Machinery suppliers grow in the digital world

23.05.2022 Margins in mechanical engineering are under massive pressure. Digital services help machinery suppliers to improve their total cost of ownership and to implement new business models.

Lenze promises new impetus for automation at the Hannover Messe.
© Photo: Lenze
Lenze promises new impetus for automation at the Hannover Messe.

At the Hannover Messe (30 May to 2 June), the automation company Lenze SE (Hamelin, Germany) will therefore be presenting not only hardware and software, but above all its digital services and platform offerings for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers/machinery suppliers). In the 75th anniversary year, visitors can also expect a premiere in the field of decentralised drive technology in Hall 6 on Stand F21.

Digital business models and services

The initial situation is clear for most OEMs: the machine is at the centre of the business model. That is why Lenze wants to support the core business processes around the machine with digital business models and services, thereby increasing the sales potential for the OEM. To this end, the automation specialist offers an Asset Platform as a Service – a white-label solution for the OEM, with which he can offer his customers new applications himself and thus gain a competitive advantage.

"Thanks to our asset management, we know which offers can make sense for the OEM and its customers. We sit directly in the machine with our components and know the applications very well," explains Klaas Nebuhr, head of digital portfolio at Lenze. For Nebuhr, it's all about the total package - analogous to Formula 1: "The best driver is not enough if the car and the pit crew don't fit together. The OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness), for example, can also be calculated by competitors. It's about developing digital products for small and medium-sized machine builders and paving the way for them as partners in the digital transformation." In this way, we help SMEs – without any experts, processes or solutions of their own – to offer profitable and easily adaptable digital services.

OEE as a problem child

The starting point is the OEE & Downtime Tracking application. Because OEE is still the problem child in many companies: there is a lack of data, and transparency is also lacking. Lenze provides a remedy here with OEE & Downtime Tracking and ensures greater transparency in the production process - and without additional hardware or sensors, because the Lenze PLC calculates the OEE. The results are visualised for the customer on preconfigured dashboards. Downtime tracking is a supplement. The OEE factors "availability" and "performance" are considered in detail, with machine downtimes evaluated and organisational downtimes, such as when the machine is stopped manually. And the OEM can resell these and other applications to his customers as a white-label solution and generate sales with digital applications.

Premiere at the fair

In addition to digital automation business models, Lenze is presenting a new decentralised inverter. The topics of decentralised drives (without large control cabinets) and the trend towards modularisation of systems are already playing a special role among those responsible in factories or warehouses. Lenze's developers have developed the i-series motec decentralised inverter for this purpose, which can be used anywhere in the world. It can be mounted on the motor or on the wall. The engineers are certain that the new development, together with Lenze motors, forms the basis for one of the most energy-efficient drive packages on the market. Customers from intralogistics, the automotive industry and consumer goods production in particular will benefit from this.