Anton Duisterwinkel is business developer HTSM at Innovationquarter.

Opinion

Smart industry: vision and reality

Leestijd: 3 minuten

One of the best examples of smart industry I ever saw, was a Bosch factory producing injector systems for diesel engines. In this enormous facility, hundreds of machines were fully connected to a central data system. Big screens in the hallways detailed the status of every machine, the quality of the products, anything you’d want to know. Artificial intelligence was used to predict maintenance and prevent failures, optimize product quality and improve the design of the next factory.

The next day, our group of high-tech entrepreneurs from South Holland visited another German factory that produced medical appliances. With a paper trail as large as the factory itself and hardly any digitalization. How can we explain these huge differences in digitalization?

Well, for one, size matters. Given the number of expensive injector systems Bosch is producing, the ROI of digitalization is obvious. Also, Bosch can afford the investments needed. Moreover: if it wants smart systems developed, it can demand its suppliers to develop them.

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