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The economic success of machine builders is increasingly determined by their ability to differentiate themselves through additional digital offerings. Werner Paulin, Head of New Automation Technology at Lenze, is certain that "those who do not follow suit will hand over growing revenue streams to software companies and gradually be demoted to parts suppliers". The aim of the automation specialist from Lower Saxony is to use NUPANO to open up the possibility for mechanical and plant engineering to take full advantage of the opportunities offered by the convergence of operational technology (OT) at the machine control level with the countless possibilities of modern IT, and to open up new sources of revenue. With NUPANO, Lenze relies on open standards, simple handling and uses the highest security standards to protect industrial know-how.

The will to digitise is there

For some time now, the Lenze experts have been observing that many companies want to bring their machines and systems into the digital age. "This runs through all industries, from intralogistics to line automation," reports Werner Paulin. "The ideas are often already there, but there is a lack of knowledge, a lack of skilled workers and, in some cases, a lack of technological understanding for new business models." With the Open Automation Platform, Lenze now wants to offer a key technology that does not require any IT knowledge on the part of the user to use - which, according to Lenze, sets NUPANO apart from other platforms on the market.

Competitive advantages instead of commodity apps

Machine and app management are home to in-house applications as well as public software modules. But the focus is clear: "Our customers demand a competitive advantage from a platform and do not want to download public commodity apps," explains Paulin. Although these are also available on the platform, they are not the focus of value creation at the machine manufacturer. In many cases, no revenues are generated from digital services that have already been implemented. "A machine is sold and hopefully we will see each other again after fifteen years. The turnover is made once, recurring revenues do not yet exist in many cases," Paulin describes the dilemma. NUPANO aims to change that.

Open standard

Pioneering companies that have already developed their own apps can bring them directly onto the platform. The NUPANO open standard makes this possible. Applications can be tested together on the platform, and a release workflow and a life-cycle strategy for the customer's entire machinery and equipment are created. "We immediately provide life cycle management for all apps and their versions and rely on open IT standards. This is a major advantage of the platform," assures Werner Paulin.

Via the digital twin to the machine

It is crucial for success in machine and plant construction that the Open Automation Platform also allows employees without IT expertise to use the applications and even implement, expand and update them. That is why the developers put a special focus on the user experience of the platform. On NUPANO, the customer now finds both - the applications and the overview of his machines as digital twins. In this way, the user marries the OT with the IT world practically by drag-and-drop. "We have to bring the software modules into more than 1,000 or more machines per year simply and efficiently, otherwise we don't deliver any added value for the customer," Paulin emphasises. Via the digital twin in the system, the applications reach an industrial PC. There, the applications are executed by the NUPANO Runtime. "This is where NUPANO and the PLC Runtime come together."

The first customers are already ready, bringing their applications or having new applications developed. "The feedback from discussions with our customers is very positive. Many have been looking for such a platform," Paulin is proud.