Connectivity and Digital Production (Extracts)

How companies digitally connect heterogeneous machine parks and benefit from them with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) 

The revolution is accelerating

Machine learning, predictive maintenance, artificial intelligence – the list of new solutions and apps is growing almost every day in the digital era. The digital revolution is accelerating. “We will see more technological change in the next 10 years than in the last 50,” U.S. President Joe Biden recently emphasized with regard to artificial intelligence.

One thing is clear: competition between manufacturing companies will continue to intensify. Those who know the rules of digitalization and production will increase their resource efficiency enormously and outlast the competition.

Increasing reporting obligations for companies

Other competitive drivers: Efforts to counteract climate change are increasing worldwide. In the USA, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is a multi-billion dollar government program for energy security and climate change.

In Europe, the EU has set itself the goal of becoming the first CO2-neutral continent by 2050. As a result, reporting obligations for companies are increasing. Take Germany, for example: from the 2025 financial
year – with a reporting obligation in 2026 – noncapital-market-oriented companies with more than 250 employees and a net turnover of more than 40 million euros will have to submit a sustainability report.

Creating the foundation for resource efficiency

The need for manufacturing companies to organize their production digitally has never been greater. Resource efficiency is the order of the day. With the possibilities offered by Industry 4.0, the opportunity
for greater resource efficiency and competitiveness is greater than ever.

In factories, however, an evolution rather than a revolution is taking place. Ricardo Dunkel, Technical Director of the European Open Industry 4.0 Alliance initiative, recently analyzed in the magazine Industry
of Things that “in many places and many companies, we are still at the beginning of data procurement, analysis and utilization”.

Topics such as artificial intelligence (AI) are important. However, according to Ricardo Dunkel, AI will not relieve companies of the “challenge of connectivity and data processing”. “The question is: if the basics are not there, how can we benefit from the new technologies?”

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