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Schaeffler partners with IBM to transform industrial solutions


Schaeffler has signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with IBM to accelerate the digital transformation of its entire operations and customer solutions. This is to be achieved using cognitive intelligence and insight from IBM Watson’s IoT platform.

Essentially, Schaeffler’s goal is to build virtual models representing entire industrial systems enabling new approaches to product design, manufacturing and aftersales service. The company will analyse large amounts of data from millions of sensors in devices across IBM Watson’s IoT platform, which will provide insight to help it be more flexible, make faster decisions and optimise the performance of equipment in the field.

“Our goal is to be the world’s leading manufacturer of cognitive solutions which keep the world moving,” said Peter Gutzmer, deputy CEO and chief technology officer at Schaeffler.

“We are entering an age where parts can monitor and evaluate their own performance and even order their own replacement when necessary. Schaeffler is a world leader in product development and manufacturing, IBM in hybrid cloud and cognitive computing; through this partnership we are ushering the new industrial era.”

Pictured: Gerhard Baum, Chief Digital Officer Schaeffler AG, Ivo Koerner, Board Member Sales, IBM Germany, Prof. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and Chief Technology Officer Schaeffler AG, Juergen Henn, Executive Partner, IBM Global Business Services, and Harald Giesser, Chief Information Officer, Schaeffler AG.


To respond to increasing levels of automation and machine complexity, Schaeffler has invested significantly into the research and development of mechatronic products with embedded sensors, actuators, control units and software capable of collecting and processing valuable data about the condition of both the part and the machine.

Utilising IBM’s cognitive computing and research capabilities, the company plans to further accelerate this work with the vision of producing safer, more reliable and efficient systems for its automotive and industrial customers.

An increasing global demand for Watson IoT solutions has led to IBM’s  recent investment of $200 million in its Watson IoT headquarters. This is part of $3 billion IBM has earmarked to bring Watson cognitive computing to IoT.

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