MAN People: What
does autonomous operation mean and where do we currently stand in this area in
Alexander Sobolyev: A
variety of digital solutions are already being employed in New Equipment and
MAN PrimeServ. We are talking about digital twins, simulations, remote
servicing, virtual sensors and commissioning. Our goal is to progress from the
current highly automated solutions, via fully automated variants (unmanned as
used in Subsea), to autonomous operation of machinery. MAN is very well placed
in this respect – we are planning to have autonomy by 2030 at the latest. This
will enable the complete replacement of personnel with digital solutions that
make complex decisions using artificial intelligence in all applications in
our customers ready for solutions of this sort then?
Jörg Massopust: The
customers are not just ready, some of them already enjoy the concrete benefits
on a daily basis and are delighted. Since 2020, we have been seeing growing
demand, and it actually doubled in the first year of the coronavirus pandemic.
Using our digital variants, we solve the customer’s concrete problems with
remote services, for example. We helped our customers out with digital
offerings in more than 100 instances in 2020. There is great medium- to
long-term potential in all market segments, and the achievable margins are
attractive owing to the enormous customer benefits. Above all, autonomous
operation as an enabler helps our customers to be more competitive. It combines
two of our strategic directions: digitalization and decarbonization.
are the most important benefits of autonomous operation from a customer point
Alexander Sobolyev: Digital
solutions offer a number of benefits that make a major contribution to efficiency,
emissions such as CO2, and machine availability and health. The use of
algorithms and AI ensures that machines are always at their optimum operating
point. This results in fewer breakdowns, boosts efficiency and is reflected in
costs. The customer’s operating costs can be reduced considerably for very
little investment, with human intervention only being required for maintenance.
We are experiencing the beginnings of big data, which will change, expedite
and, ideally, optimize personal life and day-to-day business. Yesterday’s
science fiction is becoming a reality.
can we be successful in the long-term as an engineering company with digital
have the perfect credentials, as we build excellent machines, as well as having
special knowledge and profound expertise. The combination of mechanical and
digital expertise is the right key to becoming a pioneer in the development of
autonomous operation. This will be a USP for the future that will help us to be
even more successful on the market and grow profitably. To this end, we are
pooling our forces across disciplines in a strong team. We will extend the lead
that we have already built up, as the steps we are taking will secure us an
advantage on the market for the next few decades.
use of algorithms and AI ensures that machines are always at their optimum
operating point. This results in fewer breakdowns, boosts efficiency and is
reflected in costs.
Link to Discover: Commissioning goes digital
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