Discrete manufacturing goes Industry 4.0

Digital transformation secures competitiveness


Machines and plants, automation technology and also electronic products from Germany enjoy a global reputation. But "Made in Germany" is no longer a foregone conclusion, because competition, especially from the Far East, has increased the competitive pressure considerably in recent years. In addition, global networking is increasingly replacing the familiar handshake mentality. The Industry 4.0 initiative was therefore not only a wake-up call for an often rather conservative industry in which production traditionally determines business. It also showed companies the way to digitalisation and the development of new, data-based business models and technologies.


At the end of the day, two questions will be decisive for the success of the digital transformation. Does the organisation succeed in the shift from customer orientation to customer centricity of all business processes from production planning to the supply chain? Is the IT landscape open, consistent and scalable? If the answer is yes in both cases, the prerequisites are in place to react quickly and agilely to the market dynamics and the increased demands for flexibility, individualisation and lead times. Knowledge is shared for one's own benefit and for the benefit of all, instead of being hoarded.


Customer centricity thanks to end-to-end IT landscape

Higher production efficiency, lower costs, faster delivery times, higher product quality, batch size 1 and better yields - the expectations for digitalised applications in the discrete manufacturing industry are high. A hybrid or fully cloud-based as well as scalable IT landscape, in which the ERP system, CRM and IoT solution are fully integrated, makes the economic implementation possible in clearly defined steps.

Structured data from ERP and CRM as well as unstructured data from the real world are used for customer-centric microservices, mobile applications and intelligent data analysis on demand. Unlike in the past, this does not mean months of adapting new software to existing IT systems nor months of test scenarios. Immobile and expensive IT islands are being replaced by industry-specific services from the cloud that noticeably relieve the burden on the company's own IT resources.


Applications in the IT landscape


Digital twin use case

The concept of the digital twin is the perfect tool for many companies in discrete manufacturing to optimise products, i.e. to make them more efficient, safer and more customer-oriented. The data models are fed from the engineering as well as any number of sensors, system and device data that are stored in the IoT cloud.

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Preventive maintenance and retrofit use case

Digital twins are also the basis for predictive maintenance and retrofitting of plants. Well trained, they provide reliable predictions of when the right time for maintenance or replacement of spare parts has come, before wear and tear or even plant shutdowns can occur.


Smart Services use case

Thanks to digitalisation, mechanical and plant engineering in particular, but also the electrical and appliance industries, can develop new digital business models such as smart services from the analysis of the real-time data obtained from the field beyond manufacturing. The prerequisite for corresponding added value is the intelligent integration of CRM, ERP solutions and IoT.


Are you planning a specific digitisation project for your discrete manufacturing?

Whether single-item production, variant production or series production - thanks to our expertise with Microsoft Dynamics 365, your digitisation projects will start in a structured manner and with a clear goal in mind. Let's talk without obligation.