The point of departure for this research project was the following question:
In what specific ways can the digital revolution known as Industry 4.0, with its new technologies and forms of work, help manufacturing companies in the region to stay competitive and therefore maintain and create prosperity and jobs?
Implementation applied the Enterprise 4.0 methodology, which analyses Industry 4.0 initiatives as follows:
• Digital transformation: Which technologies were used and how? (incremental or disruptive innovation)
• Internationalisation: What effect does the project have on the company’s global competitiveness? (return on sales, cost advantages, new business opportunities, effects on employment, site acquisition, ...)
• Entrepreneurship: What business challenges need to be overcome?
The members of E4.0 were all leading industrial firms that intensively discussed and worked together on Industry 4.0 topics (at management level and in detail at expert level) in a highly confidential setting. The project was highly focused on implementation and each company brought one of its major Industry 4.0/digital transformation projects to the table, in order to develop the topic with peers within the framework provided by the research project. Each of the companies was an industry leader in their sector, but none of them were direct competitors.
The participating companies were NOVOMATIC AG, BENE GmbH, buntmetall amstetten Ges.m.b.H., Doka Österreich GmbH, Franz Haas Waffelmaschinen GmbH, Georg Fischer Fittings GmbH, HOERBIGER Kompressortechnik Holding GmbH, RIEGL Laser Measurement Systems GmbH, RIC (Regionales Innovations Centrum) GmbH, TEST-FUCHS GmbH and Welser Profile GmbH.
The research partners were IMC University of Applied Sciences Krems, University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria, Vienna University of Economics and Business, TU Wien, St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences, and University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt.
Enterprise 4.0 was a project from the mechatronics and plastics cluster initiatives by ecoplus, the Lower Austrian business agency.
Links to further information:
Enterprise 4.0 project folder: www.ecoplus.at/media/4604/folder-projekt-enterprise-vier-punkt-null.pdf