“Your engine is down? We’ll fix it.” Once upon a time, that was what service meant. Today, customers are more likely to hear: “Our platform is telling us your system needs a new injector. A replacement is already on its way to you. When can we fit it?” That is Service 4.0: predictive, customer-friendly, digital – with electronic monitoring, apps and Customer Care Centers.
Anyone researching the smart factory revolution on Google will come up with many millions of results for the search term ‘Industry 4.0’. Searching ‘Service 4.0’ will produce only a few hundred thousand. Nevertheless, digitalization is definitely transforming the service sector. “Digital products mean we can now use our systems to link up far more effectively than before to help our customers operate their products better and avoid incidents,” said Jörn Lindstädt, Director Global Customer Service at MTU, explaining the benefits of Service 4.0.
ValueCare Agreements secure availability
There is just one overriding aim: engines, plant facilities and power generation systems must work – either all the time or whenever the customer wants them to. That is the only way for them to make money. “That’s why we offer our customers standardized maintenance contracts – our ValueCare Agreements,” said product manager Nadja Lang, adding that the agreements come in three levels: Bronze, Silver and Gold. Whilst the Bronze version mainly aims to make sure that guaranteed spares are always on hand for scheduled servicing work, the Gold version is almost like an insurance policy with MTU providing a guarantee that the system will always be available. “Our Gold version comes very close to achieving our ultimate vision. What the customer buys from us is the availability of his power generation plant or his drive system. We look after everything else,” declared Lang.
Connectivity: The key to better service
To be able to offer services like these, MTU needs to know how and where the systems operate. “Connectivity is the critical element in Service 4.0,” said Lang. This is what enables MTU specialists to remotely monitor customers’ systems, to plan servicing operations and spares availability, and to analyze operator data and develop recommended actions. Dataloggers transmit the relevant data to a ‘Go!’ platform that has been newly developed by MTU. Here, the information is processed as needed so it can be utilized by customers and MTU specialists alike. “The new platform combines field data with all the other additional data needed like maintenance schedules and technical documentation,” explained Hubert Maier from the MTU Digital Team. Depending on the application involved, operators and fleet managers can access the data for their assignments and plan action accordingly.
Apps as platforms for MTU systems
‘MTU Go! Manage’ is a presentation platform for operating data for MTU products. It primarily targets users such as fleet managers, operators and MTU service personnel, and can be accessed online with terminal devices like laptops and tablets. By analyzing specifically selected data, users are then able to improve plant operation, process fault messages, plan maintenance schedules well in advance and monitor the health of their fleets. Based on the expectations and needs of numerous customers, MTU’s digital development engineers have specifically designed data presentation to match customer applications. For example, ferry fleet operators can see exactly where their vessels are located and how many hours of operation the engines have logged up. Genset operators can use the platform to check total output from their units at any given time and find out what the daily power load on the gensets is. Until now, fleet managers could get this data only by asking operating staff to log it manually. They then had to manually compare the information with maintenance schedules. ‘MTU Go! Manage’ frees up fleet managers by taking that workload off their shoulders.
‘MTU Go! Act’ is a native app for smartphones. That means it works without an Internet connection – in the engine room of a ship, for example. It alerts the customer’s operating personnel to issues occurring on plant facilities and helps them to quickly verify and clear them. Additionally, any issues and relevant information can be reported to the fleet manager for collation at a single location. That simplifies communication between operating staff and fleet managers as well as accelerating incident identification and clearance.
“These new products are a whole lot more than just remote fault reporting systems. They safeguard communication between operators, service staff and specialists, consolidate information at a single location and help customers and our company to optimize product operation,” emphasized Jürgen Winterholler, who heads MTU’s Digital Solutions section.
Customer Care Centers for rapid solutions
The data collected is not only invaluable for customers. MTU experts and network partners can also access and analyze them in order to provide additional customer support. For example, MTU service staff can efficiently plan preventive maintenance schedules and adapt maintenance intervals in order to further guarantee the reliability and availability of engines and systems. And if an issue should nevertheless arise, MTU experts at three Customer Care Centers are ready to provide rapid-response solutions. These Customer Care Centers have specialists from Sales, Service, Quality, Development, Applications and Logistics who can work together to solve the customers’ concerns as fast as possible.
The Customer Care Center teams are located in different global time zones in Friedrichshafen, Novi and Singapore, so they are always available 24/7 on a ‘follow-the-sun’ basis. At the same time, fault and feedback reports are analyzed and evaluated by quality specialists who pass the results on to the Product Development section.
“Along with our digital solutions, the new maintenance contracts and global Customer Care Centers are permanently transforming our service capabilities. There is a world of difference between yesterday’s service structures and the new ones we offer today. Our customers are reaping the benefits,” said MTU’s Director Global Customer Service, Jörn Lindstädt.