MHP, KUKA and Munich Re presented SmartFactory as a Service for the first time on 20 June 2018 in Munich – and with it a new business model that has the potential to revolutionise automotive manufacturing processes in the future. The three companies are pooling their core competences: KUKA develops the robot-based automated plant; MHP provides its digitalisation expertise, offering consultancy on the closedloop manufacturing approach throughout the project phase, and delivers systems integration. Munich Re rounds out the business model with integrated risk management and innovative finance models. Industry is currently experiencing a sea change brought about by dynamically morphing client expectations, putting manufacturers under great pressure to innovate.
The business model: SmartFactory as a service
To remain competitive, they are faced with the challenge of adapting their traditional processes. This transformation demands great flexibility and transparency along the entire value chain – and access to critical resources. It is generating high capital costs and harbours substantial uncertainty and risks. SmartFactory as a Service will shorten new products’ time to market by up to 30%, thus significantly improving one of the most decisive competitive factors for manufacturers. Teamwork in the partnership and the combination of complementary expertise is essential in achieving this.
Together, the three partners aim to digitise the whole value chain, realise a high quality end-to-end data flow, and meld areas and systems in the production development process that were previously unconnected. The SmartFactory as a Service will independently and flexibly produce different product types in any quantity and so fulfil clients’ changing demand for customised products.
The scalable integration of development, manufacturing, and embedded risk and financial management enables synergies to be realised along the value chain, and allows manufacturers to benefit from innovative usage models while retaining full cost variabilisation.
Dr. Till Reuter, CEO of KUKA AG: “A plant’s ability to adapt is the key criterion in making manufacturing fit for the future. Our clients face the challenge of responding swiftly and flexibly to market needs. SmartFactory as a Service can achieve this. Our cooperation with Munich Re and MHP brings the business models of the future a great deal closer.”
Dr. Ralf Hofmann, CEO of MHP: “Acceleration can no longer be confined to the shop floor. We need a selfcontained “engineering value chain” – which means consistent data, processes and organisations. This end-to-end workflow facilitates the optimisation of highly individualised manufacturing – mass customisation using series production tools.”
Dr. Torsten Jeworrek, Member of Munich Re’s Board of Management: “The combination of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology with the digitalisation of all processes, and with risk management and financial strength enables a new and innovative form of manufacturing. One that we plan to develop in partnership with our clients, supporting them on their journey into the digital future.”
Experience SmartFactory as a service live today
At the SmartFactory as a Service in Munich’s dynamic factory quarter, tomorrow’s production lines can already be seen in action today, illustrating and facilitating the realisation of innovative business models. In seminars, presentations and workshops, clients and all other players in the emerging ecosystem can discuss the perspectives IoT opens up for industrial companies. The location offers a space to network, share thoughts across industry boundaries and collaborate on concrete use cases for new business ideas.