How IBM assisting Schaeffler for digital transformation

IBM, as an information technology partner, will be assisting the global automotive component giant Schaeffler for its digital transformation.

The size of the digital deal that also includes the preparation of Schaeffler for its journey into Internet of Things (IoT) space was not disclosed.

IBM will act as the technology provider, consultant and development partner for a digital ecosystem to support Schaeffler in the integration of its mechatronic components, systems and machines into IoT.

IBM will develop solutions for Schaeffler’s own transformation and for customers using design thinking and agile development methodologies.

“Our aim is to connect data from across products and processes. Using analytics we turn this primary data into valuable insight which is used to increase the efficiency of our operations and develop innovative services for our customers,” said Peter Gutzmer, deputy CEO and chief technology officer of Schaeffler AG.

Gerhard Baum, chief digital officer of Schaeffler, said all the machines and transport infrastructure within the production environment at Schaeffler will be connected. Schaeffler will also digitally link individual plants to the supply chain.

The digital and IoT platform will be built on a hybrid cloud infrastructure using IBM’s application platform Bluemix with Watson IoT to create differentiating applications and mobile apps for the Internet of Things.

How Schaeffler will transform digitally?

Machine learning can reveal insight about the performance of equipment in different operating conditions. Sensors in the equipment and even in the bearings themselves will report on the actual condition of components in realtime. Wind forecasts from the Weather Company (an IBM company) will be used by turbine operators to replace parts during less windy periods.

Cognitive insights from the cloud will assist Schaeffler to enhance its predictive maintenance systems for railways in order to increase efficiency and safety. Smart bearings will measure vibration, temperature, torque and speed triggering alerts and informing railway operators about possible safety issues.

New technologies will allow Schaeffler to extend the functionality and lifespan of components for the automotive industry. Manufacturers can increase the reliability of cars and offer new value-added services to customers by using insights developed from real time analytics and cognitive systems.

IBM’s cognitive technologies will support Schaeffler’s Industry 4.0 strategy for tooling machines to improve equipment efficiency. Optimization of production processes, real time analysis of data and context-driven maintenance, networking and optimization of multiple machines within a production line are the benefits.

Algorithms and cognitive approaches will analyze data to make predictions about machine performance and create opportunities for optimization. CIOs can identify irregularities and potential faults and initiate corresponding actions.

Baburajan K