The variety of individual needs in production, logistics and materials management is endless. On average, 65-75% of all parts are C parts. The goal of C parts management is to organize the supply and management of C parts in a cost effective manner. With poor management of C parts, companies end up spending a disproportionate amount of effort and expense on these parts.
Wuerth Industrial Services offers tailor-made supply concepts and logistics services such as storage shelving systems with scanners, automated electronic control systems or just-in-time supplies in Kanban bin systems to manufacturing customers. The objectives are clearly oriented towards reducing supply costs, optimizing processes, reducing costs and maximizing time savings while maximizing security of supply and minimizing capital investment. ELE Times explored unique services as the future of manufacturing, with Norman Dentel, CEO of Wuerth Industrial Services India Pvt. Ltd.
ELE Times: What is servitization and why are companies around the world embracing this business model transformation?
Norman Dentel: Servitization is seen as the way in which companies provide an integrated set of goods and services or add additional service components to their core offerings.
It is an innovation of an organization’s capabilities and processes to better create mutual value by moving from the sale of products to the sale of product-to-service systems. For example, Würth has been selling fasteners for many years, but realized that our customers needed more products and service solutions. That is why in 1982 we started supplying ORSY racks (organized systems) to our customers, which was the start of many system solutions for our customers. Therefore, instead of just selling products, we suddenly “sold” availability, capacity, supply chain security, etc., the actual product was part of it.
ELE Times: What is digital servitization? What is the servitization of manufacturing?
Norman Dentel: Digital servitization means the shift from a product-centric business model to a service-centric business model. For example, everyday examples are online streaming platforms like Netflix which provide the “video” service without any physical disc or VHS. Another example is “Uber” which provides taxi services without owning a single taxi or “Airbnb” which rents apartments and houses without owning one.
ELE Times: Discuss at length how the new Kanban system works for the Industry 4.0 environment, i.e. Kanban 4.0.
Norman Dentel: At Würth we are already in Industry 5.0. While Industry 4.0 is primarily about the continued automation and development of traditional manufacturing (examples = self-configuration / diagnostics, Augmented Reality, Clouds, etc.), Industry 5.0 is the relationship between “(woman) man and machine ”. Industry 5.0 combines human creativity and robotic precision, towards unique solutions as the demand of the next decade. One of the major differences is that the connection of machines like in Industry 4.0 will be updated to focus on the customer experience.
An internal example at Würth is that we have developed a Kanban system that connects customers / customer groups and their spare parts database around the world. How? ‘Or’ What? By a simple click on the code in a Kanban bin at the xyz location, we can print 3D items (e.g. tool replacements) anytime and anywhere in the world. The customer in the United States does not have to worry that a part is out of stock or has a different quality at one of their locations around the world, but can be printed at any time. In contrast, the bin always has an immediate replacement available. There are no longer any supply chain or quantity issues for tool replacements. And the best part is that all of its facilities around the world can access this database to print the same items in the facility. We not only provide the 3D printers and drawing support, but also the raw material for the printers. Würth’s industrial 3D printing services offer a streamlined and efficient method to simplify any supply chain, reduce development times and increase adaptability to customer needs. This is the future of manufacturing.
ELE Times: The digitization of manufacturing led by machine learning and data has changed how it works. Factories have gotten smarter. What IT solutions does Wuerth offer for manufacturing and other industries?
Norman Dentel: Together with a team of hundreds of colleagues at “Würth Business Services” in Pune (India), we are developing and improving the number of RPA robots around the world in different functions. Next, we’ll work on machine learning and process exploration, which gives an idealized picture of a process to work on. In addition, we provide augmented reality and virtual reality solutions with a team of specialists developing software for internal use and for external clients. For example, we have developed RV software to train people to assemble and repair wind turbines in a very realistic environment.
In addition, we use virtual reality rooms to meet with customers or / and present our sales and replenishment systems to customers, as most of our systems are too big to transport. It saves time and makes us the best in the class!
ELE Times: How do you define Wuerth – One stop shop? What are the after-sales services?
Norman Dentel: We are not just a supplier of fasteners as you may have read before, but a holistic supplier for all of our customer’s needs, across all levels to our customers. It goes without saying that screws, nuts and washers are not the most important components of the industrial system or machine. However, without a doubt, these small components, i.e. C parts, are essential for the final product. Although the purchase volume of these C parts is very low, the procurement costs are very high. During boom times with high demand levels, managing repeat orders and coordinating these items for industrial manufacturing companies can be almost overwhelming. This is precisely where Würth comes in with its C-Parts Solutions, Kanban solutions and other modular logistics solutions. Würth offers customized supply and service concepts under the service brand “CPS – C-Parts Solutions”. CPS includes storage and retrieval systems, warehousing, replenishment and ordering systems, as well as consumption-controlled procurement modules such as Kanban and returnable bin systems.
Customers benefit from direct deliveries to their production lines. Innovative Kanban systems with patented bins and RFID technology offer a complete tailor-made solution to meet the demands of our customers. Combining the expertise of vending with the focus on integrated procurement services, the Würth Group always focuses on cost savings through optimized processes. Through these cost reduction initiatives, product rationalization, invoice consolidation, and accurate management reporting, reduced transaction costs and many other financial benefits can be realized. Last but not least, we also offer our customers a Supplier Managed Inventory (VMI) with third party items… all from one hand!