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Four time travels to mechanical engineering service in 2035

The future of service was the topic of an event organized by the VDMA NRW on April 25, 2023 at the Windmöller & Hölscher (WuH) Academy in Lengerich. There, executives from service and business development of the North Rhine-Westphalian mechanical engineering industry and its neighboring regions met to take a look at current developments in service, but also its future development. Shri Werlemann-Gupta, General Manager Business Unit Service, and Olaf Heymann-Riedel, Managing Director of the Academy, gave an insight into the current set-up of the modern globally oriented service organization and the service strategy of the WuH Group. The interested experts used the tour through the technical center for in-depth questions and exchange.

With “Future Services 2035”, the VDMA Competence Center Future Business has presented the 8th volume of future visions for mechanical and plant engineering. In workshops with companies and the Fraunhofer ISI, four future scenarios were developed and described, and various recommendations for action were derived. The volume has been available in print and as a file since the end of 2022. The following four scenarios were described:

  • Think global, serve local
    evolved traditional service models are offered by mechanical engineering itself
  • Automation wonderworld
    AI and Big Data enable fully automated service offerings in mechanical engineering
  • Green, cooperation, confidence
    Society demands service sustainability and the used machinery business is prospering
  • Back to basic business
    Mechanical engineering is losing importance, services are offered via third parties

The event participants undertook four virtual time travels to the year 2035 and discussed the respective scenario and the associated opportunities, risks and options for action in the groups. The results of the time travels were then presented to the other participants. Following this excursion, several presentations provided insights into the further development of digitalization in mechanical engineering service.

Dr. Kai Lügger, Head of Business Development at WuH, presented the company’s digital platform, RUBY. RUBY is the IoT system for digitizing the value chain. As a platform with various, freely combinable extensions, this offers an individually tailored range of functions for higher productivity and better quality through intelligent improvement of parameters.

Virtual learning worlds and, in particular, the use of virtual reality in technician training was the topic of the presentation by Stephan Liebenow, Head of Continuing Education at WuH.

The service manager of Grimme Landmaschinenfabrik GmbH & Co. KG, Marcus Pier, presented a digital platform for agricultural machinery components. Here, the clear identification of parts by the company’s dealers, their repair shops and other users is a key challenge.


The event was organized by VDMA NRW in cooperation with VDMA Nord and VDMA BeNeLux.