Digital transformation – where to start?

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Digitization streamlines processes and speeds up tasks. But today, it can do much more – thanks to the use of technology, we can go to other markets, produce or provide services in a different way, gain a competitive advantage in areas that previously did not provide such an opportunity. For this to happen, digitization must be part of business and every development conversation. But there is always that first step. “Digital transformation – where to start?” was the topic of the How To? Industry 4.0. – technologies, best practices, strategies, implemented by the Polish Chamber of Commerce for Electronics and Telecommunications as part of the Diginno program. More information about the series at https://kigeit.org.pl/diginno-webinary/. The webinar was hosted by Łukasz Otta – Digital Transformation Director at Siemens and Sebastian Lemieszek – Digital Transformation Advisor at Siemens. The article below was prepared based on information from the webinar.

Better scheduling and communication

One of the results of digitization may be the optimization of production plans and reduced planning time. Thanks to digital tools, it is possible to create a new production schedule on an ongoing basis, taking into account changes in the market and, as a result, shortening the scheduling time. This is related to the optimal use of production capacity, which is possible thanks to data analysis.

“In this case, we are talking about such production monitoring that will allow the company to properly adjust the shift system or detect in daily or weekly cycles, cases of excessive load on machines or component wear. The analysis of information allows the production to be spread over time in such a way that the final weekly effect is the same, with lower energy, machine operation and personal costs. In turn, increasing the flow of information and making it available to a wide production staff allows for more effective management. ” – says Łukasz Otta – Digital Transformation Director to the company in Siemens.

It can be assumed that there are a lot of systems for monitoring processes in our organizations, they have been developed since the 90s and new functionalities are being developed all the time. Often, however, their disadvantage is that they do not cooperate with each other, do not exchange information, i.e. they are based on a silo approach. Digital transformation enables this potential to be properly activated. With its help, individual solutions are able to “talk” to the systems of other departments and create added value thanks to the horizontal integration of information.

Higher efficiency and fewer errors

Another benefit of digital transformation is the increase in process efficiency. This means a reduction in inventory and cost savings. The results of digitization may also be better management of the machine park and maintenance. Digital transformation is able to help manage a fleet of machines and production lines in such a way that unplanned downtime is as little as possible. In the predictive maintenance approach, the machines will “plan” the maintenance themselves and include them in the production schedule in order to avoid line stoppages and raw material losses. This approach helps prevent damage to machinery and longer downtimes.

Digitization also helps to optimize resource use and media consumption. The topic of energy efficiency is all the more important as from January 1, 2021, a new capacity fee will be introduced. Reducing the cost of power used during production will again be on everyone’s lips because apart from the obvious benefits, such as reducing the carbon footprint, it will also bring significant savings. Energy optimization requires, first of all, metered, but also the proper use of algorithms that will suggest the best settings and enable the interaction of many devices in such a mode that this efficiency is as high as possible.

  • Digital transformation can also contribute to minimizing errors, even preventing errors.
  • The data-driven decision engine will analyze all situations, all possible scenarios from the past that led to negative events or affected the operation of the production line.
  • As a result, it will tell operators on the production line what to pay attention to when stopping production to avoid a defective end product or damage to the equipment.

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