Data-driven services around machines and plants are becoming an increasingly important differentiation criterion and often offer the potential to better understand customer applications and generate additional revenues – and not only for mechanical engineering companies. This use case shows how Aerzen Digital Systems, with a good IoT consulting offering and the right machine data, can also integrate key partners like insurance companies into this equation and make digital services worthwhile at this point as well. VGH Versicherungen uses the information that IoT solution provider Aerzen Digital Systems collects and processes for rapid regulation as well as for new approaches in the insurance business. At second glance, surprisingly many similarities between the seemingly so different participants are revealed here. The case of insurance is presented as one perspective of data-driven business models.
The challenge: The right information in the right place in the event of a claim
Once the dreaded machine failure has occurred, the operator is interested in one thing above all: getting back into production as quickly as possible. Machine manufacturers and insurers must be equally interested in the causes of the damage. Digital machine data considerably shortens troubleshooting here and is therefore equally helpful for both sides. If the various stakeholders join forces here and bundle their activities, this is efficiency in action for the benefit of the customer.
Many damages can be noticed in advance – and could be detected or even prevented in time. Downtimes are usually preceded by wear of the moving parts, which can now be easily detected with the appropriate sensors, e.g. for torque or vibration. Upstream and downstream processes also influence what happens on each individual machine, as do the weather or ambient conditions in general.
In the event of a claim, a machine operator wants to know whether they can order the spare part and what the insurance will cover. The latter must first examine the damage and painstakingly track down the necessary information, which is not least time-consuming. The machine manufacturer must also know what has happened in order to be able to help accordingly. How do I get the relevant information quickly?
So when troubleshooting on site, representatives of the machine manufacturer and the insurance company often meet with the same questions. However, the idea of pooling interests can be developed further. This is because, once data has been collected, an almost infinite number of evaluations are possible, and it is possible to get very close to the impression of being live at the machine, even from a distance. This is important for all those involved who want to get a first-hand impression of what is going on around the machine.
For non-experts, machine data is hardly comprehensible reading, and it is certainly not possible to identify the relevant information at a glance. So the task for Aerzen Digital Systems, which in this case prepares the data for its customers, is to find the right time window to detect the damage when it is imminent. Then to reliably identify the cause of the damage, and finally to present the results in a way that is readable by technicians and business people alike.
If this is successful, this information offers real added value, as in this example for insurance companies.
The solution: Filter out relevant data and visualize it in a practical way
The most important step is right at the beginning: setting the right starting point and defining exactly what data is needed and in what form. Aerzen Digital Systems offers here the neutral moderation of the process, so that the integration of the insurance succeeds. If the required information is immediately available from the almost infinite amount of data, troubleshooting is ideally not necessary at all. Aerzen Digital Systems puts the mean time to identify at 0, which in turn reduces the mean time to repair by about 80%. Such a value is particularly pleasing when a comparatively small and inexpensive part leads to damage, but the search for it takes a lot of time and thus drives up costs. Avoiding this is clearly the common interest of machine operators and insurers.
Data acquisition has long been a matter of course for many machine manufacturers. The task is rather to filter out the relevant information for each purpose and visualize it in a practical way. Aerzen Digital Systems has made this its mission. While the service was initially developed for Aerzener Maschinenfabrik’s own machines, the company also offers custom-fit data processing for other manufacturers and shows how other key partners, in this case VGH as an insurer, can benefit from the information and how they can use it as a basis for setting up new business models for changing processes and claims models. Damage is also increasingly caused by components that operate incorrectly, resulting in increased costs for service calls. These interrelationships can be traced with an overview of the entire production chain.
Support in integrating data is important not least because every business with an aging IT infrastructure faces the question at every digitization step of whether to adapt existing systems or to meet requirements better or at all with new architecture. This is where partners are needed who understand the structures of the users and develop interfaces that work.
The result: Faster claims adjustment and better prevention with the right data
Good business ideas are born where people meet, talk to each other and take the time to think outside the box. VGH benefits from the precisely tailored data provided by Aerzen Digital Systems. This includes customized fault reports or predictive maintenance offerings, which in turn lead to favorable insurance models, bringing the various stakeholders into conversation. Last but not least, there are savings for on-site appointments or expert reports, which increases the overall efficiency of the processes.
For Aerzen Digital Systems, the collaboration with VGH has resulted in new approaches to making the collected data useful to additional stakeholders. The digital specialists developed their solutions themselves and initially implemented them in the internal environment of Aerzener Maschinenfabrik. That’s why they know the technical and financial aspects, which should not be underestimated, as well as the lived corporate culture, which are incorporated to a greater or lesser extent into digitization at every company. In this way, the topics are also successfully located in the area of conflict between classic IT, technical areas and production control.
In addition to handling classic claims, VGH is now increasingly dealing with liability cases or damage and costs arising from service cases. Interest in prevention is growing; not only as a requirement for customers, but also in the company’s own interest to reduce claims. When risk prevention is integrated into the insurance process, new premium models emerge that are attractive to customers.
The principle of this use case can be easily transferred to different partners. The strength of Aerzen Digital is to understand the interests of the customers and on this basis to filter out the right information from the amount of data collected. Aerzen Digital also shares these competencies and experiences with other engineering companies to help develop a practical data-based business model.