The service business is not only a high-margin source of revenue for companies in the manufacturing industry but also enables them to differentiate themselves better from their competitors. Services are not as easy to copy as products because they require qualified employees and a good knowledge of customer requirements. At the same time, the connection of products via the Internet of Things (IoT) is enabling new services such as remote maintenance, predictive maintenance, functional (software) updates and the like or even innovative product-as-a-service offerings. Customers attach great importance to new service offerings of this type as they guarantee maximum availability of their machines and systems.
In order to exploit the potential of the service business, manufacturers must integrate their development, production and after-sales processes more tightly and improve the digital flow of information, from the creation and provision of service documentation to spare parts provisioning through to the feeding back of changes from the field to the organization. The systematic digitalization of service-relevant information allows both its visualization in the product context with the help of augmented reality (AR) methods and the use of digital product models for the on-site additive manufacturing of spare parts.