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Digitization not only drives the demand for Ersa products steeply upwards - it itself plays a central role in manufacturing in the "Factory of the Year". Kurtz Ersa´s top management has identified the megatrend as a strategic issue and is driving it forward with all its might.
Ersa´s "Factory of the Year" is already a smart factory - and is getting smarter every day. Nicolas Bartschat is responsible for the topic of digitization in the company. He oversees all facets of digitization across the board and reports directly to the management. "The added value of this topic can only be fully exploited by networking the divisions and the various disciplines," says Nicolas Bartschat.
On the product side, the industrial engineer is responsible for the digitization of Ersa products, for example soldering machines. "These machines are usually integrated into the customer´s IT system in the factory. They communicate in the network there and exchange data to control production," explains Nicolas Bartschat.
"In addition, these machines can also communicate with our 'Kurtz Ersa Connect' platform," says Nicolas Bartschat. Kurtz Ersa operates the cloud platform, for which there is also a smartphone app, under its own management. The customer can view all relevant machine data there, for example. The platform also offers solutions for service questions or information on machine equipment. An intelligent ticket system optimizes the service process. Secure remote fault diagnosis enables solutions to be found more quickly and efficiently. Real-time monitoring of relevant machine and process data using sensors and other measuring systems ensures increased transparency in production. Downtimes are reduced. The service life of the equipment increases.
Nicolas Bartschat naturally also takes care of the digitization of the manufacturing processes in the Ersa factory. Since all relevant properties of an ordered machine are recorded in the Intelligent Customer Care System (ICCS) after the contract has been concluded by the sales department, all data is available to initiate the manufacturing of the product. The necessary parts are requested to be made available just in time on the cycle production line.
The tool portfolio required for assembly at the relevant point on the line is also available in the form specifically tailored to the work steps. Construction plans - because digitized - are always up to date. The complete production planning is imported digitally. Paper is largely banned from the factory floor.
In the next step, Ersa wants to make its soldering machines even more future-proof with AI. "Ersa´s great strength is the enormous know-how about soldering in the minds of its employees. If we want to pass this on to our international clientele, it makes sense to equip our machines in such a way that they can intelligently and independently manufacture high-quality products with process reliability," Nicolas Bartschat explains Ersa´s vision for the future.
The company is already active in this field of research. Also because of the efforts to win the GEO Award of the "Factory of the Year" competition, one has created the conditions for this. After all, without the digital acquisition of huge amounts of data, the use of artificial intelligence is not possible at all.