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Second life for machines

machine in a production hall © WFL

This is precisely where digital retrofitting can play a role. By upgrading existing facilities, companies can benefit from a variety of advantages compared to purchasing new machinery, for example lower investment costs, the elimination of complicated approval procedures and less effort and expense for training. The project DIRETRONET supports industrial companies in the field of retrofitting and offers its own practical guide which includes sector-specific aspects and best practice examples, namely The Digital Retrofit Guide, for which the Linz Centre of Mechatronics (LCM) provides the scientific background.

"Solid, tried and tested facilities can usually be subsequently digitalised. Successful digitalisation opens up new business opportunities and competitive advantages", stated Leander Bernd Hörmann of LCM. "We implemented digitalisation simultaneously for both new as well as older machinery," stated Klaus Grissenberger, Head of Advanced Engineering at NKE Austria. "Ultimately one does not want to scrap facilities which are in good working order if they can be upgraded." The company has already been working on upgrading its roller bearing plant with additional functions since 2017, thus enabling it to integrate new business models.

The project DIRETRONET also includes the Industrial CloudPool. The IT cluster bundled the services of regional software providers to facilitate access to highly qualified digital solutions for users in industry. At present 23 providers are listed, offering a total of 32 services.

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