Case Study

Breton

Next-Gen Stone Processing Machines Incorporate Stratus ztC™ Edge

How Breton’s Next-Gen Stone Processing Machines Incorporate Stratus ztC™ Edge to Prevent Unplanned Downtime for Customers Edge Computing and Machine Builders

Goal

  • Add a redundancy option for customers that require machines for mission-critical operations
  • Eliminate unplanned downtime for profitability and business continuity
  • Ready machines for Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments with software virtualization and interoperability

Challenges

  • Add redundancy to machines to eliminate downtime and enable business continuity for customers
  • Develop Edge Computing approach that reduces engineering and set-up time
  • Select new industrial edge architecture suitable for OT to be installed directly on the production floor, enabling operations teams to implement and manage Edge Computing solution without reliance on IT

Results

  • Consolidated four AVEVA software applications into a single compute platform through virtualization
  • Reduced installation and preparation times by 8 hours for faster delivery to customers
  • Added virtual machine images and system upgrades in 20 minutes

Located close to the birthplace of the Renaissance, machine builders in northern Italy are harnessing opportunities of the modern-day industrial renaissance to innovate for customers.

Breton – a pioneer for development of advanced technologies and materials – is since 1963 a world’s leading manufacturer of equipment, machines, and plants to produce and process engineered stone, natural stone (marble, granite, ornamental), and metals. Breton’s mission is helping customers by partnering with them to innovate their production processes and enhance their business performance. The company also manufactures and owns Bretonstone®, Bretonterastone®, and Bretonstone Cement® brands.

“By adding the redundancy option, Breton is able to be more innovative and more effective with their customers.”
Michele Vario, OEM and Business, Development Director, Wonderware Italia

Redundancy a Must for Mission-Critical Equipment to Support Business Continuity

Breton wanted to enable business continuity for customers by using rugged on the edge solutions by adding a redundancy option for stone processing machines in mission-critical applications, where unplanned downtime was unacceptable for the business.

For its new machines, Breton wanted to develop a purpose-built industrial solution ready for Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments. Additionally, the team wanted a solution focused on OT useability to enable operations teams to easily deploy and maintain the equipment without reliance on the IT department.

An OT-focused Solution that is Easy to Deploy

Initially, Breton attempted to build their redundancy option internally using an industrial computer-based solution. The team quickly found that the time required to build and prepare machines could be improved.

Breton sought a new platform that would be easy to implement and could integrate existing software removing the challenges experienced with prior solution.The team required a solution that reduced preparation times and offered a compact form factor that could be installed directly in an electrical cabinet.

With end users in mind, Breton also required a solution that was effortless for operations teams to maintain.

For these requirements, the Breton team selected Stratus Edge Computing.

Stratus ztC Edge and AVEVA System Platform a Foundation for Machine Builders

Breton turned to its long-time technology partner, Wonderware Italia, an AVEVA and Stratus distributor, to provide a solution for their new generation machines. The result was an operational technology (OT) oriented solution that combined AVEVA System Platform software with Stratus ztCTM Edge, which provided the development team with a simple, protected, and autonomous Edge Computing solution for easy management and efficiency.

Using the Stratus ztC Edge platform, the team developed a solution that:

  • Reduced installation and preparation times for faster delivery to customers
  • Offered integrated virtualization to run multiple applications on a single computing platform
  • Could be iFstacknstalled in an electrical cabinet that is embedded as part of the machine itself

Wonderware Italia partnered with Breton’s process SCADA/MES unit of Controls Development Department to develop and validate the solution. Although the automation team was familiar with server environments, a key step was to validate the proposed Stratus and AVEVA solution with the IT department. Once the solution was vetted with IT, the automation team was then able to take over subsequent implementation and management of the solution.

Edge Stack

  • RDS Server
  • AOS
  • Intouch for System Platform
  • Historian + GR Node

Faster Design and Deployment with Fewer Resources

Following development, Breton embedded the AVEVA and Stratus solution into their machines at the plant in Italy which were then sold to a customer in India.

When implementing the Stratus solution, Breton found it took eight hours less compared to their previous solution and the Stratus platform delivers many additional benefits.

“Breton recently upgraded a Stratus ztC 110i and informed us that it only took 20 minutes to upgrade their system and it performed perfectly without any kind of failure.”
Michele Vario, OEM and Business, Development Director, Wonderware Italia

Key functional benefits included:

  • Design, build, test, deploy, and commission in 8 hours less time than previous
  • Reduced set-up time required to develop a redundancy option
  • Copy virtual machine images and upgrade systems in 20 minutes

Virtualization Delivers Computing Efficiency and Application Flexibility

The built-in virtualization of the ztC Edge enabled the integration of various applications, which would traditionally be installed on multiple computers, into a single device.

The Wonderware Italia application for Breton included four applications on virtual machines (VMs):

  • VM1: Remote Desktop Server (RDS) to extend data access and visibility
  • VM2: AVEVA Automation Object Server (AOS) to run the AVEVA System Platform engine
  • VM3: AVEVA InTouch HMI for data visualization
  • VM4: AVEVA Historian and Galaxy Repository (GR) for database functionality

This architecture gave Breton new flexibility to modify builds and converge IT and OT. It also simplified wiring and reduced the machine footprint on the manufacturing floor.

“Stratus is a visionary in meeting the needs of machine builders who need to develop new offerings for Industry 4.0 environments and IIoT technology. Combined with AVEVA software, Stratus Edge Computing gives us the ability to bring our customers there. Stratus’ unique box of available technology – virtualization, redundancy, protection, security, customizable availability, and industrial interoperability – is a leap forward over traditional IPCs and server configuration.”
Michele Vario, OEM and Business, Development Director, Wonderware Italia

Conclusion

The Stratus ztC Edge platform gave Breton new flexibility to integrate IIoT applications within their machines. Thanks to the simple usage, Breton can now rapidly transform new capabilities for their flagship stone processing machines with faster time-to-market, offering to their customers an elegant, easy-to-use and reliable solution which is much simpler to maintain. Stratus’ built-in virtualization delivered faster provisioning and more efficient application management.

Breton’s new machine edge architecture permits their end users to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) and to increase their production efficiency by reducing unplanned downtime to a minimum. And at the same time, they are able to protect their data directly on the machine level.

Moving forward, Breton can turn to a single company, Wonderware Italia, for architecture, design, and support of their new machines.

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