Schaeffler AG

  • Schaeffler Group
  • Headquarter location: Herzogenaurach, Germany
  • 87,900 employees worldwide
  • Divisions / Business Units:
    • Automotive (e.g. engine systems, transmission, chassis)
    • Industrial (e.g. wind turbines, linear technology)

The FACTS4WORKERS solution at Schaeffler


Context of use

Schaeffler Technologies AG & Co. KG

  • Learning support for test rig operators (SCA1)

  • Paperless information management for assembly workers (SCA2)



  • Transition to a value stream oriented production
  • Integration of quality assurance (QA) in the value stream
  • Just in time production (smaller batch size, higher frequency of setups)
  • High number of required documents (QM system)
  • Different information sources (ring-binder/ SAP / other software systems)
  • Fight for talents (be attractive for new employees)


Room for improvement

  • Develop QA employees as service providers
  • Improve knowledge exchange and enable training on the job for all employees by using a comprehensive data base
  • Easy access and management of information (e.g. shop floor management, quality documentation )
  • Harmonize information sources / data medium
  • Optimize shift handover by implementing a digital logbook/ journal


Potential benefits

  • Prevent information loss/ reduce down times
  • Increase documentation quality
  • Workplace attractiveness & worker satisfaction
  • Empowered employees
  • Increase productivity
  • Roll-out FACTS4WORKERS within Schaeffler Group (74 plants worldwide)


The FACTS4WORKERS solution
@ Schaeffler

The FACTS4WORKERS solution with the learning support and the digital shiftbook provides operators and workers with cross-layer access to all the information needed.

Field of applicaton

Core functionality

Benefit of the FACTS4WORKERS solution - SCA1

Benefit of the FACTS4WORKERS solution - SCA2

Impact dimension



Field of application

  • Testing of rolling bearings
  • Production of engine components

SCA is an automotive and industrial supplier with a worldwide network of manufacturing locations and research & development facilities. In Schweinfurt, in addition to the production, there is also the competence center for testing rolling bearings. The tests require the highest level of precision and experience and are carried out at several production sites worldwide. In Ingolstadt various engine components are produced. Recently the plant has changed its production process paradigm from "workshop series production" to a modern "value stream production".


Core functionality


Learning with mixed reality

The mixed reality application provides 3D animations, text descriptions and instructions, videos and sounds to better understand the complicated testing processes. They can be displayed overlaid exactly over the test rig at the workplace or in a classroom scenario.


Learning Wiki

A web application provides all relevant information to the operators on-site and is linked to the mixed reality device. The used Moodle open-source system is optimized for the use on mobile devices and can be easily edited and updated by the operators.


Overview of activities in the department

The activity overview provides an overview of all activities in a department. The list can be displayed for one day or whole month. In this list, the creator displays his activity at the corresponding plant, the date, and the activity.


Activities archive

The monthly view of activities in a department provides a chronological overview of the activities to date, e.g. regarding a machine. This allows employees to find information with little effort and to make informed decisions. In addition to the actual information the worker will find the originator and thus a contact possibility - even if they work on different shifts.


Shiftbook entries

The employees themselves can write directly entries so that the corresponding activities can be documented directly on the machine or in the group room. In addition to normal entries, messages can also be sent to the following shift, so direct communication with colleagues working at different times is possible.Semi-automatic relevant activity logs of machines or processes (for example, maintenance work) are also entered directly into the shift register.


Benefit of the FACTS4WORKERS solution

SCA1 - Learning support for test rig operators



Martin has to carry out complicated test measurements of the new rolling bearings on the test rig. The preparation for the measurements is complicated and must be carried out very accurately to get the right measurement results. Martin did a good training one year ago, but for the new bearings the test specification is a bit different. Now the results are slightly different than usual and Martin is not sure if the test is valid. There is no expert in his plant and if he has questions he must turn to Hannes, who works in another plant.
Hannes is an expert on the rolling bearing test rig and has developed the test specifications. The measurement results he gets from the other plants are often different from those of his own test rig. Hannes has the assumption that his specifications are not implemented correctly, but to be sure he has to travel to these plants.
Marc is a new test rig operator working at the same plant as Hannes. He did a training course but is not very experienced yet and sometimes needs help from Hannes.



Operator Martin has to carry out test measurements of new rolling bearings. For this he uses the F4W solution with the mixed reality device to go through the checklist. 3D animations, text, videos and photos help him to better understand the process. If he has any questions he can contact via F4W live chat component the test rig expert Hannes.
Hannes’ knowledge and his comments are available for all others through the F4W solution. On his workplace PC he documents problems and answers and creates the checklists and the training courses.
The new operator Marc receives training using the F4W solution with the mixed reality device. He is able to see 3D animations of the tests before he tries them himself as well as instructions or error handling.


SCA 2 – Integrated documentation of the shift



At the end of the shift, the tool adjuster documents important events in a handwritten book, and fills a series of further paper-based forms.
In this process, there are many redundant information to maintain, since the forms are only partly matched to one another. In addition, it is not possible to add photos or digital documents, so more needs to be described.
The paper-based documentation leads to the problem that it can not be searched efficiently and that it is site-bound, that is, the colleague from the office who wants to take a look must first find the shift book and then leaf through.



With the digital shiftbook 2.0, colleagues can document important incidents already during the shift, for which events are documented semi-automatic, e.g. after maintenance work, and only need to be commented in case of need.
The photo function of the tablet allows not only text and audio messages but also images to be directly documented. This saves a lot of paperwork and makes it tangible for the other colleagues.
Due to the integration of the forms and shift log entries, these must no longer be maintained redundantly. In addition, the relevant information is available to all relevant employees, regardless of time or place.


SCA 2 – Mobile deployment planning and preparation



Shortly before the start of the shift, team leader Jürgen has to draw up the shift schedule. However, he first needs to gather information about key production figures and attendance lists with all the sick certificates and "on vacation" notices before he assigns the employees to the machines they will be responsible for. He does this by putting prefabricated cards in the respective pockets on the board in his office. Jürgen has to consider special situations, for example when workers from his team are delegated to other assembly lines due to production bottlenecks or vice versa.
Such situations must be coordinated with other team leaders as well as the product manager. After the schedule is finalised, operators and tool setters come to the team leader’s office before starting their shift to get the information about their daily schedule.



Shortly before the start of the shift, team leader Jürgen assigns the employees to the machines they will be responsible for by dragging the icon on the tablet into the corresponding field. He can choose and allocate statuses like "workplace not staffed" if some workers take sick days, are on vacation or have been delegated to other assembly lines. If additional staff is called for in the assembly line that falls under his responsibility, he can mark this workplace as “multiple staffed”. The shift plan will appear on a central screen on the shop floor, so that operators and tool setters can check today’s schedule directly and start working at their machines. All possible updates during the shift also appear onscreen.
Additionally the digital workforce management allows faster and more efficient ways of communicating with the HR office. Information on who was working at which machine is stored centrally in the system. This leverages transparency and makes it easier to find out whom to address if problems occur that correspond with past incidents.



Impact dimension

Improvement with regard to influencing factors.