Industry 4.0 boosts the economic success of Swiss manufacturing companies

November 17, 2015 | News Germany, News Switzerland
80 percent of Swiss manufacturing companies feel confident that Industry 4.0 will bring them major economic success. They envisage even greater opportunities for themselves through the transformation to smart factories than their competitors in Germany. The companies strongly believe that lean processes also form the basis for the transition to the world of the intelligent factory. This is demonstrated by the findings of a cross-border study conducted by the Staufen AG business consultancy. A total of 329 industrial companies were interviewed in the summer of 2015 for the Industry 4.0 index.
The majority of the companies are convinced that Industry 4.0 will noticeably change business models and product ranges. Approximately 90 percent feel that efficient and effective processes are required for the successful transition to smart factories. They are convinced that the Lean philosophy which is aimed at the value stream provides an ideal addition to the Industry 4.0 thinking which is geared towards technology. In addition to this, for 83 percent of the companies, smart production represents a renaissance of the Lean management principals as the thinking once again places more significance on processes. At the same time, the results for Germany are almost identical. The companies in all those countries surveyed are self-critical and admit that there is still certainly a lot of scope for improvement when it comes to implementing Lean methods. Only every fourth Swiss company states that it is well-placed in the value stream oriented organisation and implementation of standard processes. And only 17 percent feel this in terms of consumption control. No businesses have indicated that they are extremely well positioned in these areas. Those who were questioned therefore feel that there is a great need for action. Noticeable features: On the other hand, every tenth company has given itself excellent ratings for the reduction in lead and set-up times – some companies have obviously made great efforts in this area over the past few years. When it comes to the individual methods, German companies consider themselves somewhat better positioned than the Swiss ones. Urs Hirt, the Managing Director of Staufen, Switzerland states that “The companies are aware of the fact that Industry 4.0 needs a solid basis – in other words, processes that are extremely well-organised and which can be digitalised and networked. As a result of this, many companies are now first of all reviewing whether they are ready for smart factories. However, almost everyone wants to make use of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0.” 

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