Mechanical and plant engineering
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Mechanical and plant engineering
Mechanical engineering is among the top 3 most important industrial sectors in Germany and is strongly geared to exports. With more than 900,000 employees in Germany and around 300,000 abroad, the sector is a major employer. 60% of sales are attributable to exports.
The dynamics associated with the digital transformation repeatedly present German and also Swiss companies with the challenge of recognizing and successfully exploiting existing digitalization potential. Buzzwords here are Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, artificial intelligence or machine learning.
In Switzerland, the industry consists mainly of highly specialized, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Both Swiss and German companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector enjoy a good reputation worldwide and stand for quality, similar to the automotive sector and the chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
Solutions for digitization in mechanical and plant engineering
Digitization is an important topic in mechanical and plant engineering. By networking production processes and automating workflows, efficiency and productivity can be increased. The application of digital technologies can be used in various areas of mechanical and plant engineering:
The following section presents solutions, implementation options and application examples for digitization in mechanical and plant engineering:
1. IoT Technologies
One possibility for digitization is the implementation of IoT technologies. Here, machines and plants are equipped with sensors that collect data in real time and forward it to a central platform. Based on this data, maintenance work can be better planned and carried out, which increases the availability and longevity of the machines and plants. It is also possible to optimize production processes by analyzing data and identifying weak points.
2. Augmented Reality (AR) & Virtual Reality (VR)
AR and VR technologies can be used, for example, in the planning and design of machines and plants. With the help of AR glasses, designers can design machines and plants in virtual reality and see in real time how changes affect the design. AR and VR technologies can also be used in the maintenance of machines and plants, for example to visualize repair instructions or training.
3. Process automation
With the automation of processes, robotics and artificial intelligence can be used, for example. Robots can take over repetitive and dangerous work, increasing the safety and efficiency of work processes. Artificial intelligence can help analyze data in real time and make decisions automatically. This enables machines, for example, to respond automatically to production problems and optimize processes.
4. Improve service quality & customer loyalty
By integrating sensor technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), plants and machines can be monitored and analyzed in real time. In this way, maintenance requirements can be identified and remedied at an early stage, before malfunctions or failures occur. This leads to higher availability of machines and plants and minimizes production downtime. In addition, service requests can be made and processed easily via digital channels such as apps or web portals. Fast and effective problem solving increases customer satisfaction and thus customer loyalty.
5. New business models
In addition, digitization in mechanical and plant engineering also opens up new business models. By collecting and analyzing data, manufacturers can, for example, offer pay-per-use models in which the customer only pays for the actual use of the machine. The implementation of machine learning models can also lead to new service and business models, for example by creating predictive models for maintenance requirements.
Overall, digitization in mechanical and plant engineering offers a wide range of opportunities and possibilities for B2B companies. Intelligent networking and analysis of data can optimize processes, improve service quality and open up new business models. However, successful implementation also requires corresponding investments and a digital strategy. However, those who master these challenges can gain an important competitive advantage and be prepared for the future.