Serving our customers

Putting the pieces together

What is service? It is an age-old idea founded on the notion of helping others and caring for their needs. In manufacturing, it starts with supporting customers when things go wrong. That is just the beginning. Bühler is transforming its service offering to go broader and deeper, creating true partnerships with customers to help them achieve their goals over the long term.

     
 

About 2,000 kilometers  off the southeast coast of the African continent, east of Madagascar, lies the island of Mauritius. Palm trees, clear blue water, and a tropical climate are only a few of the perks the island nation benefits from. However, its remote location also means that it has to produce as many of the staple foods it needs as possible. 

Les Moulins de la Concorde is the only flour mill on the island. It has been in operation since 1987, and plays a critical role in supplying staple foods to the island’s 1.2 million inhabitants. Downtime, low efficiency, or even a complete shutdown would have a direct impact on the island’s food supply. Ivan Yardin, Head Miller of Les Moulins de la Concorde puts it quite simply: “We must run, we have to deliver, and reliability of all the machinery is of utmost importance.” The machinery that Yardin is referring to is a mix of older and newer generation milling equipment from Bühler. Over the last 30 years, the business relationship has grown into a partnership that focuses on sustainable service solutions. 

Continuous automation upgrades and connecting the plant to the digital platform Bühler Insights has led to a transparent overview of their processes and production. From yield management through to overall equipment effectiveness, and predictive maintenance information, it all helps to ensure uninterrupted production. With the ProPlant service, preventive maintenance tasks can be managed online for better efficiency and availability of the equipment. Furthermore, by optimizing processes, the plant now consumes 4 percent less energy – paving the way for a more sustainable future for Les Moulins de la Concorde. 

The partnership between Bühler and the flour mill that the Mauritian people rely on proves that service goes far beyond the delivery of spare parts and call outs. While these are still essential elements, a model of service in which the customer only has contact with the supplier when there is a break-down or an emergency is one that fails to exploit the full potential of that relationship. 

 

Spare parts, calls outs, and beyond

At Bühler we have always had a different approach to service. We believe firmly that services are a key driver of our customer’s success. That is why we offer a broad service portfolio, starting with spare and wear parts and inspection and maintenance services, but also including more advanced services such as consultancy services for food and feed safety and equipment upgrades. And now we are taking our services portfolio further. 

“Our customers are at the heart of our service culture because we recognize that we are only successful if they are successful,” says Tjark de Vries, Head of Global Customer Services at Bühler. “For us, service means protecting our customers’ investments and enabling them to get the maximum return and profitability throughout the life cycle of their assets.” 

service visual - in stallation We provide complete machine installation for your equipment. Call us 24/7 to get your job done. We are on duty day and night. We train our 680 service engineers worldwide to handle your equipment and processes with 15 days of training for each engineer every year. Our highly committed to delivering the highest quality of service as fast as possible.

At your side when you need us

Fundamentally, service is about a relationship, and for a relationship to function well, it requires an understanding of the other’s needs. It means not only providing technical expertise but also listening to each customer’s specific requirements, understanding where their pain points lie and which opportunities they want to pursue. 

The key to this is proximity – and this is where Bühler’s global network is a strength. “We are present around the world – we have people where our customers are, at all our service and sales locations,” explains de Vries. The Bühler experts in the field have gained a deep understanding of the pressures that customers face. 

 

service visual - in stallation Prolong the life of your machine, increase uptime, ensure consistent output and help between three basic types of maintenance approaches: reactive, preventive, and your installed asset’s uptime improvements, considering all dependencies, we will jointly develop the concept to address your challenges and targets.

“Our customers are in the production business. Fundamentally, they are all in the business of producing parts per minute or tons per hour at a certain quality,” explains Patrik Meier, Head of Service Offering Portfolio at Bühler. “They want to achieve that quality all the time and with reduced environmental impact. And for food and feed manufacturers, food hygiene is an important requirement. But fundamentally, all our customers want to know how many tons they can produce per hour and how they can get one ton more. If we can help them increase reliability, availability, output per hour, or profits per hour, we are doing our job right.” To achieve this means not just relying on the classic idea of service but going further – it requires a shift from a reactive model to a proactive approach. 

This is reflected in the changing nature of customers’ requests. “We have seen growth in inspection and maintenance contracts. In addition, a lot of the work we are doing for our customers now is around plant modernization, where the focus is on helping them improve their existing assets,” explains de Vries. “In general, we are seeing more customers sign up for longer term agreements. Customers want to collaborate with us to cover their needs; they want a deeper partnership and a reliable partner.” 

A deeper relationship

At Bühler, the journey toward this services transformation started during the pandemic. “The challenges we and our customers faced brought us even closer together,” explains Martin Staeger, Program Director Service Transformation at Bühler. 

 

“As a result, we set about developing our service portfolio further and reframing it so that customers could clearly see the benefits of each type of service we offer and, on that basis, choose the service or bundle of services that suit them best.” 

The Bühler service portfolio is now founded on nine main benefits. They include cost reduction, personnel and machine safety, uptime, capacity, food and feed safety, sustainability, innovation, quality, and lifetime extension. “These benefits are weighted differently depending on the type of industry,” Staeger says. “But performance is the number one requirement for all customers.” 

Another factor that is growing in importance for many customers is the topic of sustainability. Whe-ther it is led by increasing levels of regulation, or market pull from their own customers, or their own sense of purpose, reducing the environmental impact of production is becoming an important criterion in several industries and regions. Here, again, services provide the key. 

“We have over one million machines installed worldwide with more than 25,000 customers, and billions of people cover their basic needs for food and mobility every day with products manufactured using Bühler technology,” de Vries explains.

service visual - in stallation We have over 160 years of industry and process expertise, with valuable insights on both the technical and the latest market know-how. Whether you are struggling to choose the right direction or looking for new opportunities, we are here to guide you. Expert services create a solid foundation for sustainable decision-making to steer your company toward its short- and long-term goals – directly one to one or via our Remote Support.
service visual - in stallation Give your plant a second lease of life with your machine with a factory revision. Do not miss the opportunity to increase the productivity of your production lines. Overhauls of your equipment, adding up to 10 years to your machine’s lifetime.

“By ensuring that our installed assets in the market run more efficiently, by reducing energy and water use and reducing waste, we and our customers together can make a major contribution to tackling this challenge.” 

Services are the biggest lever to achieving this goal. Service provision has always been about reducing downtime, improving efficiency, lowering operational cost, and increasing overall profitability. Now this has become a key part of the way in which we will tackle other challenges as well, as each service has a positive impact on CO2. 

For example, preventive maintenance and upgrades help keep machines in operation for longer, meaning more value can be obtained out of the existing asset, and digital services help save energy by increasing efficiency. 

“As we looked at our service offering, we realized we could do even more – there remained significant unexploited potential that we could leverage to help our customers meet the growing challenges they face every day. From rising energy costs to increasing safety requirements and sustainability improvements, services can provide solutions covering the entire value chain,” says de Vries. 

It's the outcome that matters

Bühler’s new framework of service offerings, comprising classical and digital, leverages this potential to benefit our customers. “By offering service bundles, we can integrate engineering, process, and data analytics know-how to optimize the entire line or plant and achieve better business results,” Staeger explains. “But this also enables us to address 

broader business KPIs like enhanced productivity and innovation in a project process that is agile and co-creative. Indeed, the most recent step we have taken involves a complete turnaround of the model for service delivery: Instead of guaranteeing our own performance, we now work closely with our customers to guarantee the outcomes that they define together with us.” This means that the goal of our services is no longer described in terms of only delivering a properly functioning machine, but rather in terms, for example, of delivering productivity gains. And rather than thinking of terms of helping to optimize business processes, we now think in terms of how we work with our customers to improve their KPIs.  

“It is about the benefits – instead of talking to customers about machines or inspections, we talk about results,” says Meier. This change in approach is so fundamental, it is also reflected in the way services are priced: “It means payment to Bühler is derived one to one from customer value,” he says.

service visual - in stallation Let us become your proactive partner to support your operation, and maintain and optimize holistic views on the operations, condition, and performance of your assets. Our goal is to improve your productivity by looking at your entire process, analyzing it, and implementing sustainable solutions that increase your process consistency. Together with our experienced experts, we tackle quality issues with fast improvements to ensure a stable process.

Co-creating value and success

This represents a revolution in how we think about our business and our relationship with our customers. It brings deeper levels of collaboration. To achieve it requires developing a deeper understanding of our customers’ value chains. It means that we take on part of the risk. We are no longer just a supplier but a partner in the enterprise. 

It is also a longer-term approach that drives innovation and creates new business models. This means that the value our customers derive from us grows over time, and it demonstrates that efficiency, sustainability, and better outcomes can all pull in the same direction. “We are on a journey. When we started our service transformation, we envisioned getting even closer to our customers wherever they are located and offering flexible, customized packages to meet their specific needs,” says de Vries. “We realized we can do much more, because we have big assets in terms of our technological know-how and process knowledge used to design and engineer machinery and plant. We want our customers to have access to that knowledge throughout the full life cycle of their assets. Our customers think about operating 365 days a year, and we do too.” 

service visual - in stallation Your people play a key role in the performance and quality of your production. Our experts help develop competencies and boost your business. With over 160 years of engineering expertise, we share our deep knowledge in various classroom and plants and processes in order to drive the best outcome research and analysis solutions to keep up in a evaluating and analyzing your individual challenges.
service visual - in stallation In the event of a breakdown, you need the necessary spare parts as fast as possible – we ensure you have high-quality parts, wherever and whenever needed. That is why we run stock centers worldwide, so you can get quick access to spare and wear parts around the world. Simply place an order online 24/7 on myBühler, our convenient customer portal.

The benefits

  • Cost reduction: Supporting you in reducing operational costs in your production​.
  • Personnel & machine safety: Helping you increase and ensure safety for personnel, machines, and the environment​.
  • Uptime: Improving availability and reliability.
  • Capacity: Helping increase the output of your production in volume or diversity​.
  • Food & feed safety: Supporting you in increasing food safety and adhering to regulations​.
  • Sustainability: Helping make your production more sustainable. (less energy, waste, and water)​
  • Innovation: Enabling you to innovate, develop, and test new products and processes​.
  • Quality: Helping you to increase the quality of your production output on a consistent basis.
  • ​Lifetime extension: Enhancing your assets to ensure a longer productive lifetime​.

    

 

Services

We provide complete machine installation for your equipment. Call us 24/7 to get your job done. We are on duty day and night. We train our 680 service engineers worldwide to handle your equipment and processes with 15 days of training for each engineer every year. Our highly skilled and trained staff worldwide are ­ committed to delivering the highest quality of service as fast as possible.

 

We have over 160 years of industry and process expertise, with valuable insights on both the technical and the latest market know-how. Whether you are struggling to choose the right direction or looking for new opportunities, we are here to guide you. Expert services create a solid foundation for sustainable decision-making to steer your company toward its short- and long-term goals – directly one to one or via our Remote Support.

 

Prolong the life of your machine, increase uptime, ensure consistent output and help reduce operating costs. We differentiate between three basic types of maintenance approaches: reactive, preventive, and predictive. To find the best service solutions for your installed asset’s uptime improvements, considering all dependencies, we will jointly develop the concept to address your challenges and targets.

 

Give your plant a second lease of life with a retrofit service or extend the lifetime of your machine with a factory revision. Do not miss the opportunity to increase the productivity of your production lines. We offer several upgrade kits for complete overhauls of your equipment, adding up to 10 years to your machine’s lifetime.

 

Your people play a key role in the performance and quality of your production. Our experts help develop competencies and boost your business. With over 160 years of engineering expertise, we share our deep knowledge in various classroom and on-site trainings, so that your staff better understand the plants and processes in order to drive the best outcome and maintain efficiency and safety. Learn from our research and analysis solutions to keep up in a competitive market and find new opportunities by evaluating and analyzing your individual challenges.

 

In the event of a breakdown, you need the necessary spare parts as fast as possible – we ensure you have high-quality parts, wherever and whenever needed. That is why we run stock centers worldwide, so you can get quick access to spare and wear parts around the world. Simply place an order online 24/7 on myBühler, our convenient customer portal.

 

    

 

Showcases

Services Used

  • Harware you need
  • Experts working for you
  • Maintaining your equipment

Benefit

  • Lifetime extension

Without optical filters, many of today’s high-tech applications would not be possible. Since the 1970s optical filters have enabled new and ingenious ways of harnessing different wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum for a wide array of applications. Denmark-based Delta Optical Thin Film A/S is a key supplier and pioneer in this industry, providing custom designs and manufacturing to their customers. Optical filters and precision optics have also become more widespread in high-volume consumer products, which has led to a significant increase in demand. This is especially pertinent for medical applications, such as cancer diagnostics and Covid-19 tests, where quality is of

utmost importance. To ensure minimum downtime in operations, Delta moved from a reactive to a preventive maintenance plan with Bühler. Now maintenance is meticulously planned and executed, based on data driven insights, and performed at the optimal opportunity. Additionally, augmented reality glasses provide Delta with fast remote support that is always available, meaning that a Bühler process expert is always at hand. The finishing touch is the customer portal myBühler. Here Delta can always check which spare and wear parts are needed for which machine and they can be directly ordered online. Parts that are needed on a regular basis can be scheduled and deliveries tracked.

Services Used

  • Experts working for you
  • Maintaining your equipment
  • Upgrading your equipment
  • Installing your equipment
  • Knowledge for you

Benefit

  • Uptime

Herbert Lugitsch und Söhne Ges.mbH is an Austrian family business with long-standing tradition in feed production. Nestled within the rolling hills of the Styrian province, close to Graz, they know their way around feed production and put a strong emphasis on innovation, quality, and regional value chains. For a company that has been active since 1909, staying at the forefront of technology is key. In 2021 these efforts culminated in a modernization project unlike any other. The existing machinery was completely unified within the plant control system. A fully digitalized production record serves as the basis for future endeavors and service solutions.

Bühler’s lead modernization manager for this project, Adrian Staerkle, was closely involved from the beginning. “We started this project with on-site visits to get a feel for the plant and the machinery in use. Over the course of the project, we would visit many more times and were able to become partners in this endeavor,” he says. Due to the complex nature and historic growth of the plant, extensive preparations were necessary before the modernization could be fulfilled. But the efforts paid off: When everything was ready and the on-site work could begin, it took the automation engineers only 36 hours to bring all 24 production lines back into operation with the new system.

Services Used

  • Process optimization
  • Installing your equipment

Benefit

  • Sustainability

To brew beer in its purest form, only four ingredients are needed: barley, hops, water, and yeast. North Carolina-based Epiphany Craft Malt has dedicated itself to producing high-quality malt products for the brewing industry that are sourced in their region. Collaborating with local farmers and likewise distributing their products to the regional craft beer and distilling scene are the results of their dedication to sustainability. They are mindful of the impact their processes have on the environment and have committed themselves to becoming carbon neutral in their operations and reducing the environmental impact of their product as much as possible. No easy task, especially since the drying step of malt production is very energy

intensive. Out of this, a collaboration between Epiphany Craft Malt and the Bühler sustainability team began. Sebastian Wolfrum, owner of Epiphany, is convinced of this approach: “It’s been incredible to have a team that not only understands the malting process, but the entire value chain from our farmer’s fields to the brew catalogue,” he says. To understand which solutions could be implemented to what effect, a sound foundation was needed first. A product impact assessment established a baseline and highlighted the carbon emission hot spots along the value chain. Based on these insights, informed action can now be taken and implemented, such as targeted modernization and digital solutions on the existing equipment.

Services Used

  • Process optimization
  • Experts working for you

Benefit

  • Quality

Investing in a Bühler solution means investing in a partnership. Willi Grüninger AG is a third generation, family-owned milling company from Switzerland. Situated in the eastern part of the country, they have been a Bühler customer for many decades. A close relationship and collaboration like this is the ideal setting for co-created innovation. Together with Grüninger, Bühler developed the Temperature and Vibration Management (TVM) service, an integral step towards the smart mill. Sensors installed in the roll measure its temperature and vibration during operation. This led to new insights – for example, that

during grinding the product is concentrated in the middle of the roll, causing more wear in this area and an unwanted, uneven temperature increase. This was mechanically solved and now, with a more even product distribution, the grinding process is more efficient, quality has been increased, and energy can be saved. Installing TVM also enhances the digital and automation capabilities of the mill. Essentially, the sensor is a key data point that is visualized with Bühler Insights. This enables the operator to take immediate and targeted action if necessary and establishes a new data set relevant for performance and efficiency reviews. 

Services Used

  • Process optimization

Benefit

  • Capacity

Caramuru Alimentos has been active in the Brazilian agricultural sector since 1964. Besides being the largest Brazilian-owned soybean processor, they also focus on processing corn, sunflower, and canola into oil and the corresponding side streams. Dedicated to sustainability, Caramuru constantly strives to improve its processes and efficiency. In a company this large, with such a wide portfolio and array of processes, defining clear goals and KPIs is the first step. Together with Bühler, with whom the company has been working since 1989, two clear goals were defined in the first phase: to reduce the flake thickness variation, which consequently helps to achieve the second goal, to reduce the residual oil content in the meal, meaning increased efficiency in soy oil production. The result was that flake thickness variation was reduced by 20 percent and the residual oil content in

the meal reduced by 36 percent. During this time all service measures and improvements were monitored against these indicators to track the progress on a weekly basis and review it in monthly meetings. The difference to a more traditional service approach is that the desired outcome was defined with clear KPIs at the beginning of the project, and these are linked to contractual obligations. Already qualitative results have been achieved, such as a reduction of overall maintenance costs and higher equipment reliability. After the first phase all KPIs were met, resulting in a more efficient oil extraction process for Caramuru, and the contract was renewed for the next phase. This new business model enables Caramuru and Bühler to align their objectives and deliver true value through services. Furthermore, it is the ideal basis for future collaboration.

The facts

> 1 million

Bühler machines installed globally in the plants of more than 25,000 customers

104

service stations around the world

680

field service engineers on six continents

500

customers visited by Bühler service technicians every day

32,000

different parts on stock in nine locations

14,000

machines are continuously enhanced with preventive maintenance agreements

23

countries with Application & Training Centers

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