- Wiehler Forum industry summit dedicated to connectivity and innovation
- Oliver Wieck, Dr Susanne Leifheit and Julia Miosga among the speakers
- Michael Pfeiffer: We must seize the opportunities offered by the transformation in transport and logistics
Wiehl, 18 November 2019 --- In early November, some 100 top decision makers from the transport and logistics sectors met at the Wiehler Forum to discuss the issues that will shape the future of the industry. This year, the summit in Wiehl will also have a lasting impact outside the industry – for the first time ever, the participants set the agenda for a political dialogue with members of the German parliament in Berlin. Host BPW urged all of the stakeholders who want to make a difference in the industry to form an alliance.
Trade wars, Brexit and climate change are all having a massive impact on the transport and logistics industry; the automotive supply and commercial vehicle industries are particularly alarmed by the sharp decline in orders. Michael Pfeiffer, managing partner of BPW, does not view this as a crisis, but rather as a sign of a far-reaching industrial transformation that should be approached with openness and the courage to innovate. During his opening speech at the two-day Wiehler Forum industry summit, he called on the approximately 100 participants to actively support digitisation and connectivity and to view CO2 pricing as an opportunity for sustainable technological change. Pfeiffer doesn’t view connectivity solely as a technological issue – the Wiehler Forum also invited participants to ‘Come to be a motionist’, with the event serving as a platform to personally connect all of the stakeholders who want to make a difference in the industry.
The speakers and discussion participants included Oliver Wieck (secretary general, ICC Germany e.V. International Chamber of Commerce), Dr Susanne Leifheit (head of External Relations and Sustainability, VW Commercial Vehicles), Julia Miosga (CEO, Die DigitalLandschaftsGärtnerin), Thorsten Hülsmann (managing director, EffizienzCluster Management GmbH) and Axel Plaß (partner, Konrad Zippel Spediteur GmbH & Co. KG).
The insights gained from the lectures and discussions held at the Wiehler Forum will not remain in the Bergisches Land region, however, but will be incorporated into direct communication with members of Germany’s parliament. The agenda for a political dialogue to be held in Berlin in March 2020 will be set by the participants of the Wiehler Forum. The invitation to the event in Berlin is included.
In a subsequent interview with journalists, Michael Pfeiffer explained why the BPW Group views itself as a company driving the transformation of the transport sector: ‘The industry is about to undergo radical change. The challenges are not only economic – including continuing cost pressure, declining margins and a shortage of drivers – but also political, as a result of the climate debate. Technologies such as big data, AI, Industry 4.0, electric mobility and the digital platform economy are not a threat, but have long been specific fields in which the BPW Group is innovating.’ Pfeiffer also announced a plethora of new products, as well as alliances with major players in the logistics and commercial vehicle industry for the IAA year 2020. ‘In 2020, BPW will unveil a portfolio of solutions that sets new standards in sustainable transport efficiency. In terms of assembly, operation and maintenance, vehicle operators will be able to save time and fuel, cut costs and reduce CO2 emissions like never before.’
To achieve this goal, Pfeiffer explains how the BPW Group is investing in innovation and customer focus with unbridled energy. BPW is also fine-tuning its organisational structure to this end. In addition, BPW intends to become more involved in the digital platform economy and to launch its own platforms. In the field of electromobility, BPW has reported receiving the first orders of its eTransport electric drive axle and is intensifying its collaboration with vehicle manufacturers and research institutes.
With the digitisation of its running gear technologies, BPW has reached a strategic milestone – each individual component is based on a digital twin in line with the company’s ‘born digital’ approach. Thus, BPW supports the running gear with digital services throughout its life, from the configuration, production and installation through to maintenance and the spare parts service. The company’s Industry 4.0 model, which is unique within the industry, also encompasses intelligent production logistics in which the installation of individual running gears can, for the first time, be integrated into a vehicle manufacturer’s production facility as a plug-in solution. This unlocks considerable efficiency gains for the commercial vehicle industry. The first vehicle manufacturers have already started using this system, according to Pfeiffer. BPW will have largely completed the digitisation of its running gear technologies by early 2020. Pfeiffer continues: ‘The BPW Group embarked on systematically expanding its innovation strategy years ago. Today, we see ourselves as highly innovative, aggressive and extremely well organised – which is why we are confident that, together with our partners and customers, we will be able to make a major impact in 2020.’
BPW is also focusing on innovation in its communications: BPW based the event’s motto ‘Come to be a motionist’ on the web platform of the same name, which will report in detail on the Wiehler Forum. Motionist.com is closely linked to BPW’s social media platforms, where the highlights of the Wiehler Forum were reported live.
About BPW Bergische Achsen Kommanditgesellschaft
BPW Bergische Achsen Kommanditgesellschaft is the parent company of the BPW Group. With over 1,600 employees, including around 120 trainees, the family-owned company has been developing and producing complete running gear systems for truck trailers and semi-trailers at its headquarters in Wiehl since 1898. BPW’s technologies include axle systems, brake technology, suspension and bearings. BPW’s trailer axles and running gear systems are in use in millions of vehicles around the world. An extensive range of services also offers vehicle manufacturers and operators the ability to increase the efficiency of their production and transport processes. www.bpw.de/en
About the BPW Group
The BPW Group researches, develops and manufactures everything needed to ensure that transport keeps moving and is safe, illuminated, intelligent and digitally connected. With its brands BPW, Ermax, HBN, HESTAL and idem telematics, the company group is a preferred system partner of the commercial vehicle industry around the globe for running gear, brakes, lighting, fasteners and superstructure technology, telematics and other key components for trucks, trailers and buses. The BPW Group offers comprehensive mobility services for transport businesses, ranging from a global service network to spare parts supply and intelligent networking of vehicles, drivers and freight. The owner-operated company group currently employs 7,200 staff in more than 50 countries and achieved consolidated sales of 1.48 billion euros in 2017. www.bpw.de/en