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Schaeffler developing Vietnam facility as Digital Pilot Plant for Asia Pacific


Aerial view of Schaeffler Vietnam plant in Bien Hoa City

●  First anniversary of opening modern, expanded production hub in Vietnam celebrated on May 9, 2020

●  Two production lines added, including Schaeffler flagship product needle roller bearings (NRB)

●  Holistic digitalization concept integrated by continuous data management solutions being introduced in Vietnam as pilot for global production system

Schaeffler celebrated the first anniversary of opening the modern manufacturing plant at Bien Hoa City in Dong Nai province of Vietnam on May 9, 2020. Setup with an investment of 45 million euros, the plant is the latest addition to the growing regional production footprint of Schaeffler in Asia Pacific, and it serves as a global production hub for a range of industrial products.

Since the start of production in 2019, the company has scaled up operations at the plant to add two new product lines – the Radial Insert Ball Bearings (RIBB) ISO range and Schaeffler’s flagship product Needle Roller Bearings (NRB). Three more products lines will be added to Vietnam’s product portfolio by end of 2020 – Deep Groove Ball Bearing (DGBB), Mast Roller Bearing (HMR) and an extended range of Tapered Roller Bearings (TRB). The range and product line extensions will serve regional and global customers with best-in-class performance for a wide range of industrial applications.

Global pilot for new digital manufacturing concept at Schaeffler

Along with the expansion of facilities, Schaeffler is also developing the production hub in Vietnam as a digital pilot plant for its global production system. “The digital networking of production facilities along the entire value chain is one of the most important goals of Industry 4.0. This project is in line with our global initiatives to digitally map the entire product lifecycle by implementing new technologies at an early stage in our own operations” explains Klaus Mueller, Chief Operating Officer at Schaeffler Asia Pacific.

The project supports the Government of Vietnam’s thrust to digitally transform industries as part of the next wave of socioeconomic development in the country. As part of the digital pilot plant project, Schaeffler has been working with Vietnam’s biggest software development company, FPT, to develop a holistic digitalization concept integrated by continuous data management solutions. A cross-functional team is working on developing and setting up the right infrastructure, equipment and software solutions to make digitalization a major enabler for Schaeffler’s production excellence. This will be achieved by enabling optimum efficiencies based on data driven decision making and high flexibility through real time data utilization.

Appreciation for crisis management and business continuity planning

The first anniversary milestone has come at a time when businesses around the world are trying to manage the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a crucial part of the global production footprint of Schaeffler, the Vietnam plant adopted a precautionary stance and implemented several crisis management measures and business continuity plans at the start of the coronavirus outbreak in January 2020. This allowed the plant to continue operations despite the partial lockdown measures implemented by the Government of Vietnam, which has been very effective in handling the crisis. The measures implemented at the plant were also appreciated by the Health Ministry of Dong Nai province and Schaeffler provided a dossier to the government authorities to serve as a benchmark for other companies in the region.