PPC and Industry 4.0

PPC approves roadmap towards Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, proclaimed as part of a new high-tech strategy in 2011, refers to what is called the “4th Industrial Revolution” and is intended to help industrial companies with their further development in relation to digitalisation.

Industry 4.0 offers approaches for digitalising and networking industrial production and the related business processes. Here it is primarily automation that is to provide added value to all aspects, with the help of the most up-to-date technologies and the exchange of data and information between employees, machines and software systems, as well as with customers and partners.

The Industry 4.0 project at PPC

In the beginning of 2018, the starting shot for a comprehensive Industry 4.0 campaign was fired at PPC. In doing so, the objective was to make the company fit for the future. The first step in the process was to filter out the possibilities for digitalisation that were appropriate for PPC from the numerous approaches that exist – because there is no such thing as Industry 4.0 “out of the box”. This is also one of the most important secrets of success with a digital transformation: the separation of the relevant digital solutions from all the interesting ones. A clear development strategy was proclaimed at PPC from the start. 

The programme was started in January 2018 with a series of workshops over several days and a comprehensive company check in terms of readiness for digitalisation. Managing Director Harald Hauke has ensured the support of a top partner for him and his employees: the Fraunhofer Austria Research institute,  which has specialised itself in support for digitalisation questions at industrial companies. 

In several years of research work, Fraunhofer Austria has developed an “Industry 4.0 Degree of Readiness Model”, which supports companies from the development of strategy through to the actual project. At PPC, the application of the degree of readiness model has resulted in highly interesting areas of action and project approaches: from digital integration with customers and partners, through automation on the shop floor, to the development of digital employee competences.

As a result of the cooperation between the two companies, a PPC-specific Industry 4.0 roadmap has been developed. This provides PPC with concrete guidelines for the next pre-planned investments in the field of Industry 4.0 and the basis for further, innovative development of the Spittal-based company.

“It is not a case of investing in digitalisation in order to save on staff costs,
but in order to support staff and to free them from routine activities”

Harald Hauke, Managing Director of PPC