In the future, machines and systems will exchange data worldwide via the Internet. The technical foundation for this is provided by ADAMOS, a platform which Dürr has developed together with its partners. In the following interview, CEO Ralf W. Dieter explains why this project constitutes a key milestone for the entire industry.
THE ADAMOS PLATFORM IS AN IMPORTANT FUTURE PROJECT FOR DÜRR. WHY?
Machines can be networked through digital platforms. This enables them to exchange information via the Internet, and the machines can thus be operated more efficiently. In mechanical engineering, this is an important trend, which will play a crucial role in shaping the future of this industry. We do not want to leave this development to others, but play an active part in it.
YOUR MACHINES AND SYSTEMS CAN ALREADY SEND AND RECEIVE DATA. WHAT DOES ADAMOS ADD?
Yes, indeed, our machines and systems have been communicating with supervisory control systems, also known as manufacturing execution systems, for many years. So far, this has only been possible within a factory – going forward, it will happen worldwide via the Internet of Things. This means production processes can be compared, machines and systems can be harmonized and their use enhanced. This is the main goal of ADAMOS.
WHAT DOES A DIGITAL PLATFORM LIKE ADAMOS CONSIST OF?
It is similar to the operating system of a computer plus database, with data stored either locally or in a cloud, depending on the customer’s requirements. Due to the large number of machines connected within a factory, big data needs to be processed and stored quickly and securely. And this is exactly what the high-performance database does.
"It is similar to the operating system of a computer plus database, with data stored either locally or in a cloud, depending on the customer’s requirements."
THERE ARE ALREADY NUMEROUS PLATFORMS – SOME BY LARGE PROVIDERS. WHY DID YOU NOT JOIN AN EXISTING PLATFORM?
We did not want to become a mere hardware supplier, selling machines but not involved with the future business in digital services. It is therefore important for us to develop the right apps for our customers. ADAMOS helps us, as an independent platform for digitally networked production. The other platforms focus on certain software or technology, sometimes in-house and sometimes from other providers. This makes them inflexible. ADAMOS, on the other hand, is flexible enough to always integrate the best available solution – this is an essential added value!
DO USERS BENEFIT FROM THE FACT THAT YOU ARE A MECHANICAL ENGINEERING FIRM?
Absolutely! Nobody understands our customers’ production processes better than us. After all, these customers order innovative systems from us to make their production more efficient. They know and trust us, and we are on the same page. We incorporate this domain know-how in our apps. It’s a benefit that only a mechanical engineering firm can offer.
"In a project like ADAMOS, it is good to have other partners on board. Our technology partner, Software AG, is in an excellent position for this, being Germany’s second largest software group."
WHY DID DÜRR NOT DEVELOP ADAMOS ON ITS OWN, BUT TOGETHER WITH OTHER COMPANIES?
This was partly a financial issue. The investments alone are around € 60 million. Although this level of spending would have been possible for Dürr, it would not have been sensible. In a project like ADAMOS, it is good to have other partners on board. Our technology partner, Software AG, is in an excellent position for this, being Germany’s second largest software group.
WHAT ROLE DO THE OTHER MECHANICAL ENGINEERING FIRMS PLAY IN THIS JOINT VENTURE?
We are a club of like-minded partners, we feel the same customer ex pectations and discuss business ideas. We also share existing software components: those who are really good at something allow the other partners to adopt the same solution. This makes us faster and saves development costs. We pursue the same goal with the App Factory: the partner companies provide developers and, together, we launch the apps that don’t exist yet.
WHO IS ADAMOS AIMED AT?
ADAMOS is a platform. It is used by mechanical engineering firms as a basis to create their individual digital marketplaces, through which their customers can use the apps. A marketplace can be compared to the home page of a mechanical engineering firm, where you look for software or information, for instance. An example of this could be an app for the predictive maintenance of machines.
der ADAMOS GmbH
Launching ADAMOS: the representatives of the founding companies, from left to right: Christian Thönes, CEO of DMG MORI AG; Günter Lauber, CEO of ASM Assembly Systems; Ralf W. Dieter, CEO of Dürr AG; Jochen Peter, Managing Director of Carl Zeiss Industrielle Messtechnik GmbH, and Karl-Heinz Streibich, CEO of Software AG.
DOES DÜRR HAVE ITS OWN MARKETPLACE?
Not just one, but two: LOXEO and tapio. The apps offered on LOXEO are designed for customers of the Dürr and Schenck brands, while tapio is aimed at the woodworking industry. All ADAMOS founding partners have their own marketplaces. Aside from these partners, there will be others who will only use the platform for their products. Thanks to ADAMOS, they, too, will be digital enablers for their customers by enabling their networked, digital production. This additional network will be much larger, which is important for us.
The more companies connect their machines to ADAMOS, the more customers can use the apps via the marketplaces. In other words: by cooperating in this way, it is much easier to achieve the critical mass a platform needs to be viable.
"ADAMOS has the potential to become the industry standard in mechanical engineering, and we want to take advantage of this."
WHICH PLATFORMS WILL SURVIVE?
I think that only a few will succeed. There will be one or two platforms for individual industries or segments. ADAMOS has the potential to become the industry standard in mechanical engineering, and we want to take advantage of this.