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Connected components and systems can provide insights into a car's performance (Photo: Schaeffler)

Schaeffler has signed an agreement with IBM to create a digital platform that will be the foundation of the German automotive supplier's digitization strategy.

Schaeffler said the platform will let it process large amounts of data that will offer the insights needed to upgrade its operations.

IBM will provide the technology and act as a consultant and development partner for the digital ecosystem Schaeffler wants to build. The network will integrate Schaeffler's mechatronic components, systems and machines into the internet of things.

"Our aim is to connect data from across products and processes," Schaeffler's chief technology officer, Peter Guzmer, said in a press release.

Schaeffler's digital transformation involves integrating sensors in existing products and developing new products with integrated cognitive software. All machines and transportation devices will be connected and individual plants will be digitally linked to the company's supply chain.

IBM said it had signed a multi-year strategic partnership agreement with Schaeffler. The US IT group added that it will deploy its cloud-based Watson cognitive intellligence and IoT technology  to help speed up the company's digital transformation.

Said Juergen Henn, executive partner at IBM Global Business Services: "Together, Schaeffler and IBM are applying the latest design thinking and agile methodologies to drive business model innovation."