Mayer & Cie, the circular knitting machine manufacturer, is working on collecting and bundling machine and quality-relevant process data through digitization. The company already in its initial implementation phase is aiming to establish a continuous data flow across all its interfaces therefore helping them beat the competition.
“There are different areas in which digitization can be of relevance for us as an engineering company. They include, digitization of production and the value chain, better known as Industry 4.0, digitization of the organization and of collaboration, and digitization of the product itself. Each angle has different challenges and benefits. Within this framework every company must decide for itself what makes sense and when.” – Sebastian Mayer, Member of the Mayer & Cie Management and In– Charge of Corporate Development
The first step for this establishment includes, identifying approaches that are meaningful and relevant for the company which includes ensuring data quality and continuity on the basis of sustainable future-oriented technologies. This basically means systematically collecting circular knitting machine data. Data continuity and the seamless automated flow of collected data to its destination without perceptible interruptions play a special role.
“The classic example of discontinuity is the excel spreadsheet that one employee feeds with data he has collected from an existing database in order to send it to a colleague who then inputs it by hand into another system,” said Mayer.
Another component where data continuity is required is the head knowledge within the company, as it has employees working for more than 40 years.
“Think of employees who started at the firm as fitters over 30 years ago and are now performing management tasks. They are walking encyclopaedias of machine and customer knowledge. This valuable knowledge ought to be readily accessible for all employees.”- Sebastian Mayer, Member of the Mayer & Cie Management and In– Charge of Corporate Development
The digitisation endeavours at Mayer & Cie is set to benefit the company from a better overall customer experience and from even more specific advice.
The company has established a technical groundwork for the change by introducing a new ERP system.
Moreover, it has set its next target as measures to improve customer satisfaction through providing remote technical support, better known as remote services. Even though the circular knitting machine manufacturer has about 80 agencies around the world it can take days for the nearest service engineer to call on the customer. That is too long and is often not necessary.
The use of mixed-reality glasses will enable them to remotely show the customers how to carry regular maintenance work and even simple repairs. Moreover, the company is planning to soon launch a web shop from which customers can order consumables and spare parts. All these additional measures will lead to a comprehensive customer portal where customers can access centrally anything they need to know about their machines and communicate with Mayer & Cie or its representatives. Maintenance might also be managed via this portal, with predictive maintenance as the keyword.