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Schaeffler Is Working On Digital Solutions For The Mobility Of The Future

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Schaeffler Is Working On Digital Solutions For The Mobility Of The Future
Schaeffler Is Working On Digital Solutions For The Mobility Of The Future

Video: Schaeffler Is Working On Digital Solutions For The Mobility Of The Future

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Video: Ready for the future [Schaeffler] 2023, February
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According to Schaeffler, the car is part of the Internet of Things, in which machines exchange data with each other, creating better solutions for people. "This development is a great opportunity for Schaeffler," explains Gerhard Baum, Chief Digital Officer of the company, "because our components and systems are installed exactly where tension, forces and moments arise: in the drive and in the chassis." Supplying components - such as the bearings used in a chassis - with sensors that measure torques, forces, vibrations and temperatures are intended to provide crucial information about the condition and use of the module and the overall system.

Schaeffler has already laid the technical foundations for such component-integrated sensors and actuators, for example with the development of the Sensotect bearings, which record measured values ​​via nanotechnical coatings. "It is not only important that we gain data, but that we can also interpret it correctly and implement it in action," emphasizes Baum. "Schaeffler has the domain know-how necessary for this - not only in the automobile, but also in other industries, such as the wind industry."

Strategic partnership with IBM

When using sensors in complex machines and in the car, large amounts of data are generated, which have to be interpreted and converted into added value. “We are currently creating the conditions for this,” says Baum. An important milestone was reached with the strategic partnership with IBM concluded in October 2016. This means that Schaeffler not only has access to the cloud or “Watson” technology, but also a partner from the IT industry with whom new and proven methods can be implemented. "Great advances are currently being made in the further development of 'machine learning' and 'artificial intelligence'," explains Baum. "We will make these technologies available to our engineers and, as a result, learn faster." Schaeffler plans to have a large number of experts in the coming years,for example in the fields of data architecture, data analysis, design thinking, app development or business models to develop new applications for the automotive industry and other industries.

Digital ecosystem

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Drive technology

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Make smart products even smarter

Due to new technologies, Schaeffler wants to expand the functionality of components and systems through data generation and processing. Real-time analyzes and cognitive systems should convert the generated data into information and recommendations for action.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Schaeffler is showing a mechatronic roll stabilizer that is used to keep the vehicle's body level when cornering and regardless of the condition of the road. In the mechatronic system mass-produced by Schaeffler, a particularly efficient electrical actuator is used for the first time to compensate for the rolling movements of the vehicle. In a coming generation, this actuator has the potential to become a sensor that records 3D data about the road conditions. Combined with precise GPS localization and intelligent evaluation, information would be generated in real time for subsequent traffic or for the responsible infrastructure manager.

Efficiency measure

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roller bearing

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Renewable energy for electrified road traffic

The provision of energy is of crucial importance for an increasingly electrified road traffic. Another pilot project is to ensure that wind turbines can be operated even more efficiently. Schaeffler already offers solutions with which, for example, the perfect functioning of the components in a wind turbine can be monitored. In the future, learning algorithms should be able to calculate the remaining service life of each individual component so that an individual and optimized operating strategy can be implemented for each turbine. This is to minimize unplanned downtimes.

The new digital infrastructure and first applications are only part of Schaeffler's digitization offensive. "We are digitizing our processes in our own production as well as in many other areas of the company," says Gerhard Baum. "Since we combine our understanding of systems from automotive and mechanical engineering with digitalization, we are an extremely interesting employer for data analysts, data architects, design thinking experts and app developers." (Sh)

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