A Safe Take-Off – Rittal Blue e+ chillers used in aircraft manufacturing

Aircraft manufacturing. Before a brand-new A320 can be put to work ferrying holiday­makers to sunnier climes, the aircraft has to pass some serious testing at Airbus. However, it isn’t just the aircraft that needs overheating protection to make sure it runs like a dream – the testing hardware needs proper protection, too. Airbus uses Blue e+ cooling units from Rittal to keep its testing facilities in top condition.

The two Airbus workers sit on stools in the cockpit of the Airbus A320, as the pilot seats have yet to be installed. Through the cockpit windows they see not clouds, but 4 monitors displaying the “ground test instructions” they need to work through.

However, the first tests start much earlier. As soon as the fuselage sections of a new aircraft have been assembled, the cables are laid there – and tested. All along the various assembly stations, all newly installed components and systems are immediately tested to ensure they are fully functional. Depending on the configuration of the aircraft in question, the full set of tests for an A320 can take around 400 hours to complete. The majority of these are carried out in Jacobs’ department. Fuelling, taxiing, take-off and landing together with various flight manoeuvres are all simulated on the final assembly line. “Our engineers could fly the aircraft, even though they’re not pilots,” the Head of Ground Testing points out. All functions that are essential to flight safety on the Airbus must be 100 per cent reliable. Only when an A320 has passed all these tests with flying colours can it be sent for delivery and take off from the runway at the Airbus plant in Finkenwerder on its maiden flight.

Simulating Operation

The tasks carried out on the final assembly line include the complete fit-out of the cabin. “Once again, we check everything – from the headphone sockets and in-flight entertainment screens on each individual passenger seat right through to the coffee machine in the galley,” says Jacobs. Testing all the onboard functions requires high-performance hardware that is connected up to the sensors and actuators of the aircraft and used to run complex simulation programs. A total of three computers are needed for the simulations. Each computer is equipped with additional hardware that links up to the components in the aircraft. Lengths of cable as thick as a human arm reach from enclosures containing the simulation computers to the insides of the aircraft. This makes it possible to simulate parameters such as engine speed and the signals from the speed measurement devices. The computers also capture output signals, primarily voltages and volume resistance.

Left: An ice-cold marathon – Cooling units in the Blue e+ range run continuously and stop hardware from overheating. Right: Digital view – No stunning aerial vista for the engineers: Monitors are mounted in front of the cockpit to display the ground test instructions.

Airbus developed the simulation computers, which are installed in a Rittal enclosure on the test bench, in-house. The hardware generates a lot of heat when in use and therefore needs to be cooled – the voltage transformers in particular, which are needed for the connection to the components in the aircraft, can get very hot. “In the past, before we started using active cooling systems for the computers, they often crashed during the summer,” Jacobs recalls. Given how tightly and carefully coordinated the production schedule is at Airbus, that simply could not continue. The enclosures were fitted out with active climate control systems in 2006 to avoid precisely such downtime. Today, there are 28 of these test stations in the Airbus plant, all similarly configured. What’s more, all are fitted with Blue e+ cooling units from Rittal to protect the sensitive hardware from overheating. The reliability of the Blue e+ units is particularly important to Airbus. “If the cooling systems for the simulation computers were to fail, we wouldn’t be able to conduct our tests,” Jacobs points out. The test bench is in use at least five days a week in double-shift operation. “We switch on the cooling units in the morning and they run with absolute reliability,” he says. The cooling systems at the test benches are monitored and, should a unit still somehow fail, a warning light comes on to alert staff.

Guaranteed Energy Efficiency

The idea to upgrade to the energy-efficient Blue e+ cooling units came about while working on energy management for the ISO-14001 certification. Rittal Support gave Airbus crucial assistance during this process, as Jacobs explains: “Thanks to the energy efficiency calculator, we were able to work out in advance how much energy we would save by upgrading to the new cooling technology.”

Well-timed maintenance is crucial to ensuring the cooling units run reliably and efficiently. The main causes of failures are critical component statuses and external influencing factors. Networking the units with the IoT interface ensures the condition of all cooling units is reported to overarching systems. Maintenance teams can then promptly plan the necessary measures and carry out the work at the most appropriate time. These benefits can be taken to the next level in the future by linking up to Rittal’s Smart Service Portal. The networking between the devices and continuous status monitoring ensure critical operating statuses can be identified early on.

The senior managers at Airbus were also impressed by how user-friendly the cooling units are. All parameters can be adjusted easily, using the two buttons on the control panel, and the display depicts status and error messages in clear language. “The quality is right and the customer service we get from Rittal is excellent,” Jacobs concludes. Based on this positive experience, the test benches at the Airbus sites in the USA and China, which are configured in exactly the same way, are also being retrofitted with the new Blue e+ cooling units.

Carpigiani: A Recipe For Gelato Success

What can make ice cream even better than it already is? IoT connectivity, of course.

Ice cream equipment manufacturer Carpigiani is scooping out added value, sales growth and exceptional customer service experience with help from Telenor Connexion’s IoT solution. How did they do it? 

Watch the video to get the story directly from their customers.

Background

Italian-based Carpigiani is a market-leader in the manufacture of machines for gourmet gelato. Over 10,000 ice cream machines are manufactured every year, and exported mainly around the world to customers spanning from small ice cream shops to multinational fast-food brands.

Factors like heavy usage and hygienic requirements give rise to recurrent maintenance and costly downtime. Carpigiani solved this problem for their customers through optimised maintenance on actual usage, via a connected after-sales service monitoring system called Teorema.

Teorema was initially launched in Italy and Germany, and a local provider was appointed to handle the connectivity solution.

Challenge

As Carpigiani expanded it’s service offering geographically, the administration around having a connectivity supplier for each country soon became a real problem for Carpigiani. It was clear the company needed a global provider. Carpigiani had 3 key criteria when selecting the right partner: global capacity, flexibility and price.

Solution

Telenor Connexion provided Carpigiani with a global IoT solution that was tied to over 400 mobile networks globally and which uses a global SIM. This solution enables Carpigiani to standardise their production, and facilitate their various product models, regardless of wherever in the world it will be sold or used.

The data generated from each machine is used to comprehensively analyse the state of the equipment. This allows Carpigiani to deliver a consistently high, predictive customer service experience.

Results

Relying on Telenor Connexion’s IoT Managed Connectivity solution, over 8,000 Carpigiani machines, comprising 300 product models, are now connected to Teorema. More machines are planned to be connected shortly. Today, Teorema is being offered to customers as part of an extended all-inclusive warranty service called Teorema4U.

As Carpigiani continues to evolve their smart IoT services on a global scale, they are working closely with Telenor Connexion to incorporate emerging markets for connected ice cream machines. One key market is Asia.

The Telenor Connexion IoT Managed Connectivity solution continues to remove barriers to Carpigiani’s sales growth. And is enabling Carpigiani to deliver a truly innovative global service to customers around the world.

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Telenor Connexion Passes 10 million Installed SIM Cards

Telenor Connexion, a leading IoT supplier claims that it has passed 10 million installed SIM cards.

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Telenor Connexion, the dedicated IoT unit within Telenor Group, has experienced an accelerating growth rate during the last years, with 3 million SIM cards shipped in 2017 alone, said the Company. Recently the company reached 10 million deployed SIM cards.

The number of connected products from Telenor Connexion in the world now exceeds the number of Telenors traditional mobile subscriptions in Scandinavia.

Trusted by Major International Brands

Telenor Connexion specialises in advanced or international use cases for enterprises with large fleets of devices. Customers are found in a variety of industry verticals and include Volvo, Hitachi, Husqvarna, Scania, Verisure Securitas Direct and many more.

Telenor Connexion is headquartered in Sweden but the vast majority of the devices are deployed internationally. During the last years Telenor Connexion has built up a partner ecosystem, enabling partners of all sizes to collaborate efficiently to offer customers a complete IoT solution, including hardware, connectivity , data analytics, business applications, and other services. In 2017, new partners such as Amazon Web Services, Capgemini, SECO and HMS came on board.

One of the Top 10 IoT Operators World Wide

A recent report by analyst firm Berg Insight, specialising in the IoT industry, ranks Telenor among the top 3 IoT operators in Europe and among the top 10 IoT operators in the world. The company was recognised in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Managed M2M Services, Worldwide, both in 2016 and 2017.



This post was originally written by Ray Sharma, a news editor at The Fast Mode. For further information click here to see our Telenor range.