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Gaining an edge thanks to data

The data collected by Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and ebm-papst contain genuine treasures. The Formula One team uses them to get the last hundredths of a second out of the track, while the fan manufacturer helps to run its customers' products more efficiently.

Intelligent control and interconnectivity of fans, drives and systems is what ebm-papst offers under the GreenIntelligence label. The aim is to make customers more successful. One way of achieving that is through sensors and powerful electronics which make it possible to collect and process data. ebm-papst has substantially adapted its products in that direction in recent years – and is continuing to work on them. Thomas Sauer, Group Director for Digitalization and Electronics at ebm-papst, explains: “Our focus has shifted from analog to products with electronics on-board. And it is now centered primarily on the data that those intelligent products deliver.”

Matt Harris, Head of IT at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (Photo | Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport)

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport is also looking to make itself fit for the future by comprehensively analyzing data in order to keep ahead of the game. During races, the team uses the data it collects to immediately detect if something is not going as planned. Matt Harris, Head of IT at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, comments: “The collection of event logging and alerting data for analysis of the underlying infrastructure is critical at all times but especially so during sessions trackside. Without this we can’t ensure consistent service and levels of performance expected by the team.”

Knowing better

What the race circuit is for the Formula One team is for ebm-papst its applications in customers’ equipment. There, too, it’s important not only that everything runs smoothly, but also that the data delivers real added value to the customer. Condition monitoring can be used, for example, to determine whether a device is running in the optimum range. This is illustrated by the AxiBlade axial fan. Condition monitoring benefits customers in terms of air quality, system maintenance and service based on the data from the fans in their condensers.

GreenIntelligence helps to provide customers with new functionality and services that were previously not possible. As Sauer asserts: “Genuine added value is created for customers when digital products solve problems that analog products can’t.”

Optimization between races

Thomas Sauer, Group Director for Digitalization and Electronics at ebm-papst (Photo: ebm-papst)

The Formula One team also uses the time between races to accurately analyze the data it collects, and so avoid potential future problems, away from the constant high tension of the circuit. Matt Harris: “The interpretation of the logs, events and alerts between sessions and races is vital for us to be as proactive as possible, for example with pending failure of components we can swap out elements of hardware to ensure systems are available and performing as expected.” The team also receives direct support from ebm-papst in this. Thanks to its partner, it was able to optimize the air flow in the pit server racks, ensuring that all calculations can be carried out without problem even under the most difficult climatic conditions.

In addition to the cooling solutions that ebm-papst offers its racing partner, the company also provides data solutions for its other customers—beyond delivering intelligent products. With GreenIntelligence ebm-papst also supports its customers in meaningfully evaluating all collected data and placing it in a wider context. “Collecting data alone is not enough,” says Sauer. “We are pleased to be applying our know-how to help our customers use their data meaningfully, and so support them in their digital transformation.”

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