Munich Re has partnered with MHP, a manufacturing consultancy firm and subsidiary of Porsche AG, and KUKA, a global automation corporation, on SmartFactory as a Service, a new manufacturing initiative designed to streamline product development and safeguard manufacturers from risks.
The partnership aims to facilitate the testing and development of new manufacturing methods and business models through the integration of end-to-end and embedded management of data and risk.
At the same time, the initiative will allow manufacturers to focus on client satisfaction without having to bear the peripheral parts of the value creation process, investment costs, and risks themselves, and aims to make flexible small-batch manufacturing commercially viable.
SmartFactory as a Service will see the three companies pool their core competencies, with Munich Re adding its expertise in integrated risk management and innovative finance models to KUKA’s specialism in robot-based automotive plants and MHP’s digital consultancy and systems integration skills.
The service will also provide a location for events, seminars and workshops, where users can network and exchange ideas across industry boundaries.
As client expectations have changed, the manufacturing industry has been under increasing pressure to innovate by improving flexibility and transparency along the entire value chain, a process that generates high capital costs and harbours substantial uncertainty and risks.
The partnership aims to shorten new products’ time to market by up to 30% by digitising the whole value chain, realising a high quality end-to-end data flow, and melding previously unconnected areas and systems in the production development process.
Torsten Jeworrek, Member of Munich Re’s Board of Management, said: “The combination of state-of-the-art manufacturing technology with the digitalisation of all processes, and with risk management and financial strength enables a new and innovative form of manufacturing. One that we plan to develop in partnership with our clients, supporting them on their journey into the digital future.”
Till Reuter, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of KUKA AG, also commented: “A plant’s ability to adapt is the key criterion in making manufacturing fit for the future. Our clients face the challenge of responding swiftly and flexibly to market needs. SmartFactory as a Service can achieve this. Our cooperation with Munich Re and MHP brings the business models of the future a great deal closer.”
Ralf Hofmann, CEO of MHP, added: “Acceleration can no longer be confined to the shop floor. We need a selfcontained “engineering value chain” – which means consistent data, processes and organisations. This end-to-end workflow facilitates the optimisation of highly individualised manufacturing – mass customisation using series production tools.”