Schaeffler and Watson: Proving the Value of Industrial IoT

Schaeffler, a Germany based industrial titan, partnered with IBM to form a completely connected business model.  Every aspect of Schaeffler, from the supply chain to after sales service, is connected and informed through IoT.

Schaeffler produces bearings, devices used to enable rotational or linear movement.  Bearings alleviate the stress and friction caused by motion, allowing things such as trains and cars to move smoothly and efficiently across various terrains.  Essentially, bearings are what move us through our day to day lives.  They are a crucial element of transportation and when they fail, it is often with great consequence.

Understanding the importance of their product, Schaeffler developed a data driven production and delivery process to ensure a highly effective and reliable product.

Before production even begins, it is being influenced by data.  Schaeffler built digital modeling tools that track torque, temperature and velocity data from tester bearings that are run through simulations.  This data illustrates critical points, areas of potential improvement and overall performance metrics.

Active bearings themselves are equipped with sensors, providing real time performance data back to Schaeffler.  This allows the company to address issues proactively and diagnosis any failures accurately and efficiently.

Comparing their live data to their modeling metrics, Schaeffler engineers can detect issues and trigger alerts for relevant parties to avoid potential disaster.  This includes identifying increased friction on a high-speed train’s track, warning the conductor to decrease speed. This live data informs real time adjustments that can be made, increasing the efficiency and lifetime of their product.

Schaeffler also utilizes cognitive technologies, allowing them to fully leverage their worldwide network by combining the collective data from over 170 locations into a secure cloud based “operations center”.  This allows their staff to access critical information both on and off site, as well as analyze overall production, thus leading to improvements in efficiency and resource allocation.

The ability to make data driven decisions makes Schaeffler’s operation more efficient through the entire production process, and allows them to deliver quality customer experience.  Their products are thoroughly tested and monitored, providing ROI not only to Schaeffler, but those who use their product.

Connecting your business to the power of IoT can transform the way you do business.  Contact ClearObject today to learn how our Connected Solutions can start putting your data to work for you and your customer!


Clare Maher

Clare Maher is the Product Marketing Manager at ClearObject. A graduate of Saint Mary’s College (#gobelles), Clare can usually be found yelling at the screen during a Notre Dame game, quoting any film ever made or touring the Indy restaurant scene.

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