TAKRAF GmbH, Leipzig/Germany, is a highly specialized supplier of machines and services in the fields of mining, materials handling and minerals processing. As such, TAKRAF boast a large base of installed machines that daily generate valuable data from which we can gain information regarding optimization of design, operation and maintenance or even troubleshooting.
Leveraging this opportunity, TAKRAF rolled out an initiative for the collection of operational data for selected representative machines and/or key components. Based upon current IIoT technologies available today, TAKRAF equipped a select sample of machines with remote data logging systems as a part of its aforementioned R&D initiatives. One of the first successfully integrated systems is running in one of TAKRAF’s high-capacity spreader and tripper car for a large overburden-handling project in South East Asia. This system was designed and is based upon hardware and software components supplied by iba AG, a specialist for data logging and analysis. A machine connector reads defined data from the Profibus DP of the machine control system without jeopardizing its security and/or integrity and writes those to the iba PDA server. On this server, the data is locally stored and analyzed, e. g., for automatically generated reports. Recorded data are then sent to TAKRAF’s head office simultaneously or in batches.
A few further outcomes from TAKRAF’s R&D activities include remote support solutions employing “smart glasses” (Figure 1). Such tools are relatively easy to implement and already quite readily available. With these glasses, TAKRAF is able to connect experts in an office with its commissioning engineers or its clients’ maintenance staff on site in order to solve specific problems quickly and effectively, avoiding long trips and associated travel costs.
Another “smart tool” TAKRAF successfully presented at the 2019 BAUMA mining exhibition in Munich/Germany is based on Schneider Electric’s “Augmented Operator Advisor”. This software tool, which runs on a tablet, is able to determine its positioning in the field based upon image recognition of the various parts around the user. Based upon this recognition, various “points of interest” can be defined together with context sensitive information such as manuals and maintenance procedures – live data can also be made available to the user.
TAKRAF has recognized the enormous benefits that IIoT technologies can provide its customers, together with the improvement of its own internal processes. As a result, IIoT is fully supported throughout its organization and plays an increasing role across all the product lines.