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Mönchengladbach, September 22, 2020

Extrusion presses – achieving the next level through digitalization and teamwork

Service and digital solutions from the equipment manufacturer

How can I minimize downtimes and increase the OEE? What are the reasons for the quality fluctuations occurring sporadically in our extruded sections? Where do I have to start, how do I get to the solution and who can support me along the way? These and similar questions are most frequently asked by the companies operating extrusion presses.

Here, SMS group has the intelligent answers. With a new digital concept for extrusion press lines tailored to the needs of production, quality and maintenance management in the extrusion press industry, SMS group is further expanding its customer support. As Leading Partner in the World of Metals, SMS group offers integrated solutions: From the equipment to automation systems and software right through to know-how transfer, joint further developments and comprehensive, worldwide service.

Thanks to digital tools, we can now provide an even more in-depth and individual support for extrusion presses. Ben Zander, Head of Modernization and Maintenance Extrusion Presses at SMS group

Ben Zander, Head of Modernization and Maintenance Extrusion Presses at SMS group: "We support the customer throughout the entire life cycle of his equipment. This includes both traditional services, such as spare parts service, modernizations or service contracts supporting the customer's maintenance teams and innovative digital solutions. Through digitalization, we support the customers in boosting their productivity, production reliability and quality to reach new levels, or in keeping them at the high level already achieved. In this regard, our Technical Service has significantly expanded its expertise and made it fit for the future. Thanks to digital tools, we can now provide an even more in-depth and individual support for extrusion presses."

A key to innovation: the MIDIS+ management information system

Despite all the advances made in machine learning and artificial intelligence, human experts are indispensable for real innovation – provided that these experts have access to the correct information, processed in the right way, to make decisions. This is exactly where MIDIS+ from SMS group comes in. All the information collected by the visualization system and the MIDIS+ planning and management information system during production is stored and can then be used for easy to understand evaluations and analyses.

The newly developed MIDIS+ is a higher-level system supporting production, maintenance and quality management.

For production management, MIDIS+ offers flexible planning and control functions such as sequence planning and billet length optimization.

For maintenance management, MIDIS+ provides an overview of current and historical malfunctions and downtimes at all times. Based on the information from MIDIS+, maintenance teams define effective measures for increasing plant availability.

Quality management benefits from the collection of all relevant data related to product quality. In addition, the system also features tool management and other QA functions.

MIDIS+ can be easily integrated into the customer’s system environments. For this purpose, the SMS group solution provides a large number of interfaces, e.g. with ERP systems. The same flexibility can be found in its application: Since MIDIS+ is implemented using modern web technologies, the entire functionality is available at any time in any place – without any limitations from operating systems.

Taking a look at extrusion press processes: SMS-metrics

SMS-metrics is another digital solution for extrusion presses from SMS group. SMS-metrics visualizes process and plant parameters for production and maintenance management. The measured values and parameters are provided by the sensors installed at the press and other equipment in the extrusion press line. Further information can also be integrated in the dashboard by means of clearly arranged evaluation graphics. In addition to the current measured values, the plant owner also receives trend displays and automatic notifications for previously defined events.

For production management, SMS-metrics offers a representation of the plant’s current operating mode and presents a history. In this way, for example, information on how long a tool change took or how the shift was going is readily available at just one click.

For maintenance management, real-time information on malfunctions and downtimes is provided. This information contributes significantly to identifying the causes of malfunctions. The data are processed and displayed via web tools. Within seconds, the user is given an overview and an insight into the condition of his plant. The web-based implementation of the system allows access from any device.

Service and digital solutions from the equipment manufacturer

When asked why customers also benefit more substantially from the equipment manufacturer when it comes to digitalization than from IT service providers from outside the industry, Ben Zander has more than just one answer: "After consultation with the customer, our extrusion press technologists and data analysts proactively examine the collected data periodically for trends which indicate potential for improvement. We are the sparring partner for our customers’ specialists, finding new solutions together. After evaluation and prioritization of the identified potential, we can set up a multi-disciplinary team which plans and implements mechanical, hydraulic, electrical, digital and organizational improvements in close cooperation with the customer's experts. This comprehensive service facilitates and accelerates the identification and implementation of improvements in an increasingly demanding environment. No data analyst or IT service provider is able to offer all of this. You only get this service from SMS group."