Schaeffler furthers its transformation process with Agenda 4 plus One program
The Agenda 4 plus One program was launch...
The automotive and industrial supplier based in Germany, Schaeffler, is continuing its transformation process.
The Agenda 4 plus One program was launched by the firm in 2016 and has since expanded to feature 20 initiatives.
The program is divided into four categories, and an additional one: Customer focus, Operational excellence, Financial flexibility, and Leadership and talent management – and Securing long-term competitiveness and value creation.
The firm anticipates that by 2022, the program will have generated ABB an additional €300mn (US$370.43mn) in earnings.
The company also intends for the program to increase its EBIT margin – before special items – back up to its long-term average of between 12% and 13% in the same time frame.
E-Mobility and Industry 4.0 are examples of the 20 initiatives within Agenda 4 plus One – both of which aim to expand and develop ABB’s product ranges in its Automotive OEM and Industrial divisions.
The program also features plans to build a 315,000sqm “factory of the future” in Xiangtan, China.
The facility is expected to cost €100mn ($123.47mn) and aims to be a flexible site and cost efficient through digital technologies.
“‘Agenda 4 plus One’ is our program for the future, a blueprint by which we are preparing the Schaeffler Group for the challenges of tomorrow,” stated Klaus Rosenfeld, CEO of Schaeffler AG.
“It is broad-based and encompasses 20 initiatives, including E-Mobility, Industry 4.0 and our Digital Agenda.”
“‘Agenda 4 plus One’ is the driving force behind our transformation. Because we want to be become more agile as well as quicker and bolder.”
Fluent.ai x BSH: Voice Automating the Assembly Line
Fluent.ai has deployed its voice recognition solutions in one of BSH’s German factories. BSH leads the market in producing connected appliances—its brands include Bosch, Siemens, Gaggenau, NEFF, and Thermador, and with this new partnership, the company intends to cut transition time in its assembly lines.
According to BSH, voice automation will yield 75-100% efficiency gains—but it’s the collaboration between the two companies that stands out. ‘After considering 11 companies for this partnership, we chose Fluent.ai because of their key competitive differentiators’, explained Ion Hauer, Venture Partner at BSH Startup Kitchen.
What Sets Fluent.ai Apart?
After seven years of research, the company developed a wide range of artificial intelligence (AI) software products to help original equipment manufacturers (OEM) expand their services. Three key aspects stood out to BSH, which operates across the world and in unique factory environments.
- Robust noise controls. The system can operate even in loud conditions.
- Low latency. The AI understands commands quickly and accurately.
- Multilingual support. BSH can expand the automation to any of its 50+ country operations.
How Voice Automation Works
Instead of pressing buttons, BSH factory workers will now be able to speak into a headset fitted with Fluent.ai’s voice recognition technology. After uttering a WakeWord, workers can use a command to start assembly line movement. As the technology is hands-free, workers benefit from less physical strain, which will both reduce employee fatigue and boost line production.
‘Implementing Fluent’s technology has already improved efficiencies within our factory, with initial implementation of the solution cutting down the transition time from four seconds to one and a half”, said Markus Maier, Project Lead at the BSH factory. ‘In the long run, the production time savings will be invaluable’.
Future Global Adoption
In the coming years, BSH and Fluent.ai will continue to push for artificial intelligence on factory lines, pursuing efficiency, ergonomics, and a healthy work environment. ‘We started with Fluent.ai on one factory assembly line, moved to three, and [are now] considering rolling the technology out worldwide’, said Maier.
Said Probal Lala, Fluent.ai’s CEO: ‘We are thrilled to be working with BSH, a company at the forefront of innovation. Seeing your solution out in the real world is incredibly rewarding, and we look forward to continuing and growing our collaboration’.