Digitization is THE management catchphrase in engineering. The main question facing companies is how their own analogue products can be integrated in the new digital world – a process that might not always be voluntary but is certainly necessary to ensure future requirements can be fulfilled and to uphold or even expand a company’s competitive ability.

In 2017, the Ceratizit Group, a leading manufacturer of precision tools, asked exactly the same question. Initially, the answer was amazingly simple: “Unique product marking was and is the basis that we need for connecting up with every kind of digital and mobile services. For us, this is the logical first step on the way to the smart product”, explains Jochen Metschke, Project Manager Industrie 4.0 at Ceratizit.

With the aim of enhancing efficacy and efficiency as well as assisting their own processes and those of customers and service providers, a process was established for unique marking of the drills, milling cutters etc. Since then, tools are lasered with a two-dimensional GS1 data matrix code for unique identification, also linking the tool with specific data, processes and services.

Working together with oneIDentity+ GmbH, Ceratizit used the serialized marking as the basis for devising and implementing various services
which were then made available to the stakeholders in the value adding chain. Here oneIDentity+ offers a cloud service platform for digital management of products, together with flexible, role-based orchestration of various services. The provision of serialized numbers via standardized
interfaces or comprehensive reports via scans for analyzing the flow of goods are just two of the many other functionalities provided by the

Since 2018, it is now also possible for instance to call up product data with a smart phone app; records can be kept of regrinding processes and
test reports can be linked in digitally, all on the basis of a dedicated rights and role system with one central access point: oneIDentity+. Product digitalization opens up possibilities for optimizing many business processes and models in the future.

This is just one first step towards digitalization. Many more are sure to follow at Ceratizit.