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Industrie 4.0 & the machine tool manufacturer Trumpf

Our book on LATERAL MANAGEMENT says: Already now many simple, repetitive tasks are carried out by machines. Networked, intelligent machines – "Industrie 4.0" – are extending this development to complex tasks and services. Digitalisation is not only changing production but also products, sales structures, marketing and markets. It is changing the way we work and how we live.1

Already in 2015 Mathias Kammüller predicted that the company, which now has a turnover of € 3 billion, would be fully digitised by 2020. By then the company would then have fully realised the current vision for the future - Industrie 4.0. So far Trumpf has actually built a complete networked pilot plant.2 In future Trumpf intends not only to be a supplier of machines - they want to take over digitalisation of production from customers. He believes a 30% increase in production is possible. And although this is all still in the development stage, 270 industrial companies have already indicated interest in using the new networking software AXOOM.

Trumpf has created the IT platform through which all steps of a value chain can be linked. It serves as a data collector in the sphere of production and also as an open docking station for application programs of other companies.2

They point out that a study in cooperation with the Frauenhofer Institut has demonstrated that a lack of data transparency results in a substantial part of working time being unproductive. Non-productive times are especially transport and changeover times from one production stage to the next. According to the study these phases currently account for 80% of the actual production process. Data information would lead to a decrease in non-productive times here.

If we consider the fact1 that in the last 15 years an increase in efficiency of approximately 30% has been achieved relative to the turn of the millennium, a further 30% seems like an incredible prospect.

The pilot project was accompanied by a works agreement with IG Metall to make working time flexible. This means that employees can work more during intensive phases and take more time out afterwards.

On a critical note it must be said that there is discussion about a transformation which is supposed to involve putting an intellectual idea into practice – a Swabian tendency - without explaining how the managers intend to organise management, decision-making and co-operation.Source:


1 Geschwill, Roland & Nieswandt, Martina, Laterales Management, Das Erfolgsprinzip für Unternehmen im digitalen Zeitalter, Springer 2016

2 FAZ, with Industrie 4.0 Trumpf intends to increase productivity substantially, 20 April 2016, P. 22