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Digital Factory

Small steps lead to the smart factory

In the manufacturing industry, the path to a fully networked factory consists of many individual steps. The company IFSworld warns that the simultaneous conversion of different areas would only result in production stoppage and thus losses.

09 Sep. 2018
IFSworld_Smart-Factory
Small steps lead to the smart factory (Photo: Deutsche Messe AG)

Headquartered in Sweden, IFSworld is a leading provider of business software. Based on its many years of experience, the company points out several issues manufacturers should pay attention to when it comes to digital transformation. Complete automation is accordingly best achieved by taking small, targeted individual steps: The first step is to invest in selected projects that, if successful, can be expanded and ultimately linked to other networked areas. Digitization should by no means be an end in itself; each of the planned steps should result in a concrete increase in added value. For existing production facilities, additional investments in maintenance and modernization are only worthwhile if they can be converted to networked, automated operation using retrofit solutions.

In addition, according to ISFworld, the potential of new business models should also be examined. In the manufacturing industry this could be servitization : services or leasing of machines instead of selling. However, the digital transformation can apparently only succeed if the employees receive continuous training that prepares them to take on new and changing tasks.

In spite of automation, humans thus remain the decisive resource in industrial production - a study by the Institute for Job Market and Occupational Research in Nuremberg came to the same conclusion this spring.