Buzzwords and trends, they are of all times. In many cases they are nothing more than old wine in new bottles. “Servitization” is a fine example. Many people consider it a global trend but for Selmers transforming a product-oriented business model into a service-oriented one has been common practice for years. We just keep going progressively further.
Limited know-how and resources
In theory, the unburdening of customers ranges from base services (goods and spare parts) via intermediates services (product repairs, maintenance, overhauls, helpdesks, training and condition monitoring) to advanced services such as customer support agreements. Since Selmers, as a process equipment manufacturer, is already process oriented, we can already tick the first two boxes. In addition to competitive considerations, servitization in our case is increasingly triggered by a structural demand of technical know-how and resources at customers worldwide.
We are noticing that working with PLCs and all kinds of visualization equipment is not an easy task in some countries. The fact that equipment is becoming increasingly complex, and at the same time equipped with ever more features, does not make it any easier for customers. Since mechatronics are increasingly applied in equipment, you even need to have some understanding of electronics and software before you start doing maintenance or fault-finding on specific equipment. All the more reason for us to assist customers and take things off their hands. To make it easier and smarter for ourselves and the customer, we apply our own plant management system, SPMS.
Automated spare parts warehouse
The SPMS software monitors the ‘behavior’ of machines 24/7 and can therefore statistically analyze many data in order to register and predict all kinds of things, for example when maintenance is required. Based on such data we have stocked both critical and periodical parts for various customers, all of which have an RFID tag. As soon as the minimum number of a certain item is almost reached, a push notification is automatically sent to Selmers for replenishment. We keep track of exactly what is leaving the warehouse and when these parts need to be replenished, in consultation with the responsible buyer or plant technician. Also we no longer need to always grab a plane to support the customer’s mechanics with complex replacements or repairs. In the near future, this can be done remotely, for example using a Google Glass.
Candy bulk mixer
In addition to maintenance, we also use our expertise and the data we collect to make improvements to equipment that is often somewhat outdated. For example, we recently adjusted the settings of a customer’s candy bulk mixer, resulting in 50% more output! And that wasn’t even part of the assignment. By unburdening and assisting customers in terms of comprehensive services and in-depth knowledge, they can establish higher growth rates than they can achieve on their own.
For more information on Industry 4.0 and how to get there in partnership, just call your sales contact or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org