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Technology Meets Digital: KraussMaffei Group Digitalisation Focus

The KraussMaffei Group is writing another chapter of its 180-year company history.

Its existing claim to build the best machinery for plastics processing is now being supplemented with a wide variety of digital offers in the areas of service, new business models and products. Installing its new “Digital Service Solutions” (DSS) business unit, the KraussMaffei Group is pushing ahead with the digitalisation of the company with great impact.

Three strong pillars

“We firmly believe that the combination of mechanical excellence and service excellence will make the difference in our market in the future. Our worldwide service will be the very reason why customers decide in favour of KraussMaffei. Our goal is to create measurable added value for our customers,” explains Nadine Despineux, who has been heading the new DSS business area since July of this year. “Customer Care”, “Customer Value” and “Digital Solutions” make up the three strong pillars of DSS which will also be on display at Fakuma.

Global customer service – The new e-service platform

Customer Care includes the present conventional service as well as future service, which must be seamless both chronologically and in terms of content: 360°, 365 days a year. The best example is the e-service platform presented in Friedrichshafen, which already offers a wide variety of service functions to our customers today. Among these are access to machine-specific documents, the 3D spare parts finder with direct purchase order trigger or the integrated ticket system. In short, the customer benefits from an additional safeguard of production efficiency. This service can be accessed at any time, from any location.

The new e-service platform was first presented as a test version at the K 2016 trade show. “Since then, we have been specifically gathering customer feedback. We have developed the desired new features quickly and with agility, and then we have implemented them so that already last year we could move on to field testing and win our first customers for the platform,” says Despineux. For fast implementation, the initial focus has been on what is called the “speedboat variant” for the Netstal products. Now, the platform is to be expanded to cover all products of the KraussMaffei Group—following the motto of “Think big—act small & fast.”

New Rent-it and Gindumac business models

Customer Value includes new business models such as “Rent it – don’t buy it,” introduced in 2017, and the Gindumac platform for used machinery, in which KraussMaffei holds a stake. They provide the answer to one of the most pressing challenges of plastic processors. The purchase of a machine is an expensive investment especially for small and mid-size injection moulding companies (and the long service life of the KraussMaffei machine is rather a competitive disadvantage here). On the other hand, companies that rent flexible production capacity tie up only a little capital and always stay at the technological forefront. The first wave of customers has already deliberately decided in favour of this model.

However, presenting such a model in a way as commercially attractive as KraussMaffei does it is possible only if the lessor is capable of taking back a large number of used machines after the lease expires. This is why KraussMaffei decided earlier this year to invest in Gindumac, a start-up company. The start-up operates a globally oriented Internet platform for used machinery. The platform connects all quotations and interested parties with each other globally. The advantages of this business model, in turn, have a positive effect on the calculation of leasing rates.

AnalytiX – The injection moulding machine for your pocket

Under the keyword of Digital Customer Solutions, APC Plus can be viewed at Fakuma as well as the DataXplorer and AnalytiX tools and interfaces. DataXplorer is the name of an analytical tool for recording, storing and evaluating up to 500 signals at a resolution of 5 ms. These can be standard signals of the machine or special signals such as the mould cavity pressure. This provides a fascinating view, rich in detail, of systems and processes that can be used for improving production efficiency or for Condition Monitoring.

AnalytiX is an evaluation tool for the customer to keep its machines in view, anytime and anywhere, and benefit from automated evaluations of processes and machine statuses. Using intelligent key figures for stability and productivity, the user can identify negative trends or performance deviations of individual machines at one glance. “Our customers often do not wish for ‘Big Data’ but rather for a solution allowing them to monitor their injection moulding machine in production using simple key figures while having breakfast—an injection moulding machine for their pocket, so to speak. And we are offering this in the form of AnalytiX,” explains Despineux. Like the e-service platform, AnalytiX was developed as a “speedboat” for the Netstal products and it is now being consistently and comprehensively extended to cover all KraussMaffei products.

New location for DSS in Munich’s Neuaubing district

The new Digital Service Solutions business unit will move to a new location in Munich’s Neuaubing district in February 2019. There, currently space is being created for up to 50 employees in a creative environment in which agile working methods will be the order of the day. “Not only is this highly attractive for recruiting new talent in the areas of business architects, product owners or data analysts, but it also provides the new business unit with a high impact capability in the market,” says Despineux.

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KraussMaffei Group
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