Innovate and scale new business models
The third and final stage of a digital transformation entails utilizing machine learning and AI innovation to enable value-based service differentiation and pricing.
As one of the leading manufacturers of horizontal machining centers for automotive suppliers, German manufacturing systems supplier Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen GmbH (SW) has a huge responsibility to provide its OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers with products of consistent quality and productivity.
The solution that SW is now deploying is based on GE Digital’s Predix Platform software. It allows users to optimize their maintenance schedules, mainly to anticipate potential downtime before it happens, and to minimize the total cost of ownership. With a footprint of 1,600 machines around the world, SW is deploying the solution at an incredible scale.
But SW is convinced that they can take things further. Most customers they sell to have a production line with many machines – not all manufactured by SW. SW’s head of industrial data services, Jochen Heinz, sees the opportunity for disruption here:
“Customers do not have one SW machine only; they also have lines of our machines integrated into an automation concept. Typically, we provide 60% of the equipment onto a plant, including several machines at the end of the line, like washing machines, pressure testing equipment, etc. We have access to around 70% of the data from these lines,” he said. "Our goal is to hook up not only SW machines, but also to connect the complete line, including the third-party machines. Our target is to provide digital services of the complete line to our customers, as well as valuable insights from the data and we already have started to develop and deploy this continuously. This will be the future.”