Industrial Sector

Industrial IoT: controlling production plants from the cloud

FRIWO collaborated with Zühlke and AWS to create a future-proof and internationally scalable IT ecosystem for controlling globally distributed production lines.

  • FRIWO AG aims to establish a new IT ecosystem to enable reliable control of globally distributed production lines.

  • Zühlke supports FRIWO throughout the entire process, jointly implementing a stable, resilient, and high-performance cloud-based system during the concept and realisation phases.

  • Collaboration with Zühlke provides FRIWO with a robust, reliable, low-latency IIoT production environment that is globally available.

Picture of Henrik Vogler Friwo
' With Zühlke, we have a professional partner on board who asked the right questions from the very beginning. This allowed us to achieve the project goal at the highest level within a short time. '
Henrik Vogler
Head of R&D E-Mobility at FRIWO Gerätebau GmbH

Pursuit of a future-proof and reliable IT ecosystem in the cloud

FRIWO AG, headquartered in Ostbevern (Germany), is a leading international manufacturer of digitally controlled power supply and charging solutions, such as power supplies, chargers, battery packs, motor controls, and software. Founded in 1971, the company has evolved from a power supply product provider to a global electromobility solutions provider. Currently, FRIWO AG boasts modern development centres, production facilities, and sales locations in Europe, Asia, and the USA.

However, the company's existing IT infrastructure, hosted on a local server, could no longer keep up with its growth and was unsuitable for an international enterprise. To address this and connect its global production sites, FRIWO wanted to create a new, reliable IT ecosystem. To achieve reliable and fast data delivery and utilization in the globally distributed development and production sites, the project team is pursuing a cloud-based solution.

The goal of migrating to the cloud was to create a future-proof, technologically up-to-date IT infrastructure that minimises the risk of system failure and associated financial losses. After all, a system outage would result in an immediate production halt and the accrual of significant costs.

Industrial IoT solution controls global production lines and series production

"Zühlke is an independent partner with deep expertise in connecting production machinery and production equipment. The team understood our needs quickly, right from the start," says Frederick Balzer, Senior Vice President Productmanagement & Marketing, from FRIWO.

First, Zühlke's team analysed FRIWO's needs and requirements, developing three alternative implementation packages with varying scopes. The packages included explanations of their advantages, disadvantages, and recommendations on the components FRIWO required. This fact-based approach allowed FRIWO to decide which solution was the best fit.

Together with Zühlke, FRIWO decided to go with the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud solution as it meets the high requirements of an industrial volume production environment and is characterised by a robust architecture, high reliability, low latency, and global availability. These advantages, along with the wide range of products, made FRIWO's infrastructure future-proof and scalable. Components such as Amazon S3 Bucket, AWS Lambda, AWS Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), AWS Secrets Manager, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), and AWS Simple Notification Service (SNS) were utilised.

Industrial series production from the cloud

The Zühlke team provided end-to-end support to FRIWO, covering consulting, requirement gathering, project planning (concept phase), and comprehensive implementation (realisation phase). Specifically, we customised the processes used in industrial series production to specific customer and project needs, integrating them with the AWS cloud technologies. Finally, testing was conducted on both sides and FRIWO handled the roll-out.

One of the project's major challenges was to smoothly transfer essential product-specific data, configurations, and licenses to the globally distributed production lines. To do so, the team conducted extensive testing to ensure that no issues would arise in the live system. As a result, within a short period of time, a stable, resilient infrastructure was created.

Zühlke supported FRIWO by:

  • Analysing FRIWO's needs and requirements.
  • Developing three alternative package options with varying scopes, listing their pros and cons.
  • Facilitating end-to-end project management, from consulting to successful implementation.
  • Customising the processes of industrial series production with AWS cloud technologies.
  • Creating an industrial volume production environment with a robust architecture, high reliability, low latency, and global availability.
  • Seamlessly migrating the IT infrastructure to the cloud without any disruption to end-users.
  • Creating a stable, resilient, and high-performing infrastructure for the global control of production lines.

Transparent and accurate implementation without any downtime for FRIWO

"The transparent project management, based on open, clear, and precise communication, led us to success within a short period of time," concludes Frederick Balzer, Senior Vice President Productmanagement & Marketing, from FRIWO. The complete project management and end-to-end support that our team provided ensured successful implementation of the cloud solution without any downtime for the live system.

The direct integration of Zühlke's experts into the FRIWO project team, along with regular stand-up meetings, facilitated efficient communication and transparent project execution. Questions or challenges could be addressed directly and promptly, playing a crucial role in the success of the project.

With the new Industrial IoT solution, FRIWO can now rely on a highly available, scalable, and future-proof control of its production plants from the cloud.

Contact person for Germany

Peter Güntzer

Director Smart Connected Solutions & Partner

Peter Güntzer has many years of implementation experience in the field of Advanced Data Analytics, smart connected products, and IoT. Prior to joining Zühlke, he was technical project manager at Siemens cellular phones and cofounder/CTO of a development and product provider for IoT, telematics & smart connected devices. In recent years he enhanced his expertise to include Data & AI. His passion and responsibility at Zühlke is the successful combination of innovative technology with strategic and entrepreneurial goals, combined with a sense for what is technically feasible. Outside of Zühlke, Peter is involved pro bono in solar energy projects in Africa, both from Germany and locally.

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