Economic Forum Recognizes Advanced Industry 4.0 Manufacturing Sites

The World Economic Forum has officially recognized the Sandvik Coromant production unit in Gimo, Sweden as an advanced Industry 4.0 facility. The plant has been selected as a “lighthouse” site, namely one that comprehensively deploys a wide range of Industry 4.0 technologies and use cases at scale, while keeping humans and sustainability at the heart of innovation.

Through its announcement, the World Economic Forum is acknowledging the strides that the world’s best manufacturers are making towards leveraging the technologies of Industry 4.0 into modern production. Each lighthouse is selected from a survey of over 1,000 manufacturing sites based on their success in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies and demonstrating tangible benefits.

According to the World Economic Forum’s announcement, the Gimo facility of Sandvik Coromant “has created a digital thread through its production processes that has significantly raised labour productivity. One example is its ‘touchless changeover’ which allows design patterns to be changed automatically, even during unmanned shifts.”

Nadine Crauwels, President of Sandvik Coromant, says: “Having our Gimo production unit listed as a lighthouse not only demonstrates true performance and increased competitiveness, but just as important, it shows sustainability at the heart of innovation.”

Magnus Jarlegren, Vice President Supply, adds: “Productivity improvement and technology development are two pillars for production that we have supported aggressively over the years. Being selected as a lighthouse for Industry 4.0 by the World Economic Forum is a recognition of which we are very proud, and proves that although we are at the beginning of this journey, we are heading in the right direction. This strengthens our ability to shape the future together.”

V R Vijay Anand, Head of Digital Machining, says: “Digital machining is a key Sandvik Coromant offer for our customers. Our recognition as an advanced adopter of Industry 4.0 endorses our understanding and maturity in this complex area. It also endorses the fact that we build digital offers which deliver tangible business value to our customers.”

The World Economic Forum’s aim is to build a network of manufacturing lighthouses that address the problems confronting industries in both advanced and emerging economies when it comes to investing in advanced technologies. Earlier work by the World Economic Forum identified that over 70% of businesses investing in technologies such as big data analytics, artificial intelligence or 3D printing are not able to take the projects beyond pilot phase. To aid the learning and adoption of technologies by other companies, Sandvik Coromant and the rest of the lighthouses in the network have agreed to open their doors and share knowledge with other manufacturing businesses.

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The Lighthouses join a group of nine others, which were unveiled in 2018. All were selected from an initial list of 1,000 manufacturers based on their successful implementation of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies in ways that have driven financial and operational impact. This year new Lighthouses include:

BMW Group (Regensburg Plant, Germany): This car plant manufactured approximately 320,000 vehicles in 2018. By using the custom BMW internet of things platform, it incurred time and cost, but the result has been cut the time to deploy all new applications by 80% leading to, among other things, a significant reduction in logistics costs and 5% reduction in quality issues.

Danfoss, Commercial Compressors (Tianjin, China): This factory makes compressors for refrigerators, air conditioning units and other products. By using its full digital traceability system and digital tools such as smart sensors, visual inspection, auto monitoring system etc. to improve quality control, it has improved labour productivity by 30% and decreased customer complaints by 57% within two years.

Foxconn (Shenzhen, China): “Lights off factory” – This factory, which specializes in components for smartphones and other electrical equipment, boasts a fully automated manufacturing process with machine learning and AI driving auto optimization of equipment, smart self-maintenance and real-time status monitoring in smart production. Its Fourth Industrial Revolution-first approach has resulted in efficiency gains of 30% and lowered its stock cycle by 15%.

Rold (Cerro Maggiore, Italy): This 240-employee business makes locking mechanisms for washing machines and dishwashers. As the only SME in the Lighthouse network, its use of Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies such as smart watches, rapid prototyping and digital dashboards has helped improve turnover by between 7% and 8%.

“Lighthouse factories are found in companies large and small, in all industries and regions. Rather than replacing operators with machines, lighthouse factories are transforming work to make it less repetitive, more interesting, diversified and productive. Rather than staying within the factory walls, Lighthouses build a broad innovation system with business, government and civil society. Beyond local pilots, Lighthouses create value and resilience through the supply chain, and agility and responsiveness for customers. Technology, deployed wisely in our manufacturing and production system, can create a better, cleaner world. We hope this network can be a source of inspiration to help break out of productivity stagnation and deliver the maximum positive benefit for society,” said Helena Leurent, Head of the Shaping the Future of Production System Initiative at the World Economic Forum.

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“We are now seeing the start of the second phase, as Fourth Industrial Revolution technologies are penetrating the core of all industries, and our platform of 16 Lighthouses is the clearest sign we have,” said Enno de Boer, Partner and Head of McKinsey’s Global Manufacturing Practice, which collaborated with the Forum on the project. “However, these leaders have a two-year head start ahead of companies that are still sorting out how to scale. We are running the risk that the value creation will be centered around a few ecosystems, rather than disseminated across entire industries. The race has clearly started.”