Blog: Integration of legacy systems through digital retrofit


Integration of legacy systems through digital retrofit

To be able to digitize machinery and plant parks without carrying over any burden? Which company does not hope for this? Often it is not a matter of starting from scratch, but a question about the conversion and integration of various legacy systems into digital workflows. In this blog, we show you the positive effects of a digital retrofit using three exemplary application scenarios.


Leidensdruck Retrofit I


Digitalization is in full swing – one of the biggest stumbling blocks in the industrial environment is the integration of legacy systems. Two decisive prerequisites to digital operations are missing, thus hindering optimization of planning and changeover times, increase of performance and availability, improvement of the quality rate and implementation of predictive maintenance: The sensor technology for collecting data as well as an interface for forwarding it is missing. With a digital retrofit, legacy systems can be equipped with the necessary sensor and control technology.


In the first part, we show you three scenarios for practical use and the potential positive effects of a digital retrofit:

  1. Intralogistics: With the booming online trade, the shipping volume has also risen rapidly, accompanied by the high stress on logistics facilities, which cannot keep up with this growth due to their (partially) analog structures. In contrast to a retrofit of existing systems, the construction or acquisition of additional buildings and/or systems cannot be achieved at the same time. This means that a digital retrofit is not only the faster, but often also the more cost-effective and resource-saving option. As an icing on the cake, the service life of the existing systems is also increased.
  2. Assembly lines: Many product suppliers such as automotive suppliers or bicycle manufacturers are faced with major challenges: How can delivery times be met despite high demand and at the same time growing number of product variants? A failure in the production chain leads to complete plants coming to a standstill, delivery dates not being met and thus high penalty payments. Through predictive maintenance, possible failures can be detected at an early stage. Thanks to the retrofit of legacy systems, making this possible in the first place, delivery reliability can be ensured, production output increased, and customer satisfaction enhanced.
  3. Packaging industry: The fact that many machines are connected in series distinguishes the packaging industry, but also carries the risk that a complete line will come to a standstill in the event of a failure. Here, too, unplanned downtime and planned maintenance work can be reduced with the help of retrofitting and predictive maintenance. For example, legacy systems can use sensors to automatically check the packaging quality of different products and thus reduce the reject rate.

With a digital retrofit, not only the important prerequisites for the integration of legacy systems into digital workflows can be fulfilled, but also the way for Industry 4.0 can be prepared We’d be happy to support you.


Would you like to know more about the integration of legacy systems through a digital retrofit? In our second blog post «Digital retrofit for legacy systems – paving the way for Industry 4.0», we outlined further application examples.