One of the first steps in your digitalization efforts is to determine the digitization level of your current processes. Each step in your process (eg grabbing the part, measuring the temperature) can be at the different level. I have stated these levels and given some examples according to the Acatech Industrie 4.0 Maturity Index:

  • Computerization: It is the most basic level. Digitizing the information/action in the processes.

Example: Gathering information from the process with technologies such as sensors, RFID, barcode, image processing, and/or making actions performed by machines and software with approaches such as RPA and robotics.

  • Connectivity: Transmission of digitized information between processes, either unilaterally or bilaterally.

Example: Transferring raw material quality control information to production or conveying WIP information to planning. with technologies such as Wifi, PLC, Wimax, Lora.

  • Visibility: Transfer of integrated information to people with visual warnings.

Example: With technologies such as BI, AR, VR, the operator can see information about the currently operating product. (eg Which raw material is used)

  • Transparency: Showing the input-output relationship in line with the information transmitted from the processes.

Example: With technologies such as APC, Digital Twin, BI, you can see instantly that the quality problem in the machine output caused by which supplier the raw material purchased from.

  • Predictability: Using the input-output relationship transmitted from the processes to formulate an estimation.

Example: Proposing revised process parameters with technologies such as Predictive Quality so that changes in raw material content do not affect quality.

  • Adaptability: The ability to operate processes autonomous with learning capabilities in line with the formulized data.

Example: With technologies such as Machine Learning, autonomous application of revised process parameters by learning variables that did not exist before in the process.

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