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Transition in mechanical engineering

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  • Auvesy
  • Mechanical
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  • Engineering
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  • Digitalisation
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Transition in mechanical

TECHNICAL ARTICLE Mechanical engineering - an industry in transition Full steam ahead towards the digitalisation of mechanical engineering The mechanical and plant engineering industry is as a result of digitalisation due to undergoing rapid changes. Despite the general situation being currently judged as stable, forecasts and future expectations of some German companies are often anything other than upbeat. Various factors can be attributed to this: • The lack of skilled workers has affected established machine builders. This factor has resulted in automation being driven forward. On the other hand, it has also led to a spike in personnel costs. • The variance and variety of parts is expanding whilst at the same time batch sizes are shrinking. Framework orders are becoming completed less and less frequently. However, the administrative and processing efforts required in processing orders remains consistent and cost intensive. • The poor economic outlook as well as the current precarious political situation in the most target sales markets of China, the USA and Great Britain have been a contributing factor towards this uncertainty. • In addition to this, the technological lead, that for a long time made German companies the market leaders, is threatening to shrink. For example, compared to China, the reasons for this can be found in the lengthy development times as well as a lack of regional and national strategies to ensure that value chains are used in a more appropriate manner. • Industry 4.0 and the replacement of existing technologies does not yet have a pivotal role on the executive floor at many companies and are therefore not deemed to be of significance. This is certainly also due to the fact that many management level decision-makers, especially in familyrun companies, are not digital natives and therefore lack the necessary media skills and the willingness to take risks. This problem can be attributed to being a generational issue. What can mechanical engineers do to set themselves apart from the global competition? Companies can only position themselves optimally if they are able to offer more than others. Agility and flexibility have taken on an ever more important role. If a competitor can offer the same technology in a shorter period of time and at a lower price, offering additional services can be a unique selling point on the market. Requirements are evolving from purely technology-oriented offerings towards on demand services. Traditionally, these can be onsite commissioning, user training, maintenance and delivery of spare parts. When it comes to committing to a manufacturer for long-term maintenance and repair, local companies have an advantage location wise. Page 1/4

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