The central challenge facing industry lies in finding a way to make growing complexity and the increasing trend towards mass customization manageable. This can only happen within a digitally networked manufacturing environment. The Smart Factory train, therefore, addresses an environment in which production machinery and logistics systems are linked to human beings and have the capability to organize themselves. This human centered digitalization focuses on a shared learning process for all employees as a basis for seizing the opportunities of digitalization wisely.
Support for employees on the line
One current project involves the implementation of a CPS (cyber-physical system) to support employees on the line and achieve higher process reliability. This CPS allows order and process-related data on the workpiece to be made available directly at the workplace. A touch screen provides employees with information on necessary materials, process descriptions and additional visual information to simplify assembly (pick-by-light).
If information flows must be made more efficient, and simulation options created, during a product’s planning and development phase, we can offer totally new services to our customers in the use phase. This is precisely what the Smart Products & Data Driven Services train is all about. Cloud capabilities and the Internet of Things mean products can be enhanced with smart services and made interoperable through Industry 4.0 standards.
Digital services for our customers
WITTENSTEIN is presently working on both product and non-product related services. In connection with condition monitoring or predictive maintenance, for example, these services deliver more value added to customers, not only during the use phase. A hysteresis service, say, enables variations in the Galaxie® Drive System’s precision to be detected throughout its lifetime as part of process quality assurance.
The focus when developing and providing such services is on as broad a range of applications as possible – whether in manufacturer or customer-specific systems or in IIoT ecosystems like Siemens MindSphere or Adamos. Our smart services are designed to be operable in predefined ecosystems with a minimum of modifications. We also develop smart sensor and service solutions which do not cause any interruption contours on existing products and can be integrated seamlessly into present and future machine generations.
In the Smart Customer Journey train we develop software that helps our customers find the right product and provides purchase, startup, operating and replacement support. Our cymex® 5, cymex® select and CAD POINT sizing tools are good examples here, along with our WITTENSTEIN Service Portal.
Customized touchpoints along the customer lifecycle
The overall objective is to strengthen customer loyalty by leveraging the new digital opportunities. In the future, elaborate digital touchpoints will accompany the complete customer lifecycle on what we refer to as the so-called Smart Customer Journey. They will contribute significantly to an optimal customer experience at the individual points of contact and help reinforce existing relationships.
Without the Digital Transformation train, all other activities would be impossible. To enable us to become a digital innovation leader, we endorse an agile corporate culture and seek to acquire sustainable skills. This gives us a valuable head start – for instance, when putting ideas into practice or developing new, digital business models.
Human beings are central to our thinking in everything we do: we demonstrate the opportunities that are created by the digital transformation for each employee, encourage them to gain further professional qualifications and provide guidance for dealing with the changes.
The train also puts the emphasis on the maintenance and expansion of partner networks – for example with research institutes, industry associations and universities. Among other things, we collaborate with the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), the Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), the Industry 4.0 Platform, the Alliance Industry 4.0 Baden-Württemberg and the Fraunhofer Institute. In the same way, we regard development partnerships with our lead customers as essential for our path into a digital future.
Our video series "Digitalization can be so easy. With solutions by WITTENSTEIN" shows what is already possible today how you can expand your lead in the market with the aid of our products and services. Why not check them out now – and learn more about our smart drive technology and digital services?