Topics 31 January 2020
New Business Models for Module Manufacturers

MTP Opens Up New Possibilities for Development Within Machine Engineering

Where do a machine engineer's competencies lie? Is it in the way they build their machines? In the refined sequencing of different sub-tasks that results in a machine as a whole? Or in the detailed knowledge of what their target customers need for their respective industries? The answer to these questions is an unequivocal “Yes.” However, the answer as to whether integrating one's machines into a customer's process management level is viewed as a core competency is not as clear. Machine builders are professionals in mechanical engineering; they're not necessarily SCADA system experts. This statement clearly underscores why MTP offers them enormous potential. The “Module Type Package” creates new market potential – either with or without preexisting SCADA expertise.

Your Benefits:

  • Renewed focus on your own discipline
  • New markets tapped
  • Independence from control systems and process management levels
  • Bundling specialized strengths and knowledge

Machine Engineers are Now Freed from the Control System

Working with the “Module Type Package” puts module manufacturers in a position to reinforce their value as suppliers in system technology. This is because their development efforts can be entirely devoted to advancing their machines or system modules – without allocating resources for interfaces or software integration at the process management level. Furthermore, machine engineers at smaller firms are no longer tasked with recruiting control system experts. The result of this change is that quite often, the lack of control system competence no longer matters for medium-sized, highly specialized system module manufacturers.

Freedom to Choose Any Manufacturer

In most cases, module manufacturers have limited their choices of control technology to just one or two branch- and market-specific manufacturers. If system engineers or operators employ other manufacturers, the module engineer is either forced out of the business or must contend with comprehensive and expensive reprogramming. Employing MTP, however, completely frees machine and system engineering from whatever brand name is stamped on the controls. The benefits are clear: The module engineer can solely focus on further developing and improving their technology and machines – without the burden of integration into a control system.

MODULE TYPE PACKAGE (MTP) – BENEFITS AT A GLANCE

Stalemate or Matt for MTP – Who Moves First?

Several industry-wide articles have repeatedly highlighted the advantages of modularization in automation. In individual discussions, however, it turns out that there is a lack of operational reliability and a wide range of products offered by the module manufacturers. It's a classic stalemate. How can this challenge be overcome?

So far, from a module builder's point of view, it seems that flexibility in production only helps the operator. There is much to suggest that reducing the investment risk for the operator ultimately leads to new business models for module manufacturers. Plug & Produce with variable scale-up only works if standardized modules are available with corresponding support for operation and maintenance. Who could provide this better than the module manufacturer? – “Filtration as a service”? – “Mixing as a service”! These models only work with clear system boundaries and responsibilities – these are provided by the MTP.

Would you like to move? WAGO is ready!

More relevant than ever? Knowledge on Modular System Design from 2017

“An additional business model is decentralized, local production in the immediate vicinity of the customer or even directly at the customer's production site(s). One possible advantage of such models is the reduction of logistics costs.” (Dechema & VDI, ProcessNet AK “Modular Systems”, 2017, page 26)

What began in 2017 as a fleeting thought about steadily growing production capacities in the Far East can now help firms benefit from globalization without being at the mercy of collapsing logistics chains and generating climate-damaging gases through shipping. The ProcessNet technical report also provides answers based on typical annual production quantities and outlines the number of necessary process steps that it takes to make modular production worthwhile. This opens up new opportunities for the module manufacturer.

Have interesting thoughts for your practice? WAGO is ready!

Drawing the Short Straw with the CE Manufacturer Declaration?

Qualification of systems according to GMP or GAMP, as well as the CE manufacturer's declaration, require a complete partial qualification of the modules, so that only the qualification of the entire system is required. This means that modularity must also be a method in the approval procedures in order to exploit the advantages of increased flexibility. In any case, it is easier for operators, system integrators and module builders to grasp the boundaries of responsibility in automation software if clear system boundaries and a description exist.

On the automation side, the MTP is ready for this – so is WAGO!

Difficulties in Transmitting and Receiving? – MTP helps Reduce Transmission Losses during Commissioning!

It’s incredibly rare to commission a plant without running into some unforeseen circumstances. And this is because there is usually a breakdown in communication between the individual parties involved that’s compounded by failed efforts to coordinate actions. Conflicting views, interests and ways of working often cause delays. Wouldn't it be helpful to minimize these interfaces and improve the (reception) quality? The “Module Type Package” (MTP) can make a decisive contribution to simplifying the interface between system/module manufacturers along with that of the operator, owner or EPC. Modules are easily described both functionally and visually and, thanks to the standardized design of the MTP, can be integrated into any control system structure.

Would you like to increase your transmission power and improve your reception? WAGO is ready!

Identifying Parallels – Two-Track Strategy Saves Time and Gets You to Your Destination Earlier

What if we could always work on two activities at once? Wouldn't this make some processes more effective? This is the great advantage of a modular system concept. The “Module Type Package” (MTP), for example, makes it possible to shorten the time from planning to commissioning. As the digital twin of a module, an MTP allows integration engineering into the control system that will be implemented much earlier, without physically having the module on site. In parallel, the module could then be manufactured and delivered as well as physically integrated. Thus, the time required for commissioning can be reduced considerably and the plants can be amortized earlier.

Can you already see parallels? WAGO will help you with the implementation!

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