Publisher: Bachmann electronic GmbH
Prestigious Acquisition Raises Bachmann Scientific Expertise to New Heights
© Bachmann electronic GmbHFeldkirch (renewablepress) - In January 2021 the Bachmann Group announced the acquisition of German tech start-up Indalyz Monitoring & Prognostics GmbH (IM&P), headed by renowned physicist Professor Michael Schulz.
Hailing from Halle an der Saale, Professor Schulz and his expert team are specialized in the development, implementation and operation of intelligent monitoring software. Their goal: to optimize predictive and preventive maintenance by designing new mathematical models and artificial intelligence algorithms. The move further strengthens Bachmann’s Condition Monitoring service offering across all customer industries, granting unrestricted access to cutting edge mathematics and its application to real-world problems.
“We are delighted to welcome IM&P to the Bachmann family,” says Bernhard Zangerl, CEO of the Bachmann Group. “Our organizations are well aligned when it comes to pushing the boundaries of Condition Monitoring. This partnership is an exciting opportunity to enrich our applications with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning, and to deliver new solutions to our customers’ challenges.”
Indalyz Monitoring & Prognostics
IM&P are specialists in machine analysis based on high-precision Condition Monitoring Systems (CMS). After collecting detailed information from individual components, their team of experts apply in-house algorithms to obtain maintenance-related knowledge. This is exactly the type of knowledge that Bachmann’s specialist CMS engineers use to further optimize characteristic values for the predictive and preventive maintenance strategies of their global clientele.
The addition of IM&P also secures the further development of Bachmann's certified remote monitoring center. This center currently employs a large team of experts who diagnose more than 7,000 machines and plants worldwide (ships, onshore and offshore wind turbines, cable cars, tunnel fans, vertical mills and much more), promptly detecting faults before they lead to serious damage.
"The use of new mathematical algorithms relieves our experts of some routine work and, at the same time, further raises the quality of our diagnostics,” says Steffen Biehl, Managing Director of Bachmann Monitoring GmbH. “With the time gained, we can carry out in-depth root cause analysis together with our customers, which will result in solutions for other, identical plants or similar system constellations well in advance. This is how I define real added value for our customers."
Bachmann Welcomes Specialist Team
But behind the mathematics and high-tech solutions lies a personal success story. IM&P was the brainchild of husband and wife team Michael and Beatrix Schulz who, after establishing the start-up in 2015, subsequently employed further staff members, all of whom have been welcomed into the Bachmann Monitoring community with open arms.
Professor Michael Schulz boasts an impressive academic résumé with 3 internationally acclaimed reference books, 6 published theoretical physics textbooks and over 150 publications in renowned journals. Following positions at MIT and SUNY in the United States, he has lectured in theoretical physics at Ulm University for more than 20 years, where he currently teaches control theory and theory of complex systems.
“With Bachmann, we know we are in good hands,” says Professor Schulz, “This move opens up the possibility to apply our existing algorithms to a much broader industrial demographic, as well as to develop new ones in response to individual challenges. After many successful years of cooperation with Bachmann Monitoring, we are very excited to join their team. Combining our expertise with Bachmann’s diverse application portfolio opens up a wide range of new perspectives for us.”
Looking into the Future
Best known for its automation systems, Bachmann anticipates major development in its Condition Monitoring products and services through the new partnership, particularly in the rapidly expanding field of offshore wind. Higher forecasting accuracy, especially when applied to new parameters, will dramatically improve fault detection, making turbine and machine operators aware of an impending issue long before any actual damage occurs. Maintenance planning therefore becomes easier and safer for engineering teams, with lower total costs of repairs.
Predictive and preventive maintenance also reduces unplanned downtime; invaluable when it comes to expensive or production-critical machinery, such as in pharmaceutical or paper production lines. With more accurate forecasting, plants are able to improve productivity and therefore profitability, allowing for scheduled machine repairs and downtime when convenient for the customer.
A more unexpected but highly relevant application of Condition Monitoring and predictive maintenance is in the maritime industry, where specialized vessels are often at sea for weeks and weeks and downtime can spell disaster. In this sector, operator safety is particularly critical, and effective maintenance planning can play a major role in keeping crew members safe. An effective maintenance strategy extends the total lifetime of vessels, machines and turbines, making them more sustainable through reduced obsolescence.
Growing Aspirations for Bachmann
Bachmann's main motivation for the acquisition was to expand its capability to apply the latest mathematical methods to real life challenges, for example for further expansion into the offshore wind market. Holistic monitoring concepts that offer the earliest possible fault prediction will become mandatory in future, particularly for the safe maintenance of offshore floating platforms (or so-called “floating wind”). It is only through such an approach that the high investments in wind power can be properly protected, ensuring profitably over the long term.
Floating platforms are subject to far more complex influences than ground-fixed installations. In addition, holistic structural and maintenance monitoring must now be ensured for other components such as energy conversion and storage modules. Classical methods alone are no longer sufficient in such complex plant systems and must be supported by new and much more powerful models. For this very reason, Bachmann Monitoring GmbH’s second Managing Director, Holger Fritsch, is particularly pleased about this important gain, which follows the addition of Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) in 2019.
“With the addition of IM&P to our Monitoring team, we can evaluate data in a very different way,” says Fritsch, “"We can build meta-levels that allow us to identify new patterns and apply what we learn to a huge range of machines - from heavy industry to energy parks. With Professor Schulz, monitoring problems from very different machine types become solvable at a fundamental, mathematical level through the combination of classical diagnostic models and new methods of analysis. Our goal is to stand at the forefront of predictive maintenance worldwide. With that in mind, and thanks to these unique opportunities, I am extremely positive about the future."
With the acquisition, Bachmann signals its intentions for significant further growth. There is still plenty to do, and effective solutions are always in demand. Bachmann - as an automation solutions specialist - is also significantly and specifically strengthening its competence in the area of Structural Health Monitoring, predictive maintenance and higher-level Condition Monitoring.
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© Bachmann electronic GmbH
© Bachmann electronic GmbH
Feldkirch, 15 April 2021
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