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  • Daniel Wigren – Industry 4.0 not without challenges

    The article in the newspaper Position about the challenge within industry 4.0.

    To strengthen the native industry’s competetiveness is the motive for industry 4.0. But to reach that point is far from problem free and the road there is full of challenges.

    The Industry 4.0 initiative is based upon that the native industry needs to be more competetive. The challenges we stand against are that there is less time for each project, companies want to constantly have more control on the business, higher flexibility in product variations and up and downscaling on new product series. Nowadays things need to be going faster, the global challenge is there the entire time. You have to develop new products fast to cope with shorter product life cycles. Another challenge is to digitalize the business.

    – You shouldn’t digitalize just for digitalization’s sake, there has to be a business case to go on. You should adjust yourself to reality, the ratio we see now is 1:1 reality – digital world. I think you can see a trend where digital twins have come up on the agenda at the company management at more and more manufacturing businesses, says Daniel Wigren, CEO at Virtual Manufacturing AB.

    ”YOU SHOULDN’T DIGITALIZE JUST FOR DIGITALIZATION’S SAKE”

    There is a challenge for manufacturing companies to know and try to understand what creates the most value and to map out where in the business you have the biggest need to do something. Where is the possibility to get the most back? There is also organizational challenges with having to implement a new technology.

    – You have to get the management on board. This is a lot about getting the right contacts horizontally and vertically within the organization, to bond together supplier with the distributor and manufacturing companies and even internally make sure that everyone communicates with each other.

    In Sweden, few are allowed to participate in building factories during their lifetime, therefore it’s an area with relatively low competency. When you are going to implement a new product in current manufacturing or build a whole new production line, there is a big demand for competency within all things robotics, AI, VR – in short, new technology to optimize the manufacturing process already from the start. In that stage that’s where Virtual Manufacturing often comes in.

    Virtual Manufacturing is a supplier of lean based production and logistics solutions and is a partner within Industry 4.0. Daniel tells that the company has identified a few factors of success at the customers that have done a successful digitalization.

    – The most important part is that you set goals and then divide them up in small steps to get to where you want to go. Have the courage to test, have the courage to challenge and have the courage to fail. I often question managements at companies because I often think they are all too focused on specific KPIs. They may think that you should have a repayment on the investment in under two years, otherwise it’s not worth the risk.

    ”I OFTEN QUESTION MANAGEMENTS AT COMPANIES BECAUSE I OFTEN THINK THEY ARE ALL TOO FOCUSED ON SPECIFIK KPIs”