of interlinked machines
Measurement technology plays an important role in the increasing digitalization of industrial production. With the almost complete networking of plants and devices, a significantly higher degree of automation is achieved, accompanied by an increase in efficiency.
In the manufacturing industry, this type of digitization is called “Industry 4.0”. Industrie 4.0 stands for the comprehensive digitization of industrial production and goes back to a project of the same name in the High-Tech strategy of the German Federal Government.
Finally, when all components communicate via powerful networks (e.g. via LAN, LoRaWAN) in terms of bandwidth and latency, this is generally referred to as the “Internet of Things” (IoT) or, in the production environment, as Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).
Microsystems technology offers the potential to realize application-specific smart products and machines. Miniaturized MEMS sensors and actuators, as well as complete system components and partly their entire control, regulation and evaluation units are integrated into the smallest space in order to bring intelligence “on site” to industrial plants and devices.
For over two decades, TF Consulting has focused on product development in machine and plant construction and has a high level of competence in the management of end-to-end business and manufacturing processes.
We support our clients with the topics Industry 4.0 and IIoT. Our main focus is on the transformation of industrial companies with the aim of a continuous digitalization.
Our approach does not only focus on the technical aspects. In the procedure model, the actual “added value” is achieved step by step by considering the holistic interaction of the following domains. The model guarantees a holistic approach on five levels:
- Business model : e.a. process automation as-a-service
- Offering portfolio : intelligent services, e.g. predictive maintenance
- Business processes : software development processes
- Organization : challenge to transformation & change management
- Roles : know-how and skills regarding e.g. specification, coding & tests
Software as Enabler
The importance of software development is increasingly gaining in importance for future innovations in smart products and intelligent analytics services, as well as for new business models. A central component is the introduction of modern software technologies and methods into classical product development, but also into the production and service areas.
Companies in the manufacturing industry are planning to expand their business areas in order to position themselves better in the Industry 4.0 segment in the future and at the same time at higher levels of the value chain, e.g.
“from a measuring instrument supplier to a measured value service provider.”
To this end, suitable procedures must be developed on the basis of verified and tested methods. The following concrete goals can be aimed at in project scenarios:
- Accelerate product development by improving time-to-market
- Aligning Lifecycle Management (PLM, ALM) along the end-2-end value chains
- Increasing the efficiency of development processes & projects (local and global)
- Harmonization of joint development projects across several locations & countries
- Achieve higher process quality (e.g. improve CMMI level, according to SIL standard)
- Increased introduction of verification and validation (V&V) in the development process
In order to successfully anchor a sustainable implementation process and organizationally in the company, the employees must be able to implement these measures operationally. Change management therefore plays an important role e.g. in the transition from project business to process orientation and factory automation.
The following industries have been supported successfully with high-tech products and manufacturing processes:
- Automotive and supplier industry
- Engineering service providers (CAD, CAE, PLM)
- Manufacturing industry, POS manufacturers
- Cloud (CSP) & Internet Service Provider (ISP)
- Refractories, mechanical engineering and special plant construction
- Software manufacturer (ISV) for chemical, pharmaceutical and other industries
- System houses (data centers and industrial IoT providers)
- Telecommunications, ICT and public institutions
“Our systematic approach ensures that the know-how remains internally bound to the client and that effective Intellectual Property protection is guaranteed at the same time.”
TF Consulting’s clients include upper mid-sized industrial companies (Mittelstand), manufacturing companies and multinational corporations. We have been accompanying these clients since 2001 as independent consultants, project and interim managers.
One focus is the management of complex development projects, i.e. the development and introduction of innovative products, services & digital platforms, from specification to prototype construction to series production or commissioning (operations, end-to-end processes).
Sample projects are available on request.