Rolls-Royce Power Systems joins innovation platform 'Startup Autobahn'
Posted on February 21, 2019
Start-up seems to meet corporate on the Friedrichshafen site of Rolls-Royce Power Systems – trendy open-plan office spaces strewn with brightly colored seating cubes alternate with sober factory buildings where engine assembly proceeds in tightly synchronized production lines.
- Next step in digitalization of engineering company
- First event in Friedrichshafen scheduled for 9 May
Friedrichshafen - Start-up seems to meet corporate on the Friedrichshafen site of Rolls-Royce Power Systems – trendy open-plan office spaces strewn with brightly colored seating cubes alternate with sober factory buildings where engine assembly proceeds in tightly synchronized production lines. For Rolls-Royce Power Systems and its core brand mtu, there's no contradiction: “We're evolving from traditional engine maker to provider of integrated solutions, and digitalization is playing a primary role in that transition,” explained company CEO Andreas Schell.
A Digital Solutions unit was set up at the company in spring of last year and has already done a lot of groundwork. Now, to help the business network better and get in touch faster with the market's latest digital offerings so that it can implement them in its own operations, it has taken the step of joining 'Startup Autobahn', the major innovation platform. On 21 February, it will be taking part in the platform's 'Expo Day' for the first time.
The 60-strong Digital Solutions team – the company's 'internal Start-up' – is not only tasked with bringing classical engine expertise and digital data capture and analytics technologies together. Its purpose is also to create a basis for new digital business models which will enable the drive manufacturer to offer its customers more up-to-date service solutions for its marine, rail and power generation applications. The smartphone App 'mtu Go! Act' and the web application 'mtu Go! Manage' are its first digital creations and these help keep operators and service technicians up to speed regarding current operating status and forthcoming repair or service requirements. For the customer, those benefits translate into shorter equipment standstills and lower costs. Several customers are already implementing the products – notable examples being Italian shipping line Navigazione Laghi that operates ferries on the north Italian lakes, and rail solutions provider Hitachi who chose mtu for its HSTs in service in the UK.
“Becoming a partner of Startup Autobahn is actually a logical step in our digital transformation. Because what's important are not just the latest technological trends, but in what ways corporate business and startups can work together when it comes to issues like speed, changes, and mindset,” explained Jürgen Winterholler, Vice President Digital Solutions at Rolls-Royce Power Systems.
Startup Autobahn is to be a guest of Rolls-Royce Power Systems on 9 May, when 'deep dive' sessions are planned on the company premises. These will enable start-up entrepreneurs and mechanical engineers to come together and forge long-standing partnerships.