Creating Value in Machine Building Through Robotics: An OEM Perspective


The highly competitive world of machine building requires constant innovation to meet the ever-changing needs of end users.  By Jocelyn Golding, OEM Industrial SI & IAD Channel Manager, Schneider Electric.

The world of machine building is fiercely competitive, demanding perpetual innovation to cater to the ever-evolving requirements of end users. End users are coming from a perspective of cost reduction, effective usage of resources, and energy reduction, and OEMs can take the opportunity to meet those needs with the additional value of creating more sustainable operations through innovative robotic deployment. 

At the design level, with the right partner, OEMs can create an energy-efficient machine that offers cost savings and delivers value throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset. End users are not only able to manufacture at higher volumes with consistent output, they can even address wider industry topics like labour shortages and the growing skills gap through their robotics choice, and that process starts with the OEM. 

Robotic Innovator: Building Flexibility
Selecting the right robotics partner is pivotal for OEMs seeking to foster innovation. An IoT-ready platform encompassing robotics, simulation, automation control, software, and digital services, like the EcoStruxure Platform from Schneider Electric is essential. The reason this is so integral is because it ties directly with the benefit of high payoff at every stage of the lifecycle, providing OEMs with flexibility to keep serving clients long after the product is delivered. OEM partners of Schneider Electric utilising the EcoStruxure Platform can benefit from a level of interoperability, something that can help elevate a business in a crowded marketplace. As is well known in the sector, modern facilities are filled with assets from varying suppliers, often each with its own software platform. This creates a challenge for end users who are looking to innovate as any additional technology they bring to a production line creates another information silo. Choosing a platform built for interoperability future proofs the needs of the customer and positions the OEM as a trusted advisor. Moreover, this means that long after an asset has been deployed, OEMs can offer routes for improvement through robotics in a simulated environment that takes into account all assets of a facility, without any disruption to production, turning an OEM from a supplier into a partner.

Reaching this partnership status with end users requires OEMs to themselves to align with a strong digital transformation and advanced automation partner. With the right robotics and automation partner, OEMs benefit from a portfolio of solutions that can essentially meet any end user need, now and in the future, making them invaluable in future innovation. For example, an end user may be struggling to hire the next generation of operators due to the growing skills gap. As time goes this issue can become critical and with a traditional supplier relationship this issue would be far removed from the realms of an OEM. Now, with a robotics partner, that same OEM can proactively approach the issue, showing how specific robot solutions can close the gap in labour shortages and provide a pathway to upskill existing members of the workforce into supervisory roles. The added benefit of the IoT-ready platform approach means this can be presented with no risk while meeting the specific needs of the end facility which ultimately enhances the OEM’s business value to the end user.

Links in the chain
OEMs can reach this level of future-ready machine building with collaboration. The chosen robotics partner must offer efficiency, streamlining the entire information gathering process in a single portal with curated content specific to the OEMs specialities. The mySchneider Portal is a personalised digital experience that provides a one-stop-shop for all facets of robotics and automation products, offering a simple selector that instantly identifies the right solution with a quick and easy process for managing orders. With personalised support and accessible expertise, OEMs can future-proof their own business in terms of supply chain security. Recent global events have shown how important it is to have a robust supply chain that can be trusted, as without the right robots or cobots, OEMs simply won’t be able to meet the needs of digitally advancing end users.

Collaboration between OEMs and robotics suppliers is a two-way street. Collaborative work enables suppliers to gain invaluable insights into OEM operations, leading to the development of superior products and solutions. This, in turn, results in a more efficient and innovative sector benefiting everyone involved.

OEM partnership with robotics suppliers delivers value throughout the entire lifecycle of an asset, but also across the entire supply chain, leading to a more efficient and innovative sector for everyone within it. 

Schneider Electric is constantly looking beyond the norm to provide innovative solutions like the EcoStruxure™ platform and mySchneider Portal and to OEMs in unlocking the full potential of their business while learning and growing together to reach a more innovative sector. There is no one in the entire supply chain of manufacturing that knows more about meeting the needs of end users than OEMs, and there’s no one that understands the capabilities of assets better than the supplier. Bringing these two distinct expertise together through partnership delivers immense value both in the short and long term.

Integrated robotics solutions can help OEMs stay ahead of the competition with higher productivity, quality, workforce safety, and lower costs. Understand how with this IDC spotlight paper, The Future of Automation: Unleashing the Power of Industrial Robotics.  


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