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  • Dear Readers!

    Even after just a few months, 2019 is already panning out to be a year full of uncertainty. We are all having to face a variety of challenges. With many of these linked to climate change and the environment, they are automatically affecting the environmental services sector as well. The impact of climate change could be felt all around the world last year with countries being struck by floods, forest fires and drought – and experts are expecting more of the same this year. Both industrial and political decision-makers and consumers across the globe are well aware that urgent measures need to be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – something that has been further highlighted by the young Swedish environmental activist, Greta Thunberg, who has inspired schoolchildren to take to the streets on Fridays to get adults to finally tackle this problem. This will be a mammoth task as it involves nothing less than halting the loss of biodiversity and ensuring there are sufficient supplies of natural resources for future generations. And this is precisely what REMONDIS does by recovering high quality raw materials from waste. Indeed, there is no other individual measure that is so successful at cutting greenhouse gas emissions and conserving natural resources. And this is why we see it as our task to extend the reach of our services and pass on our know-how to others – especially to other countries – to promote resource-friendly recycling activities.

    Our industry is currently undergoing a technological change that will alter the way many things are done. As the world becomes ever more digital, it is inevitable that this technology will have an impact on our everyday lives as well as on the way we do business. The spread of digitisation, however, is creating its own new set of challenges. The political environment in many regions around the world is also changing which could hamper our cross-border efforts to promote sustainable development. This, of course, also includes the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the growing tensions between the so-called superpowers. We need the support of our politicians so that we can make the world that little bit more sustainable – whether it be the implementation of a Europe-wide landfill ban or the creation of an Ecodesign Directive that takes raw material efficiency into account as well as energy efficiency. All in all, the upcoming European Elections will be an important political milestone for Europe.

    REMONDIS is doing its utmost to turn these challenges into opportunities and to navigate through these stormy seas safely. We are marking out the way for sustainable success by investing in technology and growing our portfolio.

    You can find out more about our plans for the future by taking a look through this latest issue of REMONDIS AKTUELL – and discover how our customers can benefit from our strong and stable services in these volatile times. 

    Yours

    Egbert Tölle

Major advantages for customers

  • The maintenance sector is on the verge of undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift: digitisation and high-tech are paving the way for predictive applications. XERVON Instandhaltung, XERVON’s maintenance specialists, are embracing these innovative opportunities and developing practical options that will offer their customers some key advantages, especially in the areas of efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Early warning systems

When it comes to maintaining rotating equipment, such as turbines, pumps and compressors, it is condition monitoring that is the measure of all things nowadays. This type of maintenance system takes online and offline measurements to gather information about a machine’s condition and sets certain limit values. Deviations can be spotted immediately, enabling suitable countermeasures to be taken in good time.

XERVON is constantly screening the market to identify technologies that will be of use to its customers and managing trends with its trend radar.

New opportunities are opening up here, too. Technological progress and recent developments, such as ‘machine learning’ and ‘big data’, are making it possible for a level of maintenance to be achieved that gives us an idea of what things will be like in the future. At the centre of all of this are the predictive maintenance systems. They act as an early warning system, predicting what will go wrong in the future and enabling faults to be prevented before they actually occur.

A key innovation of Industry 4.0

The field of predictive maintenance may still only be in its infancy but it is already being heralded as one of the key innovations of Industry 4.0. Which also explains why XERVON has been focusing its attention on growing its own application-related know-how in this area for a while now. Its goal here is to add predictive maintenance solutions to its portfolio of services that will open up some interesting prospects for its customers. These systems will offer a whole range of advantages – especially when it comes to increasing plant availability. According to a McKinsey study, around half of all machine and plant downtime will be able to be prevented with predictive maintenance.

By growing its expertise, XERVON Instandhaltung has become an adept partner for IoT applications as well.

The core idea behind XERVON Instandhaltung’s projects is to use machine learning to make plants and facilities smarter. The data that the sensors collect about the condition of the machinery is added to other information – for example data about the ambient temperature or humidity. All this data is then analysed using state-of-the-art technology that enables anomalous patterns to be picked up. This in turn makes it possible to predict problems that may occur in the future.

  • The core idea behind XERVON Instandhaltung’s projects is to use machine learning to make plants and facilities smarter

An award from the itelligence of Things initiative

XERVON is combining its extensive maintenance expertise with its IT and digitisation know-how in order to be able to offer its customers practical solutions in this field. At the heart of all this data is an IoT platform. Its task is to merge the information gathered from the different types of technologies and platforms and connect it to database inventories.

Cutting costs, optimising operating conditions, minimising downtime: predictive maintenance offers customers a whole host of advantages.

It was possible to see just how far XERVON has already progressed in this area during the itelligence of Things competition organised by SAP’s consultancy business, itelligence. Facing competition from a total of 25 companies, XERVON’s concept was awarded one of the main prizes. Work is already being put into implementing this concept, for example on the pumps and motors used in cooling towers.

Machines can be run more efficiently

Predictive maintenance allows these important components of the cooling water supply system to be controlled at the best possible operating point and to determine exactly when they should be switched on and off. What’s more, the operating hours can be spread intelligently across the different pumps. This makes the whole business far more efficient, reduces electricity consumption and cuts costs. Furthermore, there is less wear and tear which means greater plant availability and fewer maintenance costs.

Putting the system to the test

  • XERVON recently set up its own test stand at the ChemTech Hackathon in Cologne in order to bring its work in this area a few steps closer to being put into practice as well as to generate some new ideas. During the event, specialists from the chemicals industry and the world of IT looked at the innovations that might reconcile the challenges faced by both areas. It was made clear here that XERVON’s model could indeed be realised, taking it one step closer towards making it to market.

    • The predictive maintenance project submitted by XERVON to the itelligence of Things competition was awarded one of the main prizes. Mark Albrecht, Vice President Global Head of Innovation at itelligence AG, presented the prize to Tim Grylewicz, Head of Digitisation at XERVON Instandhaltung, and Alexa Kopp, Head of Project Management at XERVON Instandhaltung (from right to left)

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