PTC and Schaeffler announce strategic alliance to accelerate digital transformation roadmap

In Augmented Reality News 

January 27, 2022 – PTC, a provider of digital solutions for industry and manufacturing, and global automotive and industrial supplier Schaeffler, have this week announced a new alliance that will see Schaeffler standardize on PTC solutions to deploy an integrated, end-to-end IT landscape. Schaeffler will also inform PTC’s efforts to further develop and evolve market-specific standard solutions to better meet the needs of automotive and industrial companies.

The new alliance will build on a twenty-year relationship between the two companies based on Schaeffler’s use of PTC’s CAD and PLM solutions. According to PTC, these tools are essential for the introduction and further development of Schaeffler’s initiatives for digital twins and for visualization of 3D models, for example those used for augmented reality (AR) projects. As far as AR solutions goes, PTC offers its Vuforia enterprise augmented reality solution.

Throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, many companies, including Schaeffler, have been taking advantage of the benefits that augmented reality has to offer. One example included workers having to get two large-bearing test benches up and running: one of them being located in China and the other one in Romania. The high-tech systems, which boast the dimensions of a volleyball field, had been custom-developed and built to meet Schaeffler’s exacting specifications in one-off production by a specialized company in Israel.

“Without using augmented reality, we couldn’t have managed the project during the pandemic,” said Schaeffler quality expert, Dr. Achim Donnermeyer. “By using HoloLens headsets, the AR system of our IT partner Microsoft, among other things, we managed to create on-site scenarios, so to speak. In this way, we were able not only to check the production of the machine in Israel in real time as needed, but also employed this technology during the entire acceptance process.”

Schaeffler states that it has been using augmented reality in many different areas for many years. According to the company, practically every on of its locations is equipped with HoloLens systems. The company’s Automotive Aftermarket unit, for instance, is planning to increasingly employ HoloLens technology for explaining to garage customers around the world in easily understandable ways how to use repair kits and specialty tools.

For the alliance with PTC, the companies stated that it will focus on the optimization of the existing IT environment, as well as its expansion with projects such as Schaeffler’s Enterprise Traceability or Model-Based Enterprise and the deeper integration of software development tools. The goal is company-wide integration of the software and system development solutions (Application Lifecycle Management and Model-Based Systems Engineering). This will also help to enable improvement in the mapping of critical systems engineering requirements.

“The alliance with PTC is yet another milestone in our digitization strategy within Roadmap 2025,” said Uwe Wagner, Chief Technology Officer at Schaeffler AG. “End-to-end data models, 3D data, and digital twins are already elementary components of the research and development process for Schaeffler today. The increasing complexity requires consistent IT solutions in all development areas for more innovation, agility, and efficiency. To achieve these, it is crucial for Schaeffler to work with strong partners like PTC.”

For more information on PTC and its enterprise augmented reality solutions, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: PTC / Schaeffler

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past seven years.