Digitalizing Manufacturing

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Digitalization is one of the major topics in advanced manufacturing. But how does this translate into added value for OEMs? How can they easily develop and use virtual solutions to their advantage? And how big is the effort to do it? A showcase, set up by two industry tech companies, visualizes answers to these questions.

Advanced Manufacturing Showcases at German Centre Singapore

The showcase is part of the new Advanced Manufacturing Experience Centre (AMEC). German Centre Singapore has created this showcase and exchange platform for Industry 4.0 to enable manufacturers and service providers to dive deep into the ASEAN markets.

IndustryApps and GraBa Tech GmbH, both technical solution providers, are collaborating on creating a digital showcase for high-end machines, which can soon be experienced in Singapore. We spoke with the founders of IndustryApps, Rolf Knoerzer and Sandeep Sreekumar, and with Thomas Grabe, founder of GraBa Tech GmbH, exclusive ASEAN partner of Swiss machine manufacturer Starrag AG.

Interview

Sandeep, how would you briefly summarize the challenges that advanced manufacturing players are facing when it comes to digitalization?

When you look at sales and go-to-market strategies in industrial equipment, you will observe that they are still driven by paper catalogues and physical exhibitions of heavy and complex equipment. At the same time, new technologies and digitalisation are making devices more and more sophisticated; new features and updates are being added continuously.

Sandeep Sreekumar

The classic go-to-market approach no longer does justice to current developments and the needs of the market.

Sandeep Sreekumar

And the audience is becoming more and more savvy in the digital sphere. Buyers and users are researching online, and virtual experiences on the net are nothing new anymore. Therefore, the classic go-to-market approach no longer does justice to current developments and the needs of the market.

Rolf, how would you describe the solution and the added value of IndustryApps in this context?

IndustryApps has built an app store for the global digitalisation of the factory. The store is part of a platform that combines the simplicity of an app store, the agility of a marketplace like Amazon and search functions of a search engine like Google, all focused on industrial businesses. In short, we help industrial companies to digitise their entire value chain by providing apps for the communication with suppliers and end-customers in a very agile and cost-effective way.

Rolf Knörzer

The Digital Name Plate App gives our clients the opportunity to communicate with their business partners in a very efficient and secure way.

Rolf Knoerzer

The Digital Name Plate App used in this project gives our clients the opportunity to communicate with their business partners in a very efficient and secure way. This applies to all after-sales related information flows, and in this case to sales and marketing, too.

Thomas, why was this so interesting for you as a partner of Starrag in ASEAN?

During my first conversation with IndustryApps during the ITAP Closing Party at German Centre Singapore, I immediately liked that they offer the first open technology platform beyond national borders (except China). For me as a sales representative of Starrag and other reputable machine builders in ASEAN, this approach will allow a complete expansion of our successful market presence.

Thomas Grabe

For the first time, it has now become possible to exchange technologies between partners and customers across countries.

Thomas Grabe

For the first time, it has now become possible to exchange technologies between partners and customers across countries – this saves us an enormous number of resources. As such, Starrag will be one of the first technology companies worldwide that can now feed and market its “own app store” with technology across borders in addition to the classic distribution.

Can you already give us some insights into the project? What can we expect when it is finished?

Thomas: Starrag will be able to manage and control its machines and system solutions with their associated technologies in its own app store. The project can be compared to an integrated smartphone, like the one Apple has: The machine, which is controlled via the factory software, is transferred to the virtual world as a digital twin; updates or new functions will be available quickly and easily in the app store. For maintenance and service, we use a personal assistant – comparable to Siri for the iPhone. This approach literally opens doors for worldwide sales, training and product improvement.

Sandeep: GraBa Tech and Starrag have sophisticated high-precision machinery for demanding audiences like the aerospace industry. We are excited that the two companies are participating in the programme, as it provides real added value for industrial equipment businesses. Starrag’s product range will soon be available virtually to grow its business efficiently – including in Asian markets.

Rolf: We will be showcasing our solutions as part of AMEC. The experience centre is set up with the intention that people can learn and experience innovation and join new product launches of the most modern industrial equipment. They can get detailed information about a machine, experience its operation, understand machine controls and get training on how to operate the device – all virtually. That’s how we want to co-create the future of industrial equipment sales.

Thank you all very much for the interview!

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