Seizing the opportunitiesDigitalization is everywhere. Mobile phones are crammed full of networked applications, automobiles are turning into computers you can drive, refrigerators notify your mobile phone when their inventory is low, and we couldn’t imagine being without online shopping. But digitalization affects more than just end customers – it affects industry, too.
The digitalization of the manufacturing industry is a topic of global interest. New products must be brought to market in ever-shorter timeframes and customers demand much more personalized products. Rapidly changing markets require increased flexibility and an efficient use of resources and energy. All without compromising quality – in fact, sometimes you are required to increase it!
Digital enterprise can have a shorter response time to customer requests and market demands, which opens up new and innovative business areas. Discover how digitalization can give an advantage over the competition.
The digitalization of the manufacturing industry is a topic of global interest – in Germany the concept is known as “Industrie 4.0.” New products must be brought to market in ever-shorter timeframes. Customers demand products that satisfy their specific needs. Rapidly changing markets call for a growing level of flexibility. And the constant desire for increased efficiency means shorter and shorter development time and the efficient use of resources and energy. All with no loss of quality – or even improved quality, in some cases.
The digital enterprise is already a realityTo draw on all the benefits of digitalization, businesses must first achieve an end-to-end integration of their data. This requires the integration of industrial software and automation, the expansion of communications networks, security in the area of automation and the use of business-specific industrial services. Companies that have completely digitally integrated their business processes and those of their suppliers can generate a digital representation of their entire value chain.
The process industry needs plants to remain stable and operate without interruption for decades, while also maintaining maximum energy efficiency. Product quality must not fluctuate at all throughout the entire plant’s service life. These companies can benefit from simulating, testing, and optimizing processes and plants before operation in the real world. Gathering and evaluating data on the fly makes it possible to constantly monitor and refine processes. Feedback from the production process and the end customers can be incorporated for further improvement. End-to-end data integration also permits predictive maintenance, which helps avoid unnecessary maintenance work and plant downtime.
In the manufacturing industry, companies have to respond flexibly and efficiently to the individual requests of their customers. The essential factor is getting the desired products to the market as quickly and simply as possible and at the lowest possible price. Digitalization must be considered holistically, because focusing on automation alone is no longer sufficient. The comprehensive, shared database needs to extend from product design to production planning, engineering, production, and services, and also incorporates the suppliers and customers. The experience acquired along the entire value chain then flows back into the design and development processes. This cycle enables both manufacturing companies and mechanical engineers to benefit from all the advantages offered by digitalization.