GEA Group, Düsseldorf, Germany, said it is introducing a cloud-based platform for digital services. This supplier-independent portal provides customers modern service solutions such as remote maintenance, data analysis and comprehensive e-commerce, and enables them to seamlessly integrate all their supplier interactions in one common platform, GEA said. The platform also includes a documentation part, where customers are provided with certificates, operating manuals and training documents.

GEA said the portal will be launched in July 2019 for the first German customers before rolling out to GEA’s other clients worldwide. Additional services such as condition-monitoring, programmable logic control connections and video support will be implemented by the end of 2020.

“Digitalization is not just another buzz word. It’s a core innovation driver for GEA and our customers,” explained Steffen Bersch, executive board member at GEA. “Regarding the new customer portal, we’ve taken a big step forward on our digitalization journey at GEA.”

GEA said it developed the digital cooperation channel for its service business with MachIQ, the winner of the 2016 start-up competition MassChallenge Switzerland. The MachIQ solution is supplier-independent and can also be integrated with most enterprise resource planning systems, enabling seamless digitization from the customer to supplier.

The MachIQ portal itself has two functional modules: one for the customer machine management and the other for the supplier service portfolio management. Both solutions run on a cloud-based platform in secure private areas, GEA said.

According to the company, various GEA customers confirmed the demand for this open platform. For example, one of the 10 largest dairies in Germany has already procured the license for the MachIQ-portal for all its production sites.

“The digital cooperation project enables us not only to create a new customer portal, but especially to understand the customers’ processes and optimize the collaboration by means of digital infrastructures,” said Kerstin Altenseuer, head of service development at GEA.