DRIVE TECHNOLOGY :Signals before machine damage

Sensory data from the drive is intended to provide benefits for users and provide manufacturers with new business models.
I see what you do not see: Networked machines provide additional information. This is to create customer benefits. (Photo: Deutsche Messe AG)

Predictive Maintenance, which is a predictive maintenance based on machine data, is one of the key topics of drive technology manufacturers at the Hannover Messe this year. 
However, if you expect ready solutions, you might be disappointed. "At the moment, the majority of companies are in an exploratory process," Wilhelm Rehm, CEO of ZF Friedrichshafen, summarizes the current situation.

As a matter of fact, manufacturers of drive technology are gaining first-hand experience of what benefit status information from rolling bearings, gearboxes and hydraulic systems can offer them and their customers.Partially, there are projects with partners from user industries, such as a networked machine tool from DMG Mori, which drives drive manufacturers Schaeffler under practical conditions.
ZF's executive board Rehm sees new opportunities as well as many new challenges. "Everyone is looking at how he can protect the value of the data," he says. He says: "It is about keeping data, which I generate as a manufacturer from a system, by myself." The automation technology provider Bosch Rexroth. Managing Director Steffen Haack explains: "Our experience is that if you can eliminate the pain of the customer - the fear of who is doing what in his plant - then much has already been won." This is achieved by building a one-way street , On which only the data would be given to the outside, which he wanted to give."In principle, we do this today with customer-specific contracts - since some things are not yet generally clarified," he clarifies.

At Bosch Rexroth, customer-specific agreements on the use of data are therefore concluded. With success, as Haack reports: "Acceptance increases with the benefit that you provide to the customer. If you saved him two hours of failure, which cost 50,000 €, the customer quickly sees the advantage and less the concerns. "
What large companies can do for themselves through their market position and legal departments is hardly a solution for small businesses. Therefore, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) is pressing for generally binding rules. "As an association, we are engaged in the framework of the Industrie 4.0 platform, also to clarify legal issues concerning data privacy," says Hartmut Rauen, deputy VDMA chief executive.
Customized contracts are an option in the case of wear.With a view to the practical implementation in smaller companies, however, he pleads for the creation of standards as well as for clear regulations in the General Terms and Conditions (GTC). Here the legislator is urgently in need of a reform of the GTC law. "This is a big board and our lawyers are a driver," says Rauen.However, the VDMA is confident that the Ministry of Justice will recognize and react to the importance of reforming the GTC. "This would be an immensely important prerequisite for legally secure contracts and the success of Industry 4.0."
For a long time, international corporations have been entering the market with data-driven business models.Jochen Köckler, who is responsible for the Hanover Fair as a member of Deutsche Messe AG's board of directors, says: "Just three years ago, we discussed that a large US data group might suddenly make half of the VDMA members redundant." A stand of 1000 m² size at the Hanover Fair. For the messenger, this shows how the competition situation changes.
Sebastian Feldmann, Roland Berger's partner, knows why production companies are having a hard time doing this: "The frequent uncertainty about data-based business models that we are experiencing in the industrial sector is strongly influenced by what we know from the private B2C environment." In the consumer environment there were "data giants", who collected personal movement data, purchase profiles and much more and used for themselves. From the lack of transparency about what is being filtered off and how it is used, the following questions are to be answered by the customers in the business environment: What data do I collect exactly?What are they used for, and how are they protected? "This is not yet clearly communicated enough, and thus provides skepticism instead of openness to the new possibilities".
Christian H. Kienzle, Managing Director of Argo-Hytos and CEO of the VDMA-Fachverband Fluidtechnik, is now looking for suitable business models for mechanical engineering: "To sell a product is one thing. But how can a service be sold? "With operating models, his industry has so far had little experience. "We need to use events such as the Hannover Messe to enter into a dialogue with such business models and to identify the benefits for the different customer groups," he says. According to Kienzle, users have nothing at all from a sensor at the rolling bearing, while the data may be of interest to the rolling bearing manufacturer. This applies in particular to the guarantee period.
Kienzle also noticed that software companies such as Microsoft and SAP have played a major role at Hannover Messe for some time. "They want to do business and sell software and services," he says. It would be a problem for mechanical engineering, if the product no longer interested the customer, but only the customer - the service. On the other hand, the industry could help with the products and their applications. That is why he warns against providing software companies free of charge.