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Volkswagen & WAGO Differential Current Measurement

Connect, access and leverage the potential of production data for operational safety and reliability of energy management at the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg

The assembly shop of the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg was one of the first production areas in the Volkswagen Group to be connected to the Digital Production Platform which is the Volkswagen basis for the Industrial Cloud. The platform is the foundation for digitalization and optimization of  Volkswagen´s manufacturing and supply chain processes, enabling the access to real-time data from all 120+ plants in the future. The digitization brings many benefits, which can contribute to great potential for efficiency and cost savings. To leverage this potential, close collaboration with partners on the shop floor is essential. One of these partners is WAGO. The WAGO Group is an international, family-run company that offers both market-leading products for electrical interconnections and an industry-recognized open automation platform. Discover in this success story how Volkswagen, AWS and WAGO create an open and flexible system that makes mandatory differential current measurement checks possible without down times in production – an industry-changing approach as well as the backbone for further visionary Industrial IoT solutions.

High scalability, reusability and simple roll-out across locations and plants are the basic ideas of DPP. We are pleased that WAGO products and offerings support this.

Jürgen Pfeifer, IoT & Cloud Partner Manager at WAGO

Challenge – equipment maintenance for operational safety vs. necessary downtimes

Operational safety of plants, for employees and manufactured goods in production is a top priority for Volkswagen. There are regulations, checks and mandatory inspections to ensure compliance along the whole supply chain, which often include a certification of the machines. This is particularly important for systems that operate with high voltage electricity – not only because great dangers are involved here, but also as prescriptions of insurance companies. Safety checks for stationary electrical equipment that use differential current measurement are for example essential, which needs to be carried out every four years required by specification of the German statutory accident insurance (DGUV V3). These inspections are carried out manually and need the machinery to be shut down so that experts are able to get an accurate picture of the condition of the equipment. Shutting down the machines and interrupting production leads to costs, that’s is why the challenge is to keep the down times as short as possible – a challenge that is not only known in Wolfsburg, but in the entire Volkswagen Group, as well as production industries.

Solution – increase of efficiency by real-time insights into machines, automation of safety checks and anticipation of maintenance

At the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg an intelligent solution to reduce the effort of certifying stationary electrical equipment for operational safety was developed by an interdisciplinary team of Volkswagen, AWS and the Industrial Cloud community partner WAGO. The result is a small industry-changing system which not only provides real-time insights into the condition of the equipment, optimizes operational safety and furthermore eliminates the down times for mandatory test and safety certification of the machines to zero.

The insights to the data can be used to derive measures for preventive maintenance of the operating facilities to reduce the down times even more. The requirements of the German statutory accident insurance (DGUV V3) tests for differential current measurement can be met through data access and the certification can be created automatically. In this way high recurring costs can be avoided.

To achieve this, a device by the company Bender that collects measurement currents was implemented in the production equipment, which uses differential current measurement. The device hosts a Modbus TCP server, which uses a client-protocol for secure transfer of process data and connects to the operation technology (OT) Gateway of WAGO. Here the data is published via the standard open platform communication unified architecture (OPC UA). The transformed data is sent to an Edge Gateway which serves as an OPC UA client. In the next step AWS IoT SiteWise is used to capture the data and send it to the cloud. By visualizing the data via the dashboard using Amazon QuickSight, experts get real-time insights into the machines, ensure operational safety and anticipate maintenance.

Key benefits – building automation and reliability of energy management for the digital future of production

Avoiding the costs when shutting down the machines for manual certification effort for all stationary electrical equipment in the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg is only the beginning – the intelligent solution of Volkswagen, AWS and WAGO offers a great potential to scale, from the 120+ Volkswagen plants to automotive and manufacturing industries via the Industrial Cloud community. Thinking the approach globally, the only thing that needs to be considered is the local legislation, which can be adapted through the flexibility and simple management of the system. By getting insights into the data, not only maintenance checks and certifications can be automated, but a major contribution to the energy management of the future could be achieved. With this expertise the expertise of WAGO with the use of differential current a high reliability can be ensured.

The differential current measurement use case is only the beginning for IIoT solutions in the area of energy management on DPP. And it’s the proof that we can implement Industrial IoT use cases in a timely manner together with our partners and scale it within the Volkswagen Group.

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