Digitalization in mechanical engineering sector: the key to improving productivity and performance
The digitalisation of mechanical engineering presents immense benefits for European companies in terms of productivity and performance.
The sector’s "cloudification" is facilitating the entering of European SMEs to cloud-based high-performance computing that is highly customizable and cost-saving
Mechanical engineering industry’s digitalization has been progressing steadily and essential functions of its value chain are increasingly being digitalised thus enhancing the industry’s product portfolio with digital functionalities and introducing innovative, data-based services, according to European commission’s report.
The advantages of smart industry are enormous, including increased productivity, improved resource efficiency, reduced energy use, reduced total machine downtime and maintenance, reduced defects, and reduced time-to-market. The digital transformation of mechanical engineering drives significant leaps in performance.
Industry 4.0 increases the need of companies to integrate and process data from various external sources leading to new collaborative models to realise their revenue potential. Along the value chain and throughout the product lifecycle, closer cooperation, strategic alliances and cross-functional integration between different companies offering complementary technologies and services will likely become the standard.
The most important aspects of digitalization in mechanical engineering could be summarized into the following categories:
- Cloud-based mechanical engineering services - The shift from ordinary computerassisted design (CAD) and computeraided engineering (CAE) software run on local machines to ‘cloudified’, ondemand, engineering applications is revolutionary for engineering firms.
- Data – the new “digital glue” that connects and ties all the components together. Industry 4.0 and its technological enablers are above all data-driven. The paradigm shift is from the focus on physical assets to the optimisation of how data, treated as a valuable asset, is processed, analysed and shared across the entire value chain and product‘s lifecycle. The big advantage of data is that it provides new market opportunities - massive quantities of data are created by employees, customers, processes, businesses, products and machines and can easily be generated, collected, processed and shared across companies, geographies and system domains.
- Ultra-high-speed broadband connectivity - the development and expansion of fast and reliable Internet connectivity is essential to deliver next generation digital mechanical engineering support services
- Network of Data and HPC centres - The generation of massive amounts of data requires data management, processing, storage, security, and vast IT resources – where cloud-based HPC will be a central resource.