Bauma The world’s leading trade fair for construction machinery and mining machinery, which takes place in my hometown of Munich, Germany. I have to admit, this was my first time at BAUMA and it was pretty impressive!
Not only because there are really huge construction machines here, but also because of digitization. In this blog, I will briefly share my main thoughts on the topics of digitization (in particular) and sustainability (ongoing).
Digitization is the use of machine data
When it comes to digitization, construction machinery manufacturers are primarily concerned with using the data generated during the use of their machines. For example, the data can be used to automatically generate reports on parameters about how accurately specific drilling machines drill holes. This is especially relevant when there are documentation requirements. The data can also be used to remotely monitor machine status and performance on visualized panels.
Data-driven services: Only a moderate share of revenue
Some manufacturers had very different answers to my question about how much customers are willing to pay for these data-driven services today. It depends on the amount of hard investments and the costs incurred when the machine is stopped. The competitive landscape also plays a role in whether customers expect these data-driven services as a free add-on. Overall, my impression is that the share of revenues that account for data-driven, i.e. connected services, is still low on average – but of course there can be exceptions.
The drivers of investments in data-driven services are not customers
Interestingly, the driver of investment in data-driven services is often not the customer themselves, but their customers or other stakeholders. For example, when building roads or tunnels, there are many clients who require certain documents for drilling operations. Or financial stakeholders who require the use of information-based machinery monitoring services.
Lack of skills
A growing share of the value in the construction industry of heavy assets is the share of software. Meeting the demand for software skills for major construction machinery manufacturers is a challenge. These manufacturers are seen as large plant and metal fabricators and – compared to small industrial machinery manufacturers – are less likely to be potential employers for programming talent.
“From Egosystems to Ecosystems”
As machine manufacturers promote their digital platforms – examples are Herrenknecht, the tunnel boring machine manufacturer, and their Herrenknecht.Connected customer portal, or Liebherr, one of the world’s largest construction machinery manufacturers, and their MyLiebherr portal – the longer. The purpose of the term is clear: it allows to connect all different machines through a single data communication standard. This makes a lot of sense because there are many different machines in a factory, construction or mining site, and it would be useful if the construction machinery industry could agree on a common data format for communication between construction machinery from different vendors.
Communication standardization still has a long way to go
Machines in Construction 4.0 (MiC 4.0) is a working group within the German Mechanical Engineering Association (VDMA) whose goal is to develop a unified, cross-manufacturer and technique-independent form of communication for the entire construction process. From my point of view, there seems to be a lot more work to do, because it’s not just about the communication between the construction machines on the sites, but also providing secure connections from the edge to the cloud, which, in my view, requires collaboration. Cloud hyperscales like AWS or Microsoft or cloud IoT platforms or connectivity providers.
Sustainability requirements drive investment in electric vehicles
Many vendors displayed their products with electric motors. For this, the driver needs to develop construction machines that emit less CO2. Further advantages of electric motors include, among others, that electric motors require less maintenance and are significantly better than those with combustion engines, making them suitable for low-noise areas near hospitals or on an urban construction site. .
Please contact for more information Stephanie Naujoxor visit https://www.idc.com/eu and leave your information in the form on the top right.