“We have long relied on multiple communication channels to connect with our customers and inform them of what’s new with the IMA Schelling Group,” IMA Schelling’s Peter Tuenker said. “In the last couple of years we have put a lot of work into our web page http://www.imaschelling.us as well as our YouTube channel.

“Our technology is very complex and we hear from our customers that electronic media like web pages, videos etc. make these complex systems and processes easier to understand,” Tuenker said. “We have also invested in our showroom in Raleigh where we show the same automated work cells that we bring to the IWF show.

“The advantage to show this technology on your ‘home turf’ is that you can spend more time with your customer getting into important areas in addition to the machine operation. Areas like connectivity of our systems like IOT reporting and data management that have a great impact on the performance of a machine or system can be explained in detail and customer data can be used to demonstrate these benefits.”

Tuenker said that IMA Schelling is working on an open house and workshops in Raleigh which will give their customers the opportunity to engage with them like they would have at the IWF.

“At this point we will wait for our customers to feel safe again to travel and visit us in person before we announce any dates for these events,” he said. “We will also host digital events which our customers will be able to ‘attend’ from their place of work or even from home.

“Information technology has come a long way and we believe it will change our industry as well. We are in the process of setting up to be able in the future to allow anybody to experience our technology ‘live’ without having to come to us in person. With this option we make it much easier for our customers who are far away from our showroom to book an online demo with our engineers.

“They can send their material and data and we will make their product while they are watching the whole process on their computers, iPads etc.. We are also investigating whether a Technology Tour can make sense again later next year. Many of these trips have taken us to Europe in the past. We want to make sure that everybody feels comfortable traveling abroad on one of our tours. We are talking to our factories in Europe and our customers here in North America and once we have enough positive feedback we will announce the trip.

“Our IWF exhibits would have included a simple but effective batchsize 1 edgebanding and handling system that allows fully automated processing of make to order furniture components,” Tuenker said. “We would have also shown a fully automated stacking system to offload complete nests behind any nested base router.”

Another feature at IWF would have been the company’s IOT-based ZIMBA software that is now part of every IMA Schelling machine https://zimba.imaschelling.com/en. This software allows the company and its customers to monitor and measure the performance of IMA Schelling machines and also gives the user access to optimized maintenance and machine learning.

“We have a very close relationship with our customers and we try to support them to the best of our abilities in these challenging times,” Tuenker said. “We believe that technology plays an important role in helping to make their businesses safer and prepare them better for any future situation that will challenge their business.

“Automation offers you to do more with less and gives you more control in situations like the one we are currently in. We can help by providing the automated processes but even more important we believe we can help to continuously educate and train our customers in using this technology to its fullest potential so that they are able to produce whatever the market will ask for in the future and bring that product to market quickly and efficiently.”

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