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From remote diagnostics to complete crane management: Stirnimann’s digital transformation with Potain

Longstanding Potain partner Stirnimann has revolutionized its operations and customer service through the power of data-driven insights, first with the CraneSTAR Diag remote diagnostics tool and now Potain CONNECT, the single, comprehensive digital platform encompassing remote monitoring, servicing, and crane management.

Adrian Stalder, Stirnimann COO, and Michael Heutschi, service manager at the company’s Olten branch in Switzerland.
Adrian Stalder, Stirnimann COO, and Michael Heutschi, service manager at the company’s Olten branch in Switzerland.

For nearly 40 years, Stirnimann, the official Potain tower crane dealer in Switzerland, Austria, and Denmark, has been a leading light of innovation in the crane rental industry. With a fleet of 500 Potain tower cranes and a commitment to exceptional customer service, Stirnimann has consistently sought solutions to optimize its operations and exceed expectations.


When Potain launched the pioneering CraneSTAR Diag remote diagnostics tool in 2013 Stirnimann was an early adopter. The dealer requested the inclusion of CraneSTAR Diag on every new addition to its fleet for almost a decade, as it was eager to explore its possibilities and provide real-world feedback.


“Stirnimann quickly recognized the power of data to improve uptime, efficiency, and productivity but it was only relatively recently that we experienced wider demand for our digital solutions.  This led us to develop Potain CONNECT, a single, comprehensive, and user-friendly platform for remote monitoring, servicing, and crane management,” explains Xavier Claeys, director of digital innovation for tower cranes at Manitowoc.

Introducing Potain CONNECT


Designing Potain CONNECT around user needs, Manitowoc took Stirnimann’s experience and suggestions as part of its Voice of the Customer process and gave the dealer’s management team a preview of the new technology prior to its bauma 2022 launch. Instantly impressed, Stirnimann decided to retrofit its entire fleet with Potain CONNECT and has included it on every new crane order since.


“This really is a next-level elevation in functionality compared with CraneSTAR Diag,” says Stirnimann COO Adrian Stalder. The access speed and information quality are state-of-the-art.”


Michael Heutschi, service manager at the company’s Olten branch in Switzerland, echoes the sentiment, commending the platform’s reliability and enriched data. In his role of troubleshooting over the phone and coordinating the deployment of technicians, Potain CONNECT translates to swift and effective problem-solving.

A win-win for Stirnimann and its customers


“When a customer calls with a crane issue, Potain CONNECT gives me instant access to the machine’s data, enabling me to swiftly pinpoint the cause. This empowers me to resolve the issue immediately over the phone or dispatch a technician with the right tools and parts to fix it first time,” Michael explains.

“For example, when a customer reported a crane malfunction, Potain CONNECT identified a faulty sensor and I could arrange a replacement right away. In another instance, it was clear that an emergency stop had been activated, which I was able to resolve remotely. In both these cases, Potain CONNECT played a vital role in minimizing downtime and keeping the customer happy,” he continues.

Beyond customer satisfaction and greater care on jobsites, Stirnimann has ambitions for Potain CONNECT also to deliver tangible business benefits as increased efficiency and reduced travel could help to cut costs and environmental impact. As Heutschi says: “We want Potain CONNECT to enable us to spend as much productive time as possible on the cranes and less on the road."

Proactive maintenance management

Potain CONNECT is far more than a remote diagnostic tool, however. Its servicing and crane management features promote regular proactive maintenance to help prevent issues from occurring in the first place.


“We’re actively exploring Potain CONNECT for maintenance management,” Stalder reveals. “Imagine a system that intelligently flags upcoming preventative maintenance needs for each crane, tailored to its specific usage patterns, and includes a checklist to ensure work has been carried out. This will help us improve crane uptime, profitability, and customer satisfaction even further.”

Embracing digital transformation


While technological advancements often necessitate adjustments, Stirnimann has welcomed the new technology with open arms. “We are actively encouraging our team to leverage Potain CONNECT’s full potential and are making great progress. From our point of view, the first step has been taken, we are gathering experience and development must continue. We’re excited to unlock a wealth of advantages and valuable information for both our customers and our business,” Stalder says.


Stirnimann’s journey with Potain’s digital solutions serves as a shining success story in the crane rental industry. As the company’s service team explores Potain CONNECT to achieve ever higher levels of efficiency and customer satisfaction, it underscores the transformative power of data-driven insights.


“The future of effective crane troubleshooting, servicing, and management is clearly digital and those who embrace this shift will be well-positioned to reach new heights of success,” Xavier Claeys concludes.


Visit the Manitowoc website to learn more about Potain CONNECT.


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