VSC with additional digital services. These include online commissioning, remote service, key performance indicators and access to a media database. Users simply need to network their machines using VSC.connect to use these digital services.
So what exactly is new?
“We designed a user-specific dashboard, which allows the operator to get an overview of all relevant values in real time at any time,” says Pfeil. There’s also a message page that keeps users up to date on possible upcoming faults and warnings. The message history helps users to fix errors faster. Comments can also be added to the messages. All the lists can be exported as Excel or PDF files. The user is also supported by a data recorder that can record all the actual values with a resolution of up to 100 milliseconds – and statistical data such as operating hours can be listed. The VSC can be optionally equipped with a heavy-duty camera, which delivers live images of the shredding process to VSC.control and all other browser-enabled end devices in the same network.
WLAN is also available
“The user can connect to the VSC.control with any PC, tablet or smartphone,” says Jochen Pfeil. “The device is automatically detected, and the risk of it interfering with machine operation is eliminated.” Each VSC control panel brings the visualisation to the mobile devices. For example, this means that the wheel loader driver can check the hopper’s filling level on his tablet at any time, and the plant manager always has the current machine status on his smartphone. Suppose no WLAN is available at the customer’s. In that case, an access point is located directly on the machine – a central connection point for WLAN-capable devices connected to the local network. “Users can also connect to WLAN via a mobile network, so the customer doesn’t have to provide his own network,” explains the Vecoplan expert.
On site – worldwide
When it comes to designing and implementing customer systems, the personal presence of an employee on site makes the work much easier: Communication within the company is more straightforward, and the number of interfaces is reduced. In recent years, Vecoplan AG has established subsidiaries throughout Europe. These have been closely integrated into the Vecoplan Group, bringing sales and service even closer to the customer. The company currently has branches in the USA, United Kingdom, Austria, Poland, Italy and Spain. “As of this year, we also have a site in France,” says Pfeil. By establishing a Vecoplan France subsidiary, the machine manufacturer is clearly focusing on service and sales. French customers now have on-site support. “Experienced technicians and modern tools are available for service and the after-sales business,” says Pfeil. “We also provide individual service level agreements tailored to customer requirements. Among other advantages, these also offer our customers extended on-call availability and increased operational availability of our machines and systems.”
Optimised cutting crowns for safe processes
Good service also includes quickly supplying customers with the right components – such as cutting crowns. These components must interact optimally with the counter knife and screen and be matched to the respective input material. Vecoplan constantly invests in its production and continues expanding its vertical manufacturing range. The machine builder also manufactures cutting crowns and performs material analyses in its own Technology Centre, following shredding tests. The cutting crowns and rotor type are selected after the specific material has been individually analysed. “We offer diverse product groups with different properties,” explains Jochen Pfeil.