The digital era of today is defined by a massive amount of technologies and possibilities for production to become digitalized. The leading star of digitalized production is the Digital Factory, where every step of the manufacturing process is defined by digital technology.

The Digital Factory is a concept of the future, though current technologies enable industrial companies to take the first step towards a digitalized production.

“The technologies are available and the potential can be realized through digitalisation of the manufacturing processes. Solid business cases are possible for industrial companies focusing on stabilizing and simplifying their processes,” Director of Eltronic Industrial Innovation Jakob Stepping Pedersen explains.

Eltronic’s Industry 4.0 Assessment Tool is a five step/five area approach to make digitalization and Industry 4.0 a solid business case. Companies often get lost in the endless possibilities and therefore end up focusing solely on the possibilities of the technologies rather than on the possibilities of the production. At Eltronic, we view the current state of every manufacturing unit as the starting point for securing a solid business case.

 

The Five Stages of Digitalisation

At Eltronic, we have defined five stages of digitalisation. Stage 0 applies for manufacturing companies, who are yet to take the first step towards a digitalised production. The stages 1-3 apply for companies, who have taken one or more steps in digitalising their production processes. Stage 4 is equivalent to the Digital Factory.

Using the five stages in a structured way brings companies one step closer to the Digital Factory. At Eltronic, we see a trend of intelligent and self-learning systems, which can correct themselves using historical data.

The digital transformation from stage 1 to stage 4 is the most comprehensive.

  1. The first step of the transformation is to define who the users of the digital technologies will be – e.g. operators or production managers - and what information they need to improve their production processes.

  2. The second step is to analyse the collected data. A complex task necessitating trials and errors to find correlations and a high level of processual knowhow from operators and technical engineers.

  3. The third step is to decide what actions to take, when the analysed date deviates from the norm.

 

Start Simple

Our advice for industrial companies, who are on the verge of starting their digital transformation, is to start simple. It is impossible to master all technologies at once. A simple way to start could be by collecting data from an existing production system and visualisation the data, so it is distributed at the right time to the right people.

The modern data visualisation technologies enable the data to be “pushed” to the right employees resulting in an increased information flow horizontally and vertically in the supply chain. This often leads to a reduction of the tied-up capital in the inventory, to reduced delivery times and to improved product quality.

Summing up the Industry 4.0 Assessment Tool

Using the Industry 4.0 Assessment Tool Eltronic maps the manufacturing process to find unrealized potentials. For each of the five areas, the roadmap offers structured methods and guidelines to help industrial companies identify:

  • The current stage of Industry 4.0 for the production (e.g. stage 1).
  • The future stage they wish to progress to (e.g. stage 3).
  • How to get there.

Innovation Consultant, Christina Nissen Kristensen, explains the concept of the assessment tool as follows:

“It’s about visualizing the potential. We start by mapping the current manufacturing process from raw material to finished product to collect data and information of all value-adding and intermediate activities. This makes it easier to spot the potentials for improvement. Furthermore, the mapping of potentials will work as the basis for a solid business case for investing in modern technologies and Industry 4.0 applications.”

Read more about the Industry 4.0 Assessment Tool here.

Eltronic's Industry 4.0 Assessment Tool

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