Swiss industrial companies take off – Industry 4.0

October 7, 2015 | News Germany

Swiss industry is well on its way towards a networked economy. Almost two in three companies are already involved with the Smart Factory concept – often at the observation or analysis stage, but also in individual projects. These are the findings of a cross-border study by the Staufen AG business consultancy. For the Industry 4.0 index, a total of 329 industrial companies in Switzerland, Germany and China were interviewed in the summer of 2015. 50 participants hailed from Switzerland. In Germany, the “Industry 4.0 index” had been conducted for the second time and shows the speed at which digitalisation is driving the economy forward. The perception of the Smart Factory concept in Switzerland today is roughly similar to that in Germany a year ago. It is a fact that the Smart Factory is finding its way into Swiss companies. 62 percent of companies are facing up to the challenge of Industry 4.0. However, most of the companies are predominantly at the observation and analysis stage (36 percent), i.e. at an early stage on the path towards smart production. Nevertheless: 18 percent have already started on individual projects. According to their own reports, some very few already operate in fully networked factories. However, Swiss companies are not yet fully satisfied with the state of Industry 4.0 implementation in their country – they take a self-critical approach: 75 percent are convinced that the economy as a whole had for a long time underestimated the significance of Industry 4.0. Furthermore, eight out of ten companies take the view that the urgency of this topic was not sufficiently addressed by politicians. “Swiss companies initially just observed Industry 4.0. Now they are off and embark on its implementation,” explains Urs Hirt, executive director of Staufen Switzerland. “In addition to networking technology, the foremost requirements for raising the potential of the Smart Factory are efficient development and production processes. The initial concern of companies is to analyse the complexity of their own processes, to check them for Industry 4.0 compatibility and subsequently to adapt them accordingly. A Smart Factory in particular requires a lean organisation and production.” The majority of Swiss study participants believe Germany to be the world’s leading nation in the development of a digitalised and networked industry, followed by Japan and the USA. “In their own estimate, Swiss companies occupy rank 4, but in the long-term, they are unlikely to content themselves with a mid-table position,” predicts Urs Hirt. The study can be ordered at the following address:  Press Graphics

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