Machine builders can now grow competitive advantage by incorporating IIoT and new digital technologies into their machine operational support and maintenance activities. According to IDC, industry verticals like process and discrete manufacturing are spending upwards of $333 billion on digital transformation. OEMs wishing to remain viable in supporting these new environments are finding better ways to connect with these customers.
By embracing approaches that enable the tracking, monitoring, troubleshooting and fixing of machines remotely, the OEM maintenance models are evolving from reactive to predictive. Besides improving maintenance process efficiency, these software-driven capabilities also help OEMs generate new revenue streams through post-sales service offerings.
For OEMs wishing to grow their business, much has changed over the last five years. Connecting machines to IIoT and the cloud is no longer a big, expensive technology challenge. A fast-growing market of solutions with built-in internet connectivity simplifies integration and lowers the cost of post-sales maintenance. For instance, in many cases, high cost experts no longer have to travel on-site to solve technical problems.
Modern solutions incorporate connectivity and ease of use
Schneider Electric supports the OEM community in its digital transformation efforts by having already built an open architecture called EcoStruxure, which connects and integrates maintenance-related intelligent field devices and edge control with apps and analytics within a cybersecure envelope. EcoStruxure integrates end-to-end solutions across the engineering, operations, and maintenance support phases of a machine project lifecycle.
Typical scenarios that illustrate OEM digitization-driven maintenance support
When rolling out digital maintenance services, OEMs can leverage EcoStruxure tools to collect and generate machine level digital data (which is remotely accessible via the Internet), and to monetize this data.
Below are several scenarios that illustrate how this can be done:
Increasing operation efficiency
Products like Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure Machine Advisor, a digital service with fleet management capabilities, now make it possible to track, monitor and fix machines in the field while reducing support costs by 20 to 50 percent. When a new machine is delivered and added to the fleet of the installed base, the EcoStruxure Machine Advisor/Track tool, for example, can be used to populate a comprehensive technical profile which includes automation architecture, firmware / software-releases and updates – and all other relevant service-relevant information.
Developing remote service efficiency
Digital tools can reduce time for corrective actions by up to 50%. Now, service personnel can monitor their installed base of machines from anywhere across the globe and can monitor, in real-time, the condition of each machine. Tools like EcoStruxure Augmented Operator Advisor allow real time access to relevant field information and augmented reality visualization from a simple hand-held tablet.
Unlocking new service model revenue streams
New digital tools allow OEMs to expand beyond only generating revenues from building and delivering machines. Since digitization and cloud computing allow the creation of many new services, diversified sources of revenue are available to drive OEM profitability. This helps to build a predictable annuity stream. A tool like EcoStruxure Secure Connect Advisor provides the ability to remotely access machines to extend OEM services like online trouble shooting, firmware updates, and diagnostics analysis–all of enrich engagement with the end user´s staff.
A newly published Schneider Electric e-guide for machine builders “How digital transformation impacts an OEM´s post-sales business”, takes a closer look at digitized maintenance scenarios for more cost-effective support of end users. The guide illustrates how OEMs can quickly achieve the financial and time benefits of deploying digital maintenance tools. For more information on how to get started on your digital transformation journey, download your free e-guide today.