Industry 4.0 is the vision, but the road to achieving it is often rocky. The research project SORISMA – “Sociotechnical Risk Management in the Introduction of Industry 4.0” systematizes the interrelationships between the factors technology, organization and people and helps companies minimize risks when introducing Industry 4.0. It is being supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to the tune of around 2.7 million euros.
The industrial partners in the project include the cement business of thyssenkrupp. “In cement production, data are generated along the entire value chain. These data enable us to improve plant processes and develop new smart services for our customers. The SORISMA project will help us identify and minimize potential risks associated with this data use,” explains Michael Wilczek, process engineer at thyssenkrupp.
Industry 4.0, the intelligent networking of machines and entire processes, will bring companies many advantages and will be an important success factor for their profitability. However, implementation will be an extensive process, involving not just the introduction of new technologies but major impacts on the entire organization. For example, investment in smart assembly assistants in production will only pay off if the assistants fit into existing workflows and are accepted by employees.
“The stumbling blocks for the successful introduction of Industry 4.0 are the often difficult-to-assess risks between technology, organization and people. SORISMA will develop methods that allow companies to identify these interrelationships at an early stage and minimize possible risks. This will enable them to introduce Industry 4.0 successfully in the long term,” says Prof. Roman Dumitrescu, Director at the Fraunhofer IEM and Director of the Heinz Nixdorf Institute at the University of Paderborn.
Practically tested methods for companies
In the three-year research project, the Fraunhofer IEM, the Fraunhofer IML, the Heinz Nixdorf Institute of the University of Paderborn, Unity AG and myview systems are developing methods to enable companies to analyze the effects of Industry 4.0 on their entire value chain and identify and evaluate possible risks. Businesses introducing Industry 4.0 technologies will benefit from methods allowing them to monitor and control potential risks.
The user companies thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG, MIT – Moderne Industrietechnik, westaflex and Beulco are providing important input for this, contributing their previous experience with Industry 4.0, as well as their wishes and needs, to ensure the practical relevance of the research.
Interested companies will be able to access project results via an online tool, study pilot projects and work with the methods. In addition, the SORISMA partners are cooperating with trade unions such as IG Metall NRW and networks such as the technology network “it’s OWL” and the SME Competence Center “Digital in NRW” in order to disseminate the project results and obtain feedback from users.
thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG is a leading partner for the engineering, construction and service of industrial plants and systems. Based on more than 200 years of experience we supply tailored, turnkey plants and components for customers in the chemical, fertilizer, cement, mining and steel industries. Some 11,500 employees around the world form a global network with a technology portfolio that guarantees maximum productivity and cost-efficiency.
The Cement Technologies business unit specializes in the design and construction of turnkey cement plants. We support cement manufacturers around the world with an extensive portfolio of products and services and sustainable solutions based on more than 150 years of expertise and experience. Our plants and machines use state-of-the-art production processes to conserve resources, minimize environmental impact and deliver maximum performance and efficiency.
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