International Metalworking News for Asia asked Helmut Bode, Schaeffler Asia Pacific President for Industrial about his views and the company's initiatives on Industry 4.0, and the current and future of metalworking industry. The whote article is published in the magazine's December 2017 issue.
Helmut Bode, President Industrial, Schaeffler Asia Pacific said, "The digital revolution has gathered such a pace that solutions of the past won’t be able to meet the needs of the future for much longer. Digitalisation is an issue of great importance for the future, and one that Schaeffler addressed and integrated into its strategy “Mobility for tomorrow” at an early stage. One aspect of Schaeffler’s digital agenda is expanding existing business models while simultaneously developing new ones. The company also goes far beyond the scope of the benchmarking study in actively helping to shape the digital world by working closely with business partners, universities, research institutions, and innovative start-up companies.
The real driving force behind Industry 4.0 lies in data-based, interconnected services – after all, the use of sensors and the interconnection of machines don’t represent added value in and of themselves. Schaeffler develops digital services that increase the availability and productivity of machines and equipment while also allowing processes to be optimised. The customer’s needs are always the starting point and motivation for the development of new products and services.
Schaeffler’s Smart EcoSystem offers a comprehensive, cloud-based hardware and software infrastructure that includes every stage of digital added value – from components equipped with sensors through to digital services. The flexible architecture of the Smart EcoSystem gives manufacturers and operators of machines and equipment a structured, application-oriented, and modularly expandable point of entry into Schaeffler’s range of digital services.
Lastly, the metalworking industry will stay as the mother of industries, also in the future, but will become much more efficient. Business concept will change from selling machines or components towards performance. Transparency through digitalisation gives more chances to optimise towards certain criteria, OEE, productivity, energy saving, and green production. Leads to less stocks on spare parts, production material, reducing overall throughput times."