For Christiaan van Veen, Manager Asset Management at ERIKS, aside from cybersecurity threats resulting from digital transformation and all the other tech trends, digitalization is a friend to the industrial industry and its customers, not a foe.
“Due developments in digitalization, we are more focused and able to work more efficiently as a technical specialist,” shares Manager Asset Management Christiaan van Veen, “As the leading global supplier of mechanical components, digitalization helps us to provide all product and service related information via our websites, e-shops, and EDI connections with customers. However, our experience is that customers prefer to discuss product selection in relation to their specific application. So, human interaction with our specialists is essential in this.”
The developments in terms of staying connected during the product’s total life cycle are improving fast, “We are able to monitor components in operation with our sensor technology. The data received provides information regarding energy consumption, wear and tear, maintenance cost, calibration/alignment, etc. The combination of sensor data with supply chain solutions are visualized in a customer platform. With help of data analytics we are also able to predict future failure. On top of that, it is possible to provide insight in the result of interacting components. This information is used to optimize asset operations.”
As for their customers, “Digitalization helps customers with ordering and logistic processes, but more importantly, it provides crucial asset information. We see a generation of experienced maintenance engineers retiring. To fill this gap, the acquired information helps customers make the right decisions and fully utilize their asset potential.”
For van Veen, the biggest tech trends are in data analytics combined with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), “ERIKS is always active with new technology like 3D printing, smart manufacturing, IIoT, and clean production.”
In the past, the company’s focus was on components and their use, “With new technologies, we will be able to focus on the impact of our components on the performance of the customer’s installation. With this data from ERIKS, customers gain more insight in their machinery and installation, so they can fully focus on their core business. The acquired information will help customers to create a safe and healthy working environment and upgrade their asset performance. However, we need to be very sure that cybersecurity is arranged in the right way too.”
In terms of talent and competency, digitalization is forcing traditional companies in need of translating data into information to hire a data analyst — a position nonexistent in traditional industrial service providers before digitalization, “One of the biggest challenges for industrial service providers is to acquire the right talents/graduates in order to transform to a more IT/data-driven company. These data scientist for example like to work in start-up environment where decisions are being made quick without bureaucracy. Corporates need to adjust their culture, decision making and flexibility in order to recruit these talents.”
All of these complex exercises are geared towards being able to fully predict future failures and plan turnarounds in the most efficient way, as well to help customers further optimize their process.
Leading the change in digital transformation is both an internal and external job. How to start? ERIKS’ Manager Asset Management shared some ideas:
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