Countering global threats with domestic industrial robots

The level of automation in the German industry is steadily increasing. Globally, Germany ranks just behind Japan in fourth place. Companies that implement industrial robots in a timely manner can gain a significant advantage over their competition.

The level of automation in the German industry is steadily increasing. Globally, Germany ranks just behind Japan in fourth place. Companies that implement industrial robots in a timely manner can gain a significant advantage over their competition.


However, like almost all industries, many robot manufacturers are currently facing delivery difficulties. This is just one reason why "Made in Germany" has become even more important.


Can robots be delivered quickly despite international crises?


The industry, especially manufacturing, is currently facing significant challenges in light of global crises. Following the crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been global disruptions, including conflicts within Europe. Companies feel the economic consequences on a daily basis: raw material prices are soaring, resources are scarce, and worldwide logistics and freight problems are leading to supply shortages.


The robotics industry is not immune to this. Depending on the manufacturer, potential customers may have to wait six months or even longer for an industrial robot. This, in turn, leads to further wrinkles of concern in their own production. Companies cannot respond to the no less significant challenge of acute or even permanent labor shortages with automation as hoped.


HORST Robots lined up in a warehouse

That it can be different is owed to robot manufacturers like fruitcore robotics and their decades-old strategy: Made in Germany! Now, the emphasis lies on sourcing components and raw materials mainly from Germany, and otherwise opting for short distances within Europe. The same applies to the decision to design the Digital Robot HORST in a modular way without (injection) molded parts.


The robot system as well as the complete standard peripherals are therefore immediately available, the fruitcore warehouse is stocked.

Two more reasons for the quick delivery capability: The value-added process takes place to a very high extent internally, HORST robots are manufactured in Villingen-Schwenningen. Second, as a Digital Robot, they can take on many tasks of a conventional Programmable Logic Controller (PLC). This allows fruitcore customers to bypass current delivery times of up to twelve months for PLCs.


Why should companies pay attention to a reliable handling of digital data? 


HORST is not just any industrial robot. As a Digital Robot, it includes not only the hardware and control software horstFX, but also the Industrial Internet of Things platform (IIoT) horstCOSMOS. Through connected work, automation becomes even more efficient, simpler, and more manageable. In addition, additional features are available (such as accessing video tutorials or receiving regular software updates). To prevent these advantages from becoming a potential data risk for companies, connectivity must be handled with particular care.


Furthermore, cyberattacks have become commonplace. Most recently, several major corporations were affected, as they had to admit. In early August 2022, an attack on the central computer network of all German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (IHK) made headlines. This led to weeks of problems: Websites had to be taken offline as a precaution, IHK employees were unable to access the internet, and could not send emails.


As the Germany Safe on the Net association (DsiN) determined in its practical report for 2021/22, even medium-sized companies have already been subjected to IT attacks, with 42 percent of them affected. According to the report, these attacks had a "noticeable" impact on three out of four companies. The motives of the attackers vary and can be criminal, political, or even personal in nature. For companies, regardless of the motivation behind the attack, they are disruptive, annoying, or damaging to their reputation. In the worst case, they can lead to significant economic damage, even to the point of existential threat.  


What happens with the data surrounding a Digital Robot?

Given such news, it is understandable that prospective users of connected Digital Robots want to know...


...what data a robot manufacturer collects and for what reasons.

As a manufacturer of a networked robot, fruitcore robotics prioritizes transparency in data handling. By default, only telemetry data from HORST (such as axis movements and operational temperature) and error messages in case of malfunctions are recorded. These are stored on the internal control system, horstCONTROL. The same applies to backups of program data and settings.


Optionally, process data related to the robot's application can be collected and analyzed via the IIoT platform. The customer's name and address are only collected to correctly assign the data to a robot system.


...what happens with this data and how the connection with the IIoT occurs.


Depending on the possibility and preference, HORST robot systems are either connected to the company network and thus to the internet via LAN cable, or via a surf stick and SIM card as a mobile connection if internal company networking is not possible or desired. In this case, fruitcore robotics covers all costs as a service!


In general, it is up to the users to decide if and how often they want to upload their data to horstCOSMOS. If they choose to do so, HORST robots can be maintained through Predictive Maintenance. This typical Internet-of-Things application allows predicting when maintenance should be performed under the given operation. This can save costs and avoid unexpected downtimes.


...whether the internet connection is secure and where the data is stored.


HORST's communication is shielded by https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure), which is also known from online banking. Authentication is done through a username and password. Depending on the type of connection, either the company's firewall (LAN connection) or the specially configured firewall of the control system (Surf stick connection) protects against harmful influences.


fruitcore robotics exclusively stores data in Frankfurt am Main. The data never leaves Germany at any point.



Feel free to contact us!

The Digital Robot HORST enables you to quickly and easily dive into automation. You can progress through your first project in just a few steps: from the complimentary consultation including live testing, to ordering, assembly, and installation, to getting your operations up and running, all the way to ongoing support. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have!

Contact us