Understanding how a company will introduce and benefit from digitalization can be a complex task

The four steps to guide you on your digital journey

We talk with a lot of customers about Industry 4.0, and many of them share the same concerns. “We don’t have the right talent.” “We don’t have the IT infrastructure.” “We don’t have a plan.”

At the same time they also share the main four challenges of managing costs, ensuring safety, maintaining product quality and meeting sustainability goals while facing the challenges of meeting the ever growing consumer demands for more variety, faster.

In a survey we conducted with food and beverage manufacturers, 90% of the respondents felt that Industry 4.0 will improve their competitiveness, while 60% felt that digital technologies are going to be the main source of impact on their bottom line. 70% of them did not feel well prepared to address these changes.

Understanding how a company will introduce and benefit from digitalization can be a complex task. ABB understands this, and that’s why we have put together our ABB Ability™ platform. So no matter the size of the manufacturer, if they are a regional baker or a multinational beverage producer, we have the ability to integrate the right ABB Ability™ solutions according to a customer’s needs. It’s really about co-development: working together closely with customers to listen and understand their needs, and then defining a plan. We do this is a four step process:

1. Understand your situation today
There’s no better place to start than at the beginning. We like to really understand the current situation that exists in your plants & how you are working today. We will talk with your team to understand not only how you see yourself operating today, but where you see your company heading, and what the important goals are you are working towards.

2. Visit your plants
Next, we put on our safety equipment and hair nets and head into your production facilities. Here we will look at your processes, how they are controlled, the technology used, and many other factors, including electrical network condition.

3. Plant observations and digital maturity assessment
We take the information from the plant assessments back and prepare a report for you. We also compare to other industry peers for you, to help give you a more in-depth understanding.

4. Workshop the results
At this key part of the process, we review the assessment together with your key stakeholders, and go further into the possibilities. Your team will have the opportunity to talk with our digital experts, and we will provide you with recommendations on where to begin, and how to reach your overall digitalization goals.

You are not alone
There is a starting point. Looking back at the main concerns our survey respondents had, combined with the clear benefits they see coming from digitalization, we know that a partner is really needed in this process. We have worked with many food and beverage customers to help guide them along their digital journey, and are here to answer your questions. ABB Ability™ has solutions to help reduce costs, meet food safety, ensure quality and reach sustainability goals. If you are interested and want to learn more about how Industry 4.0 and what it can bring to your business, let us know.

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About the author

Markus Brettschneider

Mr. Brettschneider joined ABB in 2016 to lead the company’s growth in the food and beverage industries. Prior to ABB, he worked as a Managing Director at a one of the world’s largest dairy companies, both in Germany and in the Netherlands, steering the business units he was responsible for to profitable growth. Before that he helped grow a European bottling company into a large regional organization. He has lived and worked globally across Europe, Asia and the United States. While working for a large food and beverage OEM he led the company’s mergers and acquisitions and global account management. He began his career working in the medical device industry, working in Switzerland and Japan. Mr. Brettschneider holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Germany and a Masters of Business Administration from Scotland.
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