In the recent past, Arburg has very successfully combined its digital products and services in arburgXworld. The ambitious goal is to enable customers to increase production efficiency and transparency and to produce plastic products as flexibly and reliably as possible and with high quality.
The arburgXworld customer portal has been available worldwide in 18 languages since the autumn of 2019. Arburg experts Stephan Reich, Department Manager IT Applications Development, and Benjamin Franz, Manager Digital Solutions, provide answers to questions on the current status, customer benefits and perspectives of arburgXworld.
Benjamin Franz, as a sales expert you are in constant contact with potential and existing users of arburgXworld. How well received is the customer portal in the injection moulding industry?
Benjamin Franz: Very well. Our customers greatly appreciate the fact that arburgXworld offers genuine added value and many features that allow them to make their daily operations even more efficient – and all this in the basic version without any costs and hence without any risk! At the moment, most of the portal's users are in Germany, which is somewhat related to our roll-out strategy. Because Germany is where we started the market launch in spring 2019, before the worldwide launch followed in autumn. We are also seeing high demand in the US, in France and Eastern Europe, for example.
As an applications developer of digital products, you will certainly be interested to know how the new ideas and solutions are received by the market. Stephan Reich, which experiences have you made in this respect?
Stephan Reich: Our cloud solution has been very well received by customers – and as a developer I might add with some pride: Sure, because it is unique. The current top performers are the two free Shop and MachineCenter apps. We had anticipated this, because customers can order spare parts in the Shop very conveniently and at attractive conditions around the clock. With central access to production-relevant information and documents, the MachineCenter offers transparency regarding your own machine fleet. But premium services such as SelfService, MachineFinder and the VirtualControl app are also in high demand.
This should be particularly interesting in the current situation. What role does the coronavirus pandemic play in the context of arburgXworld?
BF: As an example I would like to mention the premium VirtualControl app, which simulates machine control on a PC or tablet. It already met with great interest at K 2019, and this interest has increased significantly again. Because the app offers clear advantages, especially when working from a home office: Installation technicians can use it to simulate and edit injection moulding programs from home and to perform troubleshooting. The data can then be transferred directly to the machine, e.g. via the ALS host computer system or from a Compact Flash card.
SR: Many companies avoid business trips or on-site visits because of Corona. That is why we now offer the option of remote machine acceptance, where our sales expert goes through the specifications together with the customer. The process is aided by special camera equipment so that all requirements can be visually checked item by item. At the end, customers receive a detailed report with additional visual documentation. This is time and cost efficient and an exciting option for the future. Just like online support via Arburg Remote Service, ARS. To enable standardised networking, all our new Allrounders are equipped with an IIoT gateway and have basic connectivity.
How important do you think arburgXworld will be in the medium and long term?
BF: arburgXworld addresses the entire horizontal and vertical value chain. K 2019 has shown that our customer portal offers one of the most comprehensive ranges of digital products and services in the injection moulding field. And we continue to expand this in a targeted manner.
SR: Since autumn 2020, we have successfully grouped the numerous apps into four packages from which virtually everyone, from machine operators to managing directors, can benefit in their daily work: Among other things, the free "Basic" package provides an overview of the machine fleet, service history and upcoming maintenance work. The "Premium" package, which is subject to a fee, enables machine availability to be significantly increased, for example thanks to extended digital machine files and video telephony. The "Premium Plus" option provides access to calculation tools and detailed Arburg knowledge databases. And finally, in "Connect” we have combined machine-related expansion options for digital networking.
The arburgXworld customer portal makes daily tasks around injection moulding easier. Arburg has put together four packages that combine free and fee-based apps and services.