The use of the digital twin to strengthen sustainability
With the launch of the brand nexofox, Dunkermotoren - world market leader for integrated BLDC motors - has positioned itself in the market of Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). With nexofox, Dunkermotoren is now able to offer its customers a holistic solution portfolio around the topics of networking, digitalization, and monitoring. In the first step, this offering will focus on Dunkermotoren's smart motors and the robot and automation systems of its subsidiary EGS Automation. In the world of Industrial IoT, the term digital twin has become quite popular for some time. Dunkermotoren & nexofox are also working intensively on this topic to offer its customers real added value with the availability of their digital twin. In addition, Dunkermotoren | nexofox see the opportunity to use the digital twin to further push the topic of sustainability at Dunkermotoren, which is becoming increasingly important.
The term digital twin has become a modern buzzword in recent months. The ongoing presence within marketing activities has led to various views around the whole subject of the digital twin. Although there is no uniform definition so far, every institution, company or person should create a unified understanding of the term within their own sphere of influence. Dunkermotoren & nexofox understand the digital twin as an information pool of the respective associated real motor. For Dunkermotoren & nexofox, the digital twin is not a virtual digital image of a motor that is as close as possible to reality, but a kind of universally applicable tool that is particularly characterized by its manufacturer-independent use. The drive technology manufacturer shares this view with the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance and the IDTA. Central element for this association is the Asset Administration Shell (AAS), which Dunkermotoren & nexofox are actively helping to design and develop within the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. The administration shell enables a wide variety of assets to be integrated directly with each other via models and submodels. Furthermore, the digital twin enables customers to access all motor-relevant information via a central structure. In this way, customers are provided with documents at short notice, such as the correct assembly instructions, the appropriate software for commissioning, or the Webshop link for ordering spare parts. Another advantage associated with the use of the digital twin is the central provision of all relevant documents in one central storage location. The information provided digitally will further expand in the future. Thus, production information such as materials used, live information during operation or information regarding an optimized use of the motor could be provided. In principle, however, there is almost no limit. Due to the possibility of completely integrating different management shells into each other, the central access location does not change, even with different components. Within the digital twin, further digital services from nexofox such as the diagnostic tool can be integrated. The smooth integration is achieved by a consistent development within the structure of the AAS. The more promising added value that comes with this understanding of the digital twin is the creation of significantly higher transparency. This transparency can, for example, be achieved by providing data such as the amount of CO2 emitted during manufacturing, or the origin of the materials used within the motors of Dunkermotoren. Based on this data, nexofox can support its customers on the path toward complete documentation of their end products - key words: supply chain law and full material declaration. Minimizing the use of resources and raw materials, thereby reducing the impact on our environment to a minimum, is driving the experts at Dunkermotoren & nexofox. Under the umbrella of sustainability, they want to support its customers in this important area. Especially with the digital twin, nexofox want to contribute to an optimized and resource-saving use of the highly efficient motors from Dunkermotoren. The data required for sustainable and environmentally friendly motor operation can be made available to customers easily and quickly through the AAS setup. With the brand nexofox, Dunkermotoren is working to provide the CO2 footprint of the respective motors within the digital twin. For this purpose, in addition to the CO2 data during the production and ongoing operation of the motors, data on the origin of materials used is also digitally disclosed and made available. For Dunkermotoren & nexofox, the information just described represents only a part of the relevant data on the topic of sustainability. Further information, such as the power consumption of an individual motor during use or the cumulative value over an entire fleet, is also part of a holistic sustainability approach. This basic level can be extended at any time upon customer request with additional software services from nexofox. Providing suggestions for optimizing the current motor operation is another development that will be worked on in the future. These optimizations will be based on the actual usage and pursue the goal of ensuring a more sustainable and resource-saving use of motors from Dunkermotoren. Intelligent algorithms will be used to determine, for example, which motor setting consumes the smallest possible amount of energy without sacrificing performance. These recommendations are then made available to the customers. However, it is up to the customer to decide whether to make use of such an optimization. A possible expansion stage could be that these fine adjustments are carried out by the software automatically and depending on the current load on the motor. By combining the digital twin, motors from Dunkermotoren and additional nexofox services, both brands can offer its customers an even better complete package that goes far beyond the actual drive technology. One of the greatest side effects is the even more efficient use of existing resources, thereby reducing the burden on our environment.
The experts at Dunkermotoren & nexofox are convinced that their customers, like themselves, will be even more concerned with the issue of sustainability in the future. One indication of this is the new CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive), which will become mandatory for large companies1 regardless of their legal form beginning in the reporting year 2023. By integrating the sustainability aspects in the digital twin of Dunkermotoren & nexofox, they will be able to support their customers in preparing a sustainability report. The information required for this will be made accessible and can be retrieved at any time. Together with the Asset Administration Shell of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance, Dunkermotoren | nexofox are paving the way for transparent and sustainable use of their smart motors in customer-specific automation applications.