Alpnach-based Start-Up helps Swiss Production Companies take Advantage of the Opportunities of AI
CSEM press release on foundation of Alpamayo (24/08/2022)
Alpnach/Neuenburg, 24th August 2022 – Every minute a machine spends in downtime during production costs money. Downtime is particularly problematic for Swiss original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), as they already have to contend with mounting cost pressures due to international competition, as well as the strong Swiss franc. This is where a solution letting manufacturers reliably and precisely predict when a machine needs maintenance would be worth its weight in gold.
While a solution like this might sound like something straight out of a science fiction novel, it most definitely is not: "Most medium-sized OEMs already have part of the solution," notes Christoph Netsch, co-founder of Alpamayo Intelligent Quality Solutions (IQS) GmbH. “Lots of companies already collect digital production data but sometimes they lack the time and expertise required to analyze this data and, by doing so, miss out on identifying potential areas for improvement,” Netsch adds.
Artificial intelligence yields real benefits
This is exactly where the innovative start-up, Alpamayo IQS (founded on August 17, 2022), comes into play. The start-up, which emerged from CSEM in Alpnach, uses data science as well as modern AI and machine learning applications to help medium-sized OEMs analyze their production data. "We have set ourselves the goal of gleaning useful information and recommendations for practice from unstructured mountains of data," explains Netsch. Together with Till Schöpe, the co-founder of the company and another former long-standing employee of CSEM, the pair have already successfully implemented similar projects in the past. "We are building on this experience.”
What specific services does the start-up offer? For production companies, the journey starts with an in-depth consultation. "Each company has its own individual requirements that we have to consider," observes Netsch. After obtaining an overview of the business, a suitable AI solution is developed for its specific needs. To this end, the production data is prepared using smart AI software programs from Alpamayo IQS, resulting in attractive new approaches including predictive maintenance and predictive quality. The aim is for mediumsized companies to benefit from the advantages of Industry 4.0 in the way that usually only large corporations can. This approach offers huge potential. Around 1257 OEMs are active in Switzerland alone, while the global market for AI solutions in this segment has an estimated value of 4.2 billion US Dollars.
It is no coincidence that Alpamayo IQS chose to base itself in the community of Alpnach: "Being based here, we can continue to benefit from the expertise of CSEM’s specialists and build on our current collaborative work," stresses Netsch. Philippe Steiert, director of CSEM’s Regional Centers, is impressed by this venture. Steiert played a key role in setting up the partnership: "I'm very pleased that we managed to attract these dynamic young entrepreneurs to this hub of science and innovation in the center of Switzerland," he states. An important task for the innovation center is to focus its efforts on further developing this location. "We receive funding from the central Swiss cantons for this purpose."