digital. integrated. networked.

Industry 4.0 for existing installations


In many manufacturing companies, heterogeneous production environments have evolved over time and many production lines still operate with a low degree of automation. These can – and should – now be integrated into today’s digital world with the aim of a connected machine park so that the harmonization and communication of machines is possible. By retrofitting existing plants and machines with modern components, they can be integrated into your digital production. This can be achieved, for example, by installing new sensors in combination with a Fraunhofer vBox. The vBox can pre-process arbitrary digital and analogue signals and put them at your disposal. It is a low-cost solution to extend your equipment’s lifetime and integrate it with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and smart manufacturing approaches of Industry 4.0.


After a retrofit, you can start collecting and saving production data and metrics and make them available throughout the network environment in real time. Benefit from condition monitoring and controlling abilities across your entire production environment and across all plants; keep tabs on the effectiveness and capacity utilisation of retrofitted legacy machinery; and make errors traceable.

The advantage: Due to the relatively cost-effective retrofitting of the machines, new added value is generated. This includes, e.g., real-time monitoring, which also allows a precise error analysis and thus greatly reduces the downtime of a machine. The permanent recording of the performance data of a machine also has the advantage that individual KPIs can be defined, which in the long term is a helpful starting point for an increase in production.

Smart factory.
Fit for the future.


There are reasons why you should implement your digital retrofit with us. The main difference in our approach is our stable complexity because it does not increase with the number of machines! This not only makes us so special, but also your digital project much easier and more agile. We proceed as follows:

  • Smart efficiency: We do not modify every single machine in the production environment
  • Intelligent communication: We let the machine speak their “language” or we enable it to communicate
  • Smart platform: The harmonization and connectivity of the machine happens in our business integration cluster edbic
Download our flyer "Digital Retrofit - Why to go with us?" and see how easy complex projects are with compacer.


  • nsure a timely supply of spare parts
  • Extend machine lifetimes through permanent monitoring and an extended spare parts supply
  • Boost production volumes
  • Increase plant availability in a targeted way, by reducing downtimes


  • Improve product quality
  • Comply with regulations (e.g., emissions reduction, occupational safety)
  • Integrate legacy machines into modern IT environments (Industry 4.0)


  • Lower investment costs than having to replace machines or entire plants
  • No costly investments for new foundations because old but stable machine beds can be reused
  • Higher system efficiency, e.g. through energy savings
  • Reduced staff training costs as existing machines are already known
  • No time-consuming approval procedures as with new equipment
  • Further time savings by partial renewal instead of full replacement

Condition Monitoring at BURKHARDT+WEBER.

BURKHARDT+WEBER is well established in the world of large machining centres. Being global orientated, they deliver world-wide, wherever top quality is demanded. For 130 years, everything revolves around the development of efficient and innovative product solutions for challenging machining of steel, cast and titanium parts. Their machining centres are further developed within interdisciplinary teams and all core-components and in-house developments are made by BURKHARDT+WEBER. Continuing training and the use of state-of-the-art CAD/CAM- and ERP-systems ensure their technical advantage.

Since 2012 BURKHARDT+WEBER belongs to Indústrias Romi S.A, the largest Brazilian machine tools manufacturer.

Through our joint project, BURKHARDT+WEBER condition monitoring has been made possible and added values have been created.


  • Improve predictability by evaluating machine state in real-time to reduce or even avoid unplanned downtime
  • Overview and analysis of actual consumption of equipment
  • Cost reduction due to:
    • better predictability of maintenance operations
    • optimized and predictable operating times by reason of current measurements
  • Transparency through mobile remote controlling (via app)
  • Simplification of processes within the supply chain, through an automated order proposal, e.g. for defective components. Thus also reduction of errors with the re-order of resources


In the long term, the compacer IIoT solution will be integrated in all BURKHARDT+WEBER machining centers. By installing the compacer IIoT Gateway, based on the edbic platform, data from the machine control is collected. In the future, BURKHARD+WEBER machines will be able to provide a multitude of data that shows the condition of the machine and its performance on a dashboard through analyzes in real-time. The IIoT Hub prepares this data so that different evaluations are possible and the operator has an overview at all times. By connecting the machines via the compacer IIoT Solution condition monitoring is possible, but also the first milestone for predictive maintenance.

BURKHARDT+WEBER thus creates the best possible conditions for its customers to implement upcoming digitization projects in production processes.
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Our experience. Use Case Digitalisation of an analogue machine.

Our partner is a market leader in electrical installation technology with two production sites in Germany who is exporting to more than 60 countries.


Our client owns a custom-built punching machine that is part of their production line. A custom gear wheel is, at the same time, essential to the proper functioning of this machine, only available from specialised manufacturers in Italy, and too expensive to put a spare in stock. Since long order and delivery times are shutting down production for at least two weeks in case of failure, the optimal replacement time of this gear must be analysed. In order to correctly predict the end of service life, a retrofit is necessary because no digital interfaces are currently available.


Several sensors were installed for measuring, among other things, structure-borne sound, temperature and electrical current. This allows our client to recognise, for instance, cracks in the gear or an increased power consumption that indicates an increased load due to friction, that is, a lack of lubricant. The vBox processes the sensor signals and sends the data to edbic. The frequency spectrum and other values are recorded and analysed for outliers in real-time. If an outlier is detected (e.g. crack detection by frequency analysis), an alarm is logged and an operator will be alerted. The staff then can take a closer look at the recorded values and decide on any necessary action, thus avoiding production standstills.

A few easy steps to smart manufacturing

The reliable way of modernisation: a secure implementation process that is perfectly matched to your requirements, your schedule and your budget!


What capabilities does the machine already have? Does it generate no signals at all? Can we gain insights from existing signals or do we need to install new sensors? Is there already an integrated (modern) bus system that could make a retrofit redundant?


Before installing them, all sensors must first be carefully selected to match a client’s needs and aims. We will jointly decide this based on your individual requirements on the solution.


What kind of hardware and software must be installed to make the sensor data available in a meaningful way?

We recommend using a vBox if a machine does not have any digital or analogue capabilities, if the monitoring has to be passive, if we can expect a high data load or if you need a frequency analysis of an analogue input signal using Fourier transformations. The digitalisation of analogue sensor data can also be achieved using third-party hardware and/or microcontrollers


The sensors and – if needed – a preprocessor agent will be installed and connected to our edbic solution and to the event engine. The retrofit is then complete and your machine will be ready for data analysis. For how it works, see Predictive Maintenance.

Implementation with the Fraunhofer IPT vBox

In order to prevent the unnecessary replacement of machines and systems in perfect working condition and long before their end of life, Fraunhofer IPT has developed the vBox: it equips production systems with networking capabilities as envisaged by the Industry 4.0 paradigm, thus helping machine operators prevent the extraordinary costs caused by unplanned downtimes – both in mass and single piece production settings.


Fraunhofer IPT’s vBox works in compliance with the latest industry standards: the compact system synchronise position data as well as digital inputs and outputs with sensor data and display the information to operators as needed – independently of the control technology used.

Machine data and information on power, structure-borne sound or acceleration will be flawlessly transmitted in real time to edbic, to detect malfunctions in critical process steps and to instantly optimize processes. On this basis, companies can even revise and optimise the shift plans of individual operators and service technicians.
Among the vBox’s immediately visible benefits are: an accelerated ramp-up of new serial productions; quality improvements in manufactured items through the constant monitoring of processes; or predictive maintenance capabilities for production machine assemblies.

VBox – adaptive production made easy

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