RUD Chains Link Conveyor Systems in the IoT Cloud

31.10.2023 by Annalena Rauen

Woman in a digitized power plant


Without RUD conveyor chains nothing works in many power stations, industrial plants and coal mines. To prevent outages chains can now be monitored via Telekom’s IoT Cloud.

Thr last coal-fired power station in Germany is scheduled to be shut down in 2038 at the latest. The current federal government even proposed in the coalition agreement to bring the fossil-fuel phase-out forward ideally to 2030. In 2023, however, around 130 coal-fired power stations are still in operation—partly to meet growing industrial demand for electricity. That is why industry continues to invest in innovative solutions such as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Extreme Strains on the Material

Enterprises such as RUD, the market leader in high-performance chains and industrial conveyor technology based in Aalen, Baden-Württemberg. The hidden champion’s special products are subjected to extraordinary strains in, say, coal-fired power stations where powerful forces are at work when coal is converted into energy. Tons of sedimentary rock flow along conveyor belts from stockpiles into coal storage to be burnt at temperatures of around 1,300° Celsius after heavy machinery has ground them into dust. Steam is generated that powers turbines and generators. The power generated is fed into the grid and the hot coal ash is disposed of beneath the boiler.

Non-stop operation in these hostile environments imposes a serious burden on the material that is used. If conveyor belts are defective and no longer transport the combustion waste, work in the entire power station can in the worst case grind to a halt. That is why well-functioning conveyor systems are essential to ensure a smooth flow of material, especially the removal of coal ash.

Expensive On-site Material Testing

Founded in 1875, RUD Ketten Rieger & Dietz GmbH & Co. KG is specialized in industrial conveyor systems of this kind and manufactures robust system components like high-performance chains, rollers or wheels. Usuall operating in extreme conditions, these components require regular status checks and maintenance.

Potential Reasons for Outages:

  • Impermissible heat
  • Overfilled outlet hoppers
  • Unusual speeds
  • Blocked rollers
  • Exhausted span width


These checks used to be based on sensors and an on-site traffic light system. RUD customers could only check the chains of their conveyor systems when a regular on-site inspection was due. Remote maintenance or continuous status analysis of the chains was not possible.

How Does the Cloud Help with Remote Analysis?

That is why RUD, a midrange enterprise, was on the lookout for a digital solution in order to constantly check its customers conveyor chains remotely and always have access to the latest data. RUD opted for an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution based on Telekom’s IoT Cloud. Within three months Telekom succeeded in connecting to the Cloud the sensors already fitted to the  conveyor systems. It was an instance of fast-track Industry 4.0.


“With the Telekom IoT solution we are positioning ourselves as an innovator and creating tangible added value for our customers.”

– Klaus Pfaffeneder, General Manager Conveyors and Drives, at RUD Ketten


Dozens of RUD conveyor systems are now connected on the IoT. Sensors transmit data on total operating time, average and current strain and wear and tear of the chains as well as heat development or blocked rollers. This data is sent encrypted via a smart box with a robust industry-grade SIM card by 2G to the Telekom Cloud, where it is evaluated and visualized. This technology enables RUD customers to access the processed data via a secure online cockpit. Without needing to be on-site, digital data enables the company and users to check the latest status reports or follow the strain on or wear and tear of chains live on the cloud-based system.

Maintenance Planned Better with the Internet of Things

A further function based on indidual alarm settings is that customers are notified immediately by text or e-mail if a value no longer complies with the standard. IIoT application. revent outages. Possible outages are identified in advance by the IIoT application. Predictive maintenance also enables RUD and its customers to plan on-site inspections better, including maintenance personnel and replacement material. Unnecessary routine maintenance is eliminated. Predictive maintenance enables RUD to offer its customers a new service and thereby expand its business model.

Telekom’s IoT Cloud can also be scaled flexibly so that users are able to add and connect new facilities fast. RUD has already connected several systems in Europe and overseas. Further conveyor systems in other countries are urrently at the planning stage.


IoT in Manufacturing

IoT in Manufacturing

The IoT is the key technology for accomplishing digital change in industry. With our IoT solutions your transformation from a pure manufacturer to manufacturing service provider will be a success.

More about IoT in Production

The IoT is the key technology for accomplishing digital change in industry. With our IoT solutions your transformation from a pure manufacturer to manufacturing service provider will be a success.

More about IoT in Production

Person with tablet in front of a production line
Annalena Rauen
Annalena Rauen

Marketing Manager IoT

Back in 2016, Anna worked on IoT topics at Deutsche Telekom for the first time. Since then, she has been supporting customer best practices in a wide range of industries – always focusing on the benefits that the Internet of Things can provide. Her IoT blogposts describe real use cases and the value these innovations add to market players, their business models, and even entire industries.