The importance of digitization for industrial sectors is rapidly increasing. While some companies have already adapted their processes, the overwhelming majority are in the middle of implementation or even just at the planning stage. But what is the best course of action? Every business needs to review its specific situation very closely and prepare for implementation in precise detail. But that is easier said than done. The risk of poor investment is high - not every purchase of 4.0 technologies proves to be productive or profitable in the end. That's why the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation (IFF) has developed an "Industry 4.0 CheckUp" that can be used in any industry to systematically analyze companies' digitization potential and plan tailored, effective measures.
"In addition to continuously developing 4.0 technologies and integrating them into the world of business, we also need to learn where they are profitable and where, perhaps, they are not," says Professor Michael Schenk, Director of the IFF. "Digitization is the future in terms of production and logistics," he warns. "But there is a pressing need for business consulting, as there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all 4.0 solution - only customized solutions."
With the "Industry 4.0 CheckUp", the IFF supports businesses, analyzing step by step which stage of Industry 4.0 they are currently at. Taking the respective customer-specific framework conditions into consideration, it is possible to plan individual steps and simulate the effects on particular processes. "The end objective is to achieve a digitization solution that covers as many processes as possible and to create a network that also involves the companies' partners," says Schenk. "Many different isolated solutions are constantly emerging in all locations. Linking these together into a productive, end-to-end digital infrastructure, will enable businesses to achieve higher economic growth."
Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF (39106 Magdeburg, Germany)