Industry 4.0 is managing your business at different speeds
What is Industry 4.0? The term was first used in 2011 to describe the rapid developments in integrating information and communications technology in the manufacturing industry. This means data can be used more broadly and more quickly, boosting time and efficiency exponentially. But companies need to look further than just the technology; structure and culture are just as important. Industry 4.0 is a holistic concept, calling for your business to be managed at different speeds.
Partnership with Aachen University
In 2018, Ad Ultima Group joined forces with RWTH Aachen University, home to the European 4.0 Transformation Center – a hub of continuous innovation in digital business transformation. Thanks to the German-Belgian partnership, Ad Ultima Group is cementing its role as a pioneer in Industry 4.0.
This is far from the university’s first innovation project. In 2015, it launched another successful spin-off –e.GO Mobile, an electric car manufacturer. By harnessing state-of-the-art technology, the firm has built a fully operational factory in just two years, ready to develop and manufacture an affordable electric vehicle.
Industry 4.0 Maturity Index
Ad Ultima Group’s partner, RWTH Aachen University, has also published a renowned study on the Maturity Index. This helps manufacturing companies to demonstrate where they are on their path to becoming more agile and increasingly intelligent. The route to complete maturity in Industry 4.0 is different for every business. But by answering questions on aspects such as current strategy and existing machine fleet, you can see where you are in the Maturity Index.
Maturity in resources, IT, organisation and culture
The Maturity Index looks at four aspects of an organisation: resources, IT, organisation and culture. A business can be more advanced in one category, while still needing to make progress in another, meaning it is growing at different speeds. It’s in our nature to focus on the areas where we are strongest. Unfortunately, reality decides otherwise. Being able to process data as efficiently as possible isn’t just a matter of purchasing state-of-the-art machinery. If an organisation’s structure or culture fails to evolve with it, all the benefits of a data-generating powerhouse vanish into thin air.
The six phases of the Maturity Index
Each of the four categories is divided into phases to identify maturity in that area.
- Predictive capacity
The first two phases – computerization and connectivity – are the essential phases to get started on the Industry 4.0 pathway. If these phases are still under development, then the company is still in Industry 3.0. Only once the visibility and transparency phases are reached can you truly enter Industry 4.0.
Benefits of Industry 4.0
Thanks to Industry 4.0, you can significantly reduce the decision time between action and reaction. That means you can bring products to the market more quickly and cost-effectively. If your business is in a high maturity phase, it can create analyses on its own initiative and take proactive action, reducing decision time to a minimum.