How is the digital transformation progressing at MAHLE speciﬁcally? One thing is clear: The focus of the transformation is on added value for the customer, the company, and its employees. In exciting projects, teams at MAHLE demonstrate that they are already shaping developments.
If you imagine the digitalization process as a long expedition, then we are about to embark on the critical stages. There are three reasons to continue. First, it is too late to turn back. Second, we are now on a steep ascent. Third, no one is traveling alone. Customers, suppliers, companies, and their employees—everyone is on this journey together. The aim of this expedition is to create a highly efﬁcient and highly ﬂexible company—a “digital” company. MAHLE shows how this works as a global supplier group.
“When we talk about this expedition, we’re referring to a complex task,” explains Alexander Kutsch, Vice President Corporate MAHLE Production System & Factory Digitalization. His objective is to transform MAHLE’s about 160 production locations in such a way that the end result is an overarching, uniﬁed system. “We don’t want isolated pockets of digitalization with a few lighthouse projects but rather a transformation along the entire value chain.”
This is not being done at MAHLE simply for the sake of it. “We have our customers and their own speciﬁc requirements clearly and ﬁrmly in mind,” says Alexander Kutsch. More speciﬁcally, “If digital solutions can improve the quality, reliability, or sustainability of our products, we will use them.”
However, the digitalization process will only succeed if the employees also recognize how they stand to beneﬁt from the innovations. “To achieve this, we need to breathe life into the major future technologies like artiﬁcial intelligence or the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT),” says Alexander Kutsch. All the projects aim to design the human-machine interfaces in such a way that employees are relieved of routine work and thus discover new creative freedom. It’s not about replacing people but rather empowering them.
The following projects highlight areas where Markus Bentele and Alexander Kutsch believe this digital transformation has been particularly successful within the company.