Methodical approach to the Industry 4.0 strategy at GEA Bock GmbH

© GEA Bock GmbH

In short

The GEA Group is systematically driving forward the digitization of its value chain. At the GEA Bock GmbH site in Frickenhausen, an Industry 4.0 control unit for compressor production is being developed. In order not to leave digitization to chance, GEA Bock, together with Fraunhofer IPA, developed a methodical and participatory concept for drafting an Industry 4.0 strategy.


In detail

A wide range of top-quality compressors are manufactured at the Frickenhausen site. Rising customer requirements pose new production challenges. GEA Bock describes a vision of highly adaptable yet efficient production processes based on digital technologies and intelligent automation. This vision was developed step-by-step together with Fraunhofer IPA and transformed into a realizable Industry 4.0 strategy. In discussions with the Fraunhofer experts, the effect of the transformation on all areas (technology and organization in production and related departments) and the associated complexity of the issues soon became apparent. The project team therefore decided on a methodical and participatory approach to meet these requirements.

The following aspects characterized the strategy process:

  • Formulation of a vision to guide action and derivation of measurable targets as a basis for effective decision-making
  • Simultaneous consideration of strategic goals and operational challenges to meet both current and future requirements
  • Involvement of a wide range of internal and external experts in order to arrive at the best possible solution by considering different points of view
  • Use of analytical evaluation methods to back up the decision-making processes with objective facts and to quickly identify priority courses of action
  • Consideration of dependencies between digital use cases and related organizational implications in order to reach the best solution for all areas

The results were used to create a roadmap and supplemented by accompanying change management activities. An adapted implementation organization process takes over the future realization of the Industry 4.0 strategy.

Insight into the project

The balance between analytical and participatory methods delivered optimal results in the short space of time available.

Bernhard Lambertz, Project Manager Supply Chain & Production