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Industrie 4.0

Digital engineering is easier said than done

Investments in digitization are paying off only to a limited extent for many companies in the manufacturing industry. Despite its great potential, the production of smart products is difficult, according to a new Capgemini study.

05 Jul. 2018
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Digital engineering is easier said than done (Photo:Capgemini Service SAS)

In its “Digital Engineering” study , the consultants estimate that the development of smart, networked devices could yield between 519 and 685 billion US dollars by 2020 for the global manufacturing industry. The 1,000 executives surveyed also expect that 50% of their products will be able to capture and share data over the next three years. The investment budgets for digitization have been raised significantly since 2014. But so far, the companies benefit only partially, according to Capgemini . The majority of respondents blame contradictory goals. On the one hand, existing products are to be further developed and, on the other hand, new and networked products are to be launched on the market. Finding the right balance is challenging.

Among other things, the consultants recommend investing in digital skills, ecosystems, tools, roadmaps, and new work methods. However, modern concepts are rarely used, according to another study. For example, only 16% of respondents use Digital Twins and 45% are still in the pilot phase. In addition, too little of the generated data is flowing into the design and development process. For example, only a quarter of manufacturers use data from networked products for their own innovation process.

The digital maturity of companies also seems to be a question of their culture. This is indicated by a Bitkom Research study on behalf of the 3D software company Autodesk . There is a “close connection” between agility, innovation, and digitization, wrote the authors. It is recommended to push the use of digital technologies and to increase the agility of the organization. “In the industry, this applies first and foremost to product development, but also all other divisions.”