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A magazine on science, technology and business

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Senior Scientist Jukka Hemila, VTT: From technology hype to customer understanding

Riitta Ekholm | 13.1.2016

​“Larger enterprises have shifted their focus to selling capacity. They no longer sell devices. Instead, the markets are full of life-cycle services. Is it sensible for customers to purchase physical devices at all?,” asks Senior Scientist Jukka Hemilä from VTT.

BestServ Feasibility Study was published during the first wave of industrial services and digitalisation in 2003. It led to the establishment of an innovation forum for industrial services.

Today, the Finnish Industrial Internet Forum is doing the same, but also introduces other players in the form of technology and digital partners.

Large enterprises such as Metso and Valtra realised already during the early days of the BestServ Forum that they needed to deepen their understanding of their customers’ needs.

At the time, manufacturers tended to focus on the maintenance of their products. During the next wave between 2006 and 2008, maintaining sustainable development was the focal point. Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, introduced programmes to reduce the wasteful use of resources. Remote monitoring made device use more effective. Device operation was also optimised.

The current wave of digitalisation, dubbed the Industrial Internet or Internet of Things, emphasises the fact that, in the future, an increasing number of devices will be connected to the Internet. The technology exists, but we should also consider possible benefits of doing so: can we create new knowledge and value?

While sensors are light and inexpensive, they can easily be added to devices, but is it sensible to collect all this data?

In preventive maintenance, maintenance concepts take into account the current state of the device. We have shifted from scheduled maintenance to on-demand maintenance windows. Collection of data has been of benefit.

Competence portfolios will change somewhat. If the amount of data grows significantly, should we increase our expertise in analytics? Do we know how to take advantage of technologies and do we have sensor expertise? A decade ago, there was no understanding of the nature of industrial service business. Training lags behind. 


 

SOLUTION NO. 1

CHILLER OY designs and manufactures compact energy-efficient solutions for demanding applications. VTT created a service concept for the company. The main problem was that the company’s spare part operations were not systematic.

Many companies provide services without invoicing, or not invoicing enough for them. VTT changed the mind set at Chiller: the customer is prepared to pay for a service that creates added value.

Today, data is collected during the life cycle of machines and devices, and the spare part business works according to a new concept.


 

SOLUTION NO. 2

OY M. HALOILA AB manufactures and delivers automated stretch wrapping machines and services. VTT helped the company create a life cycle model for their products, which serves as the foundation for the entire service business.

The starting point for the model was customer understanding and creation of services important to them.

Today, Haloila’s service offering covers all stages of product life cycle, from design to delivery and remote monitoring and other maintenance operations. Haloila’s service business has expanded more than threefold since 2010 and now forms an important part of the company’s business, accounting for some 40 per cent of its net sales.


 

Source: Kalliokoski, Petri, Andersson, Göran, Salminen, Vesa & Hemilä, Jukka (2003): Bestserv. Feasibility Study, Final Report. Technology Industry, Kerava: Savion Kirjapaino Oy.​

 

 

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