Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Kärcher and Siemens

As part of our van full of nerds tour through southern Germany to study Industry 4.0, we also visited two companies, Kärcher and Siemens. Siemens is probably well known to all of you. We went to their Amberg plant where they make programmable logic controllers.  Kärcher is a smaller company that makes pressure washers and industrial cleaning machines. Let me show you what we found.

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Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Trumpf Gerlingen

Trumpf Logo As one of the stops on our van full of nerds touring southern Germany to study Industry 4.0, we also visited Trumpf. However, we didn’t go to the main plant in Ditzingen but to a much-smaller plant in Gerlingen that makes stamping tools. I have heard a lot of good things about Trumpf Gerlingen, and wanted to see if it is true. Let’s find out:

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Industry 4.0 Tour in Germany – A Van Full of Nerds – Overview and Audi

In 2019 I organized a non-commercial Industry 4.0 tour for some friends through my university, the Karlsruhe University of Applied Science. For the first week in July 2019, we rented a van and toured southern Germany. We visited fourteen different locations in five days to understand the current state of Industry 4.0 in Germany. Almost all of these locations were Industry 4.0 award-winning enterprises. However, our assessment of Industry 4.0 often differed from these awards. Since we all come from the lean corner, we often have a different outlook on things than people who specialize in Industry 4.0. Let me give you an overview of our tour:

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Lean and Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0 is one of the hot topics of modern manufacturing, although some (myself included) say that it is overrated. Lean is one of the older but also still important topics in manufacturing. In this post I would like to compare lean and Industry 4.0. What are the differences, what are the commonalities? Can they complement each other or do they conflict?

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Industry 4.0 – What Works, What Doesn’t

Industry 4.0 is (still) all the rage in manufacturing industry. I’ve already took A Critical Look at Industry 4.0. A lot of Industry 4.0 is hot air with a return on investment only far into the future. However, there are a few ideas that actually may work soon enough. In this post I would like to give my views of what works in Industry 4.0 and what doesn’t.

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A Critical Look at Industry 4.0

Modern Man with BackgroundOne of the hottest buzzwords right now (at least in Germany) is Industry 4.0. However, it’s a bit fuzzy what Industry 4.0 is, exactly. In this post I would like to talk about Industry 4.0. This includes very little about all the promises of a wonderful future – you can read that elsewhere. Instead, I will try to give you the big picture. I will talk about how Industry 4.0 came into existence, why it is so popular, what the true current benefit of Industry 4.0 is, and why you should pay attention to clothes.

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