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During 2020, Oerlikon continued to move forward with the digital transformation steps agreed upon in the 2018 Digital Roadmap. There are over 60 digital activities across all businesses, clustered in the areas of Operations & Supply Chain, Products & Services Innovation, Support Functions and Customer Interface/Go to Market. Digital has become more and more part of Oerlikon’s DNA, as new ways of working have been implemented, new talents with new skills have joined the company, new forms of collaboration have been established, and more synergies across the organization have been created.

Some of the digital solutions will be embedded in the company’s offerings to fulfill customer requirements. In addition, newly developed services will provide customers with better quality prediction and more transparency and so will enhance Oerlikon’s product portfolio.

The established innovation and digital transformation organization in Munich – the Digital Hub – continued its mission to design and implement digital, innovative solutions and deliver superior digital services for Oerlikon and its customers. Its priorities are: the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Automation, Digital Sales and Analytics. The Digital Hub covers the entire spectrum of digital requirements, from developing and providing the latest technology capabilities, to exploring new ideas, creating new digital products in the group and contributing to the overall digital strategy design. It has also brought innovative approaches to running successful transformations and staying ahead of the curve.

Some of these activities have been already launched. For example:

  • a new online shop launched for Oerlikon Metco in May 2020. Here, registered customers can search, select and directly buy spare parts and the right materials for their applications.
  • Oerlikon Metco Equipment Dashboard: an lloT technology infrastructure that retrieves data from coating machines and presents it in a consolidated dashboard, allowing customers to improve operations. The dashboard has been live since February 2020 in the internal Oerlikon Metco Coating Services Center and is planned to go to market to external customers as a new digital service in 2021.

Further results have come from several digital pilots and initiatives across the Oerlikon Group in 2020, such as:

  • The Manmade Fibers Division launched AIM4DTY, the first machine-learning digital solution that predicts quality issues with yarn production, helping the customers to identify the root causes of quality deviation.
  • The Manmade Fibers Division also launched CSP – Common Service Platform – to support the future development of digital solutions for Manmade Fibers customers.
  • Over 150 customers are using the myBalzers online platform daily, enabling them to easily track orders on a real-time basis.
  • Oerlikon Balzers launched the Pick-up app, allowing the team to collect and compare pick-up data globally and provide real-time door-to-door order tracking to customers.
  • To simplify, harmonize and increase the efficiency of its business processes, Oerlikon continued the implementation of a global SAP system with the SAP GO! Program, with the rollout of several pilots. By the end of 2023, the program will be implemented in more than 130 Surface Solutions locations globally.
  • The Oerlikon global data center infrastructure and corresponding cloud services have been adapted in order to manage working-from-home requirements that emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The Information Security team handled extra cyber-security risks resulting from this new workplace set-up in addition to the team’s regular duties.

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