Schaeffler has entered into a strategic partnership with leading IT company, IBM as part of its “Mobility for tomorrow” strategy, In its role as technology provider, development partner and consultant, Schaeffler will use IBM’s expertise to digitize its entire organization and thus create a digital platform that can process large amounts of data. This will generate insights that can help to increase operational efficiency. The first project of the partnership is a Schaeffler Cloud that will be available from this month onwards for the first user cases and applications.
IBM will come up with a digital ecosystem that will help Schaeffler to integrate its mechatronic components, systems and machines into the rapidly expanding world of the “Internet of Things” (IoT), and create as well as implement new market ready business models based on digital services.
Schaeffler is also working closely with IBM to develop innovative solutions that can transform the working style at Scaeffler and create an environment in twhich the company works closely with its customers and partners with the help of an open, digital ecosystem.
Commenting on the partnership, Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer of Schaeffler AG said that the company is constantly striving to offer added value for its customers and the aim of the partnership is to connect data from across products and processes. Analytics can be used to convert data into valuable insights which can be used to increase the efficiency of Schaeffler’s operations and help develop innovative services for Scaeffler customers.
Schaeffler’s digital agenda
Gerhard Baum, Chief Digital Officer of Schaeffler, speaking about the company’s approach for digital transformation said that the focus is on expanding the integration of sensors into the existing products as well as developing new products with integrated cognitive software. Thus the machines and transport infrastructure within the production environment at Schaeffler will be connected, and individual plants will also be digitally linked to the whole supply chain. The aim is to digitally optimize processes and procedures as well as create new service-oriented processes, and thus optimizing the digital interaction between people and IT systems.
Ivo Koerner, Board Member Sales, IBM Germany said that the joint implementation of Schaeffler’s digital agenda will serve as the perfect vehicle to leverage and promote IBM’s new cognitive IoT capabilities for the manufacturing sector. He said the base will be a global, hybrid cloud infrastructure that uses IBM’s application platform “Bluemix” with Watson IoT to create differentiating applications and mobile apps for the Internet of Things.
Consistently connecting and integrating big data
Schaeffler’s components like bearings or clutch release systems play a crucial role in important parts of machines and vehicles and produce critical information about condition and movement. Schaeffler has invested heavily in research and development in recent years and has incorporated sensors, actuators and control units with embedded software into these products. Now the company can use IBM’s IT expertise to collect and process valuable data on the condition of a machine and then convert this data into added-value services.
With regard to components for the automotive sector, Scaeffler’s partnership with IBM will focus on using IT technologies in order to extend the lifespan and functionality of the automotive components that it makes including products for engine, transmission and chassis applications. Real time analytics and cognitive systems will turn data from components and systems into valuable insight which can be used by manufacturers to increase the reliability of cars and offer new value-added services to customers.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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