The shift to electromobility and digitization offers both Schuler and its customers many risks, but also just as many opportunities. This was said by CEO Domenico Iacovelli at the company’s press conference held during the Blechexpo trade fair in Stuttgart. There, Schuler will use the example of a C-frame press to show how digital solutions can increase the productivity and availability of lines.
Schuler itself is also in the midst of a transformation that is already showing initial positive results. “As of today, we are recording a significant increase in incoming orders compared to the previous year,” explained Iacovelli. Although sales were weak, as expected, the Schuler Group will presumably still succeed in generating positive profits: “Our cost discipline, the many innovations and the corporate strategy are paying off.”
Under the name “Core”, Schuler has launched a program designed to pool strengths, further accelerate innovations, and consolidate the organization. Many goals of this have already been achieved: for example, in the form of end-to-end standardization of products, the development of solutions for networking forming technology – which Schuler has gathered in its “Digital Suite” – and the manufacture of lines in the home regions of the respective customers (“local for local” philosophy) in order to reduce delivery times and save costs.
Added to this are the opportunities in the field of electromobility, where Schuler is already registering a high level of incoming orders. “We supply numerous renowned e-car and battery manufacturers,” clarified Iacovelli. Interlocked electric motor laminations for high-performance drives can also be produced highly efficiently on the company’s presses. Furthermore, Schuler recently signed a cooperation agreement with its sister company Andritz Soutec as well as thyssenkrupp Automation Engineering for plant technology enabling high-volume production of fuel cells.
Moreover, Schuler is constantly expanding and supplementing its solutions from the Digital Suite. The latest example is the VDP Analyzer, the further development of the camera-based die monitoring system “Visual Die Protection” (VDP). The system detects foreign objects or other sources of danger in real time and stops the line before any damage occurs. The “VDP Analyzer” shows users exactly when deviations from the normal state have occurred on the video images. This now also makes it possible to get to the bottom as to the causes of faults.