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Digital transformation and Industry 4.0

True social change means that every area is affected with no single responsible factor that can be regarded in isolation from other factors. The interplay and combined effect of many individual elements is what characterizes far-reaching changes, shifts, and leaps of development in society. Taken collectively, these can bring about unstoppable change.

While the term “Industry 4.0” describes this shift, perhaps implying a revolution, and encapsulates the issue at hand, the term “digital transformation” stands for what has to be done, explaining what preparations need to be made and how we can play a role in shaping developments.

Sustainable industry

The digital transformation provides many opportunities for companies to adjust their corporate strategy, to restructure the factory, and to optimize the supply chain or logistics. Areas for action where companies can take control of their own individual transformation include bringing together the real world and the virtual world to meet individual customer needs in a flexible way, digitizing production for greater efficiency, establishing intelligent networks between everyone involved (from suppliers to clients), and ensuring greater transparency through the availability of data in real time (big data). 

Gains in transparency, efficiency, and speed

Companies can respond to ever-increasing time and cost pressures as well as growing complexity by improving transparency, efficiency, and speed. Gains in these three areas are the result of a successful digital transformation. The changes encapsulated by Industry 4.0 are fundamental, meaning that companies must change at an equally fundamental level. This applies to everything from their strategy, orientation, and philosophy to the hardware and software solutions used and the overall value creation system.

Industry 4.0 calls for companies to have a truly agile supply chain that integrates IT systems both vertically and horizontally. By linking data and information structures from previously separate areas, such as the technical department and customer support, digital transformation can turn businesses into more integrated operations that produce smoother internal and external communications. Another aspect of the digital transformation is the Internet of Things, which allows individual devices to communicate with other devices and with people.

Using integrated sensors and data, these devices communicate information such as their current location or status to other areas and recipients, leading to much greater visibility and transparency on the whole. In an unprecedented way, Industry 4.0 allows companies to intelligently link, analyze, and use all the data that already exists and is constantly being produced – in real time. This is supported by the targeted use of cloud technology, which will make it simple in the future for critical teams to communicate more intensively with each other and to collaborate more effectively in areas such as procurement, transport, planning, and production.

Ingenics – digital transformation as potential value creation

Over the next few years, most companies will witness rapid changes with respect to production conditions, markets, customer relationships, and values. The penetration of digital solutions in the complete life cycle of products and production equipment has gained full momentum, as has the introduction and establishment of innovative technologies. Each process along the value chain will influence the future path of a product and how it is handled, from the initial concept to manufacturing and delivery. Companies have been benefiting from our expertise in digital transformation for years – since long before the emergence of buzzwords that now describe this process, making it more tangible and easier to understand.