COPA-DATA transforms industrial automation with Azure IoT

Founded in Dortmund, Germany in 1993, KHS GmbH is a pioneer of bottled beverages that has since become a leading provider of filling and packaging machinery for the food and beverage industry. KHS saw the manufacturing industry being transformed and recognized the need to embrace the latest industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, which was fueled in part by the Internet of Things (IoT). Only then could KHS improve the remote monitoring and control capabilities of its human-machine interface (HMI) solution and provide customers with the insights they need to operate more competitively and efficiently.

KHS’ HMI solution was built with zenon, an industrial software system developed by COPA-DATA, a Microsoft partner specializing in complete end-to-end industrial IoT solutions. COPA-DATA recently migrated zenon to Azure IoT, which has given KHS access to the untapped power of IoT and cloud technologies. KHS is now in the position to increase the performance, availability and security of its HMI solution, reducing downtime and increasing operational efficiencies for customers around the world.

Using Azure Machine Learning, Azure IoT Hub, Stream Analytics and Azure storage, KHS can remotely gather performance data from multiple machines on the factory floor, and even across multiple factory sites, in real-time. With this data, KHS generates intelligent insights around the performance of a customer’s manufacturing operations. This has opened the door to new predictive maintenance services that provide its customers – e.g. beverage companies with bottling plants – with additional value, while giving KHS a steady stream of business.

For example, two KHS customers in the soft drink industry routinely operate their packaging and filling machines at speeds of up to 81,000 units per hour, making performance and uptime especially critical. Now KHS can empower these customers with intelligent machinery that lead to actionable insights around how to meet, or exceed, their production goals.

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KHS’ success would not have been possible without the support of COPA-DATA and the partners it works with to create tailor-made industrial IoT solutions. In recognition of this, today Microsoft named COPA-DATA as its 2017 IoT Partner of the Year.

By powering zenon, its industrial IoT solution, with Microsoft Azure and the capabilities of Azure IoT and Machine Learning, COPA-DATA has not only transformed the nature of its own business, but enabled companies like KHS to create differentiated products and offerings for its customers in an increasingly competitive landscape.

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