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Promoting digitalisation in Malaysia through Schaeffler’s OPTIME machine condition monitoring solutions

The solution allows customers to know in advance when a piece of equipment is about to break down, avoiding costly, unplanned plant downtime.

The past two years of the pandemic have accelerated the digitalisation trend in Malaysia. Manufacturing plants in the country have implemented more digital solutions, which require less manpower. Manufacturers are also now looking more carefully into their maintenance practices to see how they can make their machinery last longer.

They are beginning to shift from a pure breakdown maintenance practice into preventative maintenance and even more developed predictive maintenance strategies. Nowadays, many customers want to know in advance when an equipment or machinery part is about to break down so they can plan their plant maintenance and spare parts sourcing in a way that avoids costly unplanned plant downtime.

This was the birth of the Industry 4.0 movement from Schaeffler’s perspective. This phenomenon led Schaeffler to help businesses and clients on their digitalisation journeys, with OPTIME being rolled out in recent years. Paying close attention to customer needs, Schaeffler started to develop machine condition monitoring solutions.

OPTIME is complementary to its existing product portfolio and can be viewed as an extension of Schaeffler’s aftermarket service offering. After supplying rolling bearings to customers, Schaeffler is now able to advise customers when the bearings, or any mechanical rotating part, are about to fail through the condition monitoring solutions.

At the same time, Schaeffler is also able to tell the customer the root cause of a failure, which is another valuable piece of information that can help a customer undertake targeted corrective actions and improve their maintenance practices to extend the lifespan of their plant machinery.

Schaeffler acknowledges the huge change that these developments bring to its business. Whilst it still maintains its roots in the domain of mechanical engineering, it has embraced the disciplines of electrical, software, automation, and mechatronics engineering in the process.

Schaeffler started to hire more technical experts in these disciplines and also formed partnerships with companies with this domain expertise in a bid to accelerate the shift. This is a transformative journey that will set Schaeffler up strongly for the future.

Its proactive efforts in preparing for the future of the industry have been recognised by the Malaysia Management Excellence Awards, as Schaeffler bags the Innovator of the Year - Manufacturing award.

By rolling out the new innovative OPTIME solutions for machine condition monitoring, it has helped Malaysian manufacturers reduce costly unplanned plant downtime and also enabled the plant engineers to upskill themselves with the aid of digital solutions.

“In this sense, we are helping with the nation’s development in the fields of science and technology, as well as in the field of manpower development,” Schaeffler said.

The prestigious awards programme honours Malaysia's most outstanding leaders, innovators, and teams whose initiatives have brought tangible business results for the success of their respective companies. It also highlights employee engagement and COVID management activities that made beneficial impacts on the workforce or on customers.

The Malaysia Management Excellence Awards is presented by Singapore Business Review Magazine. To view the full list of winners, click here. If you want to join the 2023 awards programme and be acclaimed for your company's employee engagements and management initiatives, please contact Danica Avila at danica@charltonmediamail.com.

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