© Philipp Reinhard

“Digital prod­ucts solve prob­lems that analog prod­ucts can’t”

With its Green­In­tel­li­gence label, ebm-papst is making a state­ment about digi­tal­iza­tion. Thomas Sauer, Group Director for Digi­tal­iza­tion and Elec­tronics, explains what is behind it and what customers can expect from it.

What is the new Green­In­tel­li­gence-label about?

Green­Tech has been a symbol of our holistic approach for years: green produc­tion, green prod­ucts and sustain­able use of resources. That’s still the case, but we’ve taken it a step further: Green­In­tel­li­gence is Green­Tech plus digi­tal­iza­tion. The new logo indi­cates to customers that a product includes networked EC tech­nology, and in partic­ular that they are getting added value that goes beyond the product itself.

Just what does that mean?

The focus is no longer on the prod­ucts alone, it’s mainly on the data they supply. We’ve already had smart prod­ucts with on-board elec­tronics for some time, and we’ve been gath­ering data in our prod­ucts for a long time for later viewing and analysis. Now connec­tivity is joining the mix. By networking our fans, we make their data acces­sible and useful to the user every­where. That intro­duces new possi­bil­i­ties. Added value is created when digital prod­ucts solve prob­lems that analog prod­ucts can’t.

Is that already being applied?

Yes. For example, we’ve devel­oped our own cloud solu­tion that we can use to acquire data from a network-capable product at any loca­tion world­wide and retrieve it to our data center in Mulfingen. Here we can see whether it’s running as it should or if it needs main­te­nance.

Predic­tive main­te­nance ensures that the user can inter­vene in time before some­thing happens that causes a system to fail completely.

Thomas Sauer, Group Director for Digi­tal­iza­tion and Elec­tronics

Is predic­tive main­te­nance the main added value that customers can expect?

It’s not every­thing, but it’s an impor­tant aspect. Let’s take the example of a resi­den­tial venti­la­tion unit. We can deter­mine the level of heat exchange and the power consump­tion to tell us whether the unit is running in its optimum range. This infor­ma­tion is also avail­able to remote users and provides many bene­fits for them, such as better air quality, longer system life­time and improved service. Predic­tive main­te­nance also ensures that the user can inter­vene in time before some­thing happens that causes a system to fail completely. But they only have to inter­vene when it’s really neces­sary.

What other added value is there beyond that?

We can achieve greater energy effi­ciency with connec­tivity. We’ve already achieved very high effi­ciency with motors, elec­tronics and aero­dy­namics. There’s no longer much room for improve­ment there. Prod­ucts offer the greatest poten­tial for energy savings in their appli­ca­tions, such as running only when they’re needed, and then only with the required output.

If you have other ques­tions about this topic, you can address them to Thomas Sauer via email.

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