Gerhard Schubert GmbH - Get a firm grip on the digitalisation movement

Gerhard Schubert is focusing on furthering digitalisation. How is it responding to the market's demand for this?

Ralf Schubert: GRIPS.world is our answer to the issue of networked production, status monitoring and system availability. This is the name we have given to a web-based platform that our employees use to communicate, which can be accessed by our customers, suppliers and TLM packaging machines. GRIPS. world represents the Schubert's long-term digitalisation strategy.

What is the meaning behind the product name, GRIPS.world?

The acronym GRIPS is taken from a German phrase meaning 'together towards innovation, processes and standards'. We use the term GRIPS to refer to our process management system as a whole. This includes the definition and continuous improvement of our processes. GRIPS.world represents the digitalisation and optimisation of our production processes and is, therefore, the digital side of our management system.

For our customers, optimised processes are reflected in lower costs and better machine throughput times. In addition to smart processes, we are also looking at smart products and services. Our TLM machines have been digitalised for decades now: track and trace, and batch size 1 production, as well as automatic tool changeovers, are already standard for us.

Data security is an important issue in this context. What is Schubert doing to protect its systems from cyberattacks?

This is an important consideration for customers in all industries. The issue of IT security has been a particular concern of mine, when it comes to how we connect our machines to GRIPS.world. We cannot simply rely on the security of our customers' networks. That is why we have developed our own industrial gateway: GS.Gate.

How was this industrial gateway developed and what exactly does it provide?

GS.Gate is a joint product of our subsidiary Schubert System Elektronik and genua, a company that is part of the German Federal Printing Office that deals solely with IT security. GS.Gate is the best product on the market for machine IT security requirements.

With this gateway, we protect the customer network from our machines, while also safeguarding the machines from the customer's network. We use GS.Gate to prevent operating system software upgrades for the IT security in the machines. This is particularly important for pharmaceutical companies, as it would otherwise require time-consuming validation processes.

When will you start deploying the gateway in your machines?

All machines that we supply are equipped with GS.Gate - even for customers who have not allowed a data transfer. Our clients can decide for themselves if they want to allow remote maintenance only or a data transfer as well, and what data is affected. However, we are absolutely convinced that many customers will make use of this service when they see that it paves the way for smarter services.

What does the digital platform mean for the supply of spare parts?

We currently use the GRIPS.world platform to collect data from our machines. The aim is to be able to predict when components will break down. This means that we do not need any additional sensors because we already use high-performance drive systems that can detect wear at an early stage. Once we are sure that our forecasts meet our requirements, we will start supplying this smart service to our customers.

When it comes to spare parts, we are also considering the increasing use of additive processes. One vision of the future is that our customers could not only print spare parts using a 3D printer on-site, but also new size parts.

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Contact Details

Schubert UK Ltd
1740 Solihull Parkway
Birmingham Business Park
Birmingham
B37 7YD
United Kingdom
Email: contact@schubert-uk.co.uk
URL: www.schubert-uk.co.uk

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