Industry 4.0 as a solution approach
Manufacturing companies are facing many challenges. As customer requirements become more and more individual, product variety increases, requiring smaller batch sizes. At the same time, quality requirements increase not only concerning the products, but also concerning delivery times and adherence to delivery dates. Shorter product lifecycles and a volatile market environment will continually increase flexibility demands on the factories of the future. In parallel, the cost pressure from global competition increases as well.
The methodologies of Industry 4.0 and digital transformation are approaches to solve all of these challenges.
Specific Industry 4.0 solutions, however, must be as individual as the challenges of your company and your industry, in order to create added value.
After all, digital transformation of your company is not an end in itself, but always has to contribute to your goals in terms of productivity, quality, speed, flexibility and transparency.
Our services for the digital factory of the future
Our procedure is structured in five phases:
- First, we develop the specific target together with you and analyze the framework, conditions and environment of your company.
- In the second step, we analyze the potential and assess the Industry 4.0 maturity of your factory,
- Subsequently, we identify individual fields for action, support you in technology selection and develop specific applications. Since many technologies are summarized under the umbrella term of Industry 4.0 in everyday use, we will support you in individual evaluation and contribute our experience in terms of opportunities and risks, value-added potential, technology maturity and implementation effort.
- In the fourth step, we develop an Industry 4.0 roadmap and strategy together with you, deriving specific measures, setting priorities, and determining a structure. This must always take place in harmony with other projects in the area of production optimization or planning. This is an area in which we have many years of experience that we can use to your benefit.
- Finally, we support you in the implementation of specific measures by further detailing individual application, inviting tenders for technical solutions and supporting start-up.
A key area for improvement and optimization in the area of Industry 4.0 is the interaction of production processes and production-related business processes. This specifically includes production planning and control (PPS).
Our approach combines classical value-stream mapping with new findings gained from business process analysis. State-of-the-art data mining approaches, such as process mining, are used for this as well. This is followed by a parallel and integrated design of the value stream with its’ production processes and material flows on one hand and the production-related business processes on the other hand. We use the usual modelling languages for this (e.g. BPMN), greatly simplifying later illustration and tendering processes. In this context, you can also strongly profit from the experience of our subsidiary io-DigitalSolutions.
The results of the process design later form the basis for planning factory layout and potentially detailing individual production and logistics systems. In addition to planning the physical factory, this phase also includes the design of your future IT system landscape with its associated interfaces. As a result, you will receive a perfectly coordinated system of production and business processes, without system changes.
Industry 4.0 not only offers great opportunities for your company, but also plays a significant role in our own planning procedure. Benefit from the following in all our services:
- In addition to the classical methods, we consistently use data mining and in particular process mining to give you more indicative and more representative results and make previously unused data accessible for answering the questions that are of interest to you.
- Our 3D-plans are made in virtual-reality-capable models. VR-glasses can be used to immerse yourself in the interactive models, which considerably increases quality of planning. We will also gladly set up BIM-capable models (Building Information Modelling) of your factory, and let you profit from the comprehensive experience of our business unit architecture in this field. This makes the vision of the digital factory come true.
- Independently of an Industry 4.0 strategy development, we will always contribute our knowledge of new technologies to our planning services and point out new options for you.
- Expansion or new construction of a factory requires great investments and presents enormous risks. We rely on simulations to minimise these risks and secure your investment. The more detailed evaluation of different planning alternatives or determination of robustness of systems under many different scenarios is made possible by this as well.
- We use modern data management tools and our project platform, developed in-house, to control our projects.
We offer reliable, productive and efficient solutions that lead to measurable success. Learn more about our successful projects with renowned clients around the world:
Ariane, Endress+Hauser, Festool, REHAU, SEW
Successful implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies
Learn about how planning, tendering and implementation of a specific technology takes place in our White Paper "Assembly Supply" based on the example of introduction of AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles).
The most important factor for success is that of individual solutions and strategies. Only measures that are customized to the specific challenges and goals of your company will lead to the desired success. The proper sequence and priorities of the measures are decisive as well. For example, analytics applications can only provide their added value if the data base is appropriate. According to our experience, acceptance of such projects that bring great change strongly depends on the knowledge status of the employees concerning Industry 4.0, due to which know-how transfer is important to us.
The important technologies in the production process include additive production (e.g. 3D-printing) and cyber-physical systems such as collaborative robots. Virtual and augmented reality, along with the digital twin of your products and factory, permit new applications in planning and production as well. The daily operative processes may also be supported by digital shop floor management and business intelligence solutions. The data for this are supplied by analytics applications using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), as well as modern tracking and tracing systems.
IoT platforms, cloud solutions and the vertical and horizontal integration of IT systems are also components of Industry 4.0.