£1.7m grant to develop Servitization Demonstrator

The Advanced Services Group, together with Baxi Heating, has secured £1.7m Innovate UK funding. The award is part of a £300 million UK government initiative to boost manufacturing productivity by 30%. Manufacturing Made Smarter is a UK government initiative dedicated to the innovation of industrial digital technologies in UK manufacturing.

The funding will be used to develop a Digital Servitization Demonstrator around Baxi Heating to help them deliver ‘Heat as a Service’. The Demonstrator will combine advanced services and digital servitization technologies, including sensors, software and other technologies, often referred to as the ‘internet of things’ (IoT) to create a digital model of Baxi’s manufacturing and service business.

The digital model will be converted to a neutral digital platform with the potential to be used as a wider, all-industry adaptable Servitization model. The model is envisaged to enable a range of manufacturers to use digital technologies to manage contracts, supply chains, customer contacts and all aspects of their business.

Karen Boswell, Managing Director of Baxi Heating, said: “This is just the sort of innovation strategy that UK manufacturers should be looking at if they want to continue to grow their businesses. Customers are demanding much more than products with a maintenance programme now – they want complete peace of mind, a ‘fit and forget’ service, knowing that everything will be taken care of for them.”

Executive Director of the Advanced Services Group Professor Tim Baines agrees that the joint project will be of immense value to manufacturing sector and showcase future potential of the sector. “This project heralds the adoption of servitization in mainstream UK manufacturing. We are delighted to work with Baxi, and the broader team, on this highly ambitious and innovative project – helping to demonstrate that the real value capture opportunity for digital is beyond the factory gate!”

Karen Boswell added: “This project could be ground-breaking, not just in manufacturing, but in other sectors too, boosting productivity and facilitating logistics, supply chains and service. We are very excited to be at the leading edge.”