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Schaeffler Group – Cost-effective and high-quality wireless condition monitoring

The Schaeffler Group has been driving forward groundbreaking inventions and developments in the field of motion technology for over 75 years. With innovative technologies, products, and services for electric mobility, CO₂-efficient drives, chassis solutions, Industry 4.0, digitalization, and renewable energies, the company is a reliable partner for making motion more efficient, intelligent, and sustainable – over the entire life cycle. The motion technology company manufactures high-precision components and systems for drive train and chassis applications as well as rolling and plain bearing solutions for a large number of industrial applications. The Schaeffler Group generated sales of EUR 15.8 billion in 2022. With around 84,000 employees, the Schaeffler Group is one of the world’s largest family-owned companies. With more than 1,250 patent applications in 2022, Schaeffler is Germany’s fourth most innovative company according to the DPMA (German Patent and Trademark Office).

Schaeffler OPTIME

Schaeffler OPTIME provides cost-effective and high-quality wireless condition monitoring. Monitoring the condition of machines can be a costly endeavor, leading to the fact that up to 95% of machines within factories receive only sporadic or no monitoring at all. This neglect can result in unexpected breakdowns and downtime. Schaeffler’s OPTIME offers comprehensive and affordable condition monitoring. Its simple plug-and-play installation allows for the monitoring of hundreds of rotating machines within a few hours. OPTIME is compatible with almost all machines and can detect potential damage, imbalances, or misalignments well in advance, providing ample time to plan long-term maintenance, allocate manpower, and arrange spare parts. The system offers three main user interfaces: mobile, web, and expert view. In the early stage only the mobile UI was done with Flutter.

This is how Schaeffler OPTIME works

The start of the partnership

In the initial discussions between Schaeffler and Rebel App Studio by Codemate we discussed about the possibility to use Flutter for their UI development in Web platform. Schaeffler had a working Flutter application for iOS and Android devices, and they wanted to offer the same great user experience for their Web users as well. We didn’t want to jump into conclusions but rather investigate and make informed decision about how suitable Flutter is for their needs. We identified questions that needed to be answered, and we started our collaboration with clearly defined Proof of Concept phase.

The main questions in the PoC:

  • How suitable and future-proof Flutter for Web is for the dashboard renewal?
  • How much can we use the current codebase from the Flutter mobile application?
  • How would we create and maintain the source code when developing both mobile and web with Flutter?
  • What are the expected design steps and workloads when Schaeffler is using Flutter for both mobile and web?

We made a design vision that incorporated the current UI and future business and user needs. Our team investigated the current mobile focused Flutter codebase and made an actual prototype of the web application. Architectural decisions were thought together with Schaeffler personnel.

We answered all questions in the Technical Evaluation Report which confirmed that Flutter for Web is suitable for Schaeffler’s needs.

OPTIME Web Dashboard with Flutter

After the PoC, we started to work with an agile team that took the responsibility of the UI development for Web dashboard. The Optime web dashboard underwent a major upgrade that fixed inconsistent user experience depending on the device, and slow development process. In 2022 and 2023, Rebel App Studio by Codemate developed the new OPTIME web dashboard, now built with Flutter. The goal of the actual development work was to establish a sustainable foundation for both the mobile and web user interface technologies. Central to this was also achieving an excellent customer experience and usability.

“Flutter’s biggest value comes from the same codebase which makes UI development fast. Our team uses a seamless Figma and Flutter process which makes cooperation between design and development real-time”, says our team lead Jukka-Pekka Siitonen.

The agile team continues to iterate the application with new features, and we have integrated web and mobile development into the same team responsibility.

Added customer value through partnership

After the launch of the revamped version, Schaeffler has received positive feedback from its customers. The usability of the user interface (UI) has significantly improved, and customers now have access to more detailed and extensive data to support their operations. Instead of seeking a mere application developer, Schaeffler looked for a partner who would take responsibility for UI development.

The development team consists not only of developers but also designers. “The basic prerequisites for success have been excellent and close collaboration with the experts at Rebel App Studio by Codemate. Key elements have been open communication from the start and collaborative teamwork. We receive the same codebase for both the mobile and web user interfaces from one and the same partner. Interfaces function consistently, maintaining the same level of quality. Thanks to Flutter, further development is significantly faster”, says Jari Savolainen, the Head of Application & Solutions R&D.

“The design team has played a crucial role, and meticulous planning lays the foundation for the future. Rebel App Studio by Codemate has excelled in this regard. They possess specialized UI design expertise, analytical skills, and their codebase continues to improve”, Jari summarizes.

Interested to learn more about our work with Flutter? Contact Miika for more information:

Miika Toljamo
+358 40 734 9399

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