Despite corona crisis: upswing for Industry 4.0 in Austria

Despite corona crisis: upswing for Industry 4.0 in Austria

A recent study by TU Wien in cooperation with FHWien der WKW paints a positive picture of the domestic production sector and sheds light on its digital transformation. […]

Austrian industrial companies are looking to the future with positive expectations and are driving the digital transformation forward. This is the conclusion of the industrial panel “Made in Austria: Production work in Austria”, for which more than 100 executives of manufacturing companies are surveyed annually. According to the now presented survey for 2021, 85 percent assess the business situation of their company very positively or positively. During the corona crisis, companies used the time to improve their competitiveness through digital transformation and thus took further steps towards Industry 4.0 – a digitized industry.

Digital assistance systems are on the rise

The results of the study show that digital assistance systems have finally arrived in Austria’s production plants. Almost 90 percent of companies use such solutions. “In addition to mobile applications and augmented or virtual reality systems, companies are increasingly using digital assistance systems for workplace-related learning. This is certainly also due to the trend towards digital learning triggered by COVID-19,“ confirms Walter Mayrhofer, study co-author and head of research at FHWien der WKW.

The use of algorithms and machine learning in production has remained almost constant in recent years – despite the media presence of these topics. Algorithms and machine learning are preferably used in the planning and control of production as well as in quality management.

Transparent supply chains as a flexible solution to supply bottlenecks

Long delivery times due to worldwide delivery bottlenecks currently require a high degree of flexibility from Austrian companies. In response to these conditions exacerbated by COVID-19, companies are increasingly relying on various smaller and increasingly regional suppliers. Digital networking increases transparency in the supply chain.

Robots as co-workers of a highly qualified workforce

According to the study, the degree of automation increases when robotic systems are used in companies. This is mainly due to the use of collaborative robots – so–called cobots. In addition to improved working conditions and technology testing, the increase in economic efficiency is mentioned as one of the main motives for the use of robots. Nevertheless, human labor is of particular importance for domestic production plants, since a high degree of automation requires highly qualified employees.

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