The opportunities and challenges of Industry 4.0 are also making inroads into our jobs at Muller Martini. Using an example from my job in strategic purchasing, I will illustrate how we are integrating and taking advantage of these opportunities in our day-to-day work.
Industry 4.0 is, of course, not only for our finishing machines THE big topic. As a mechanical engineering company, we are also looking intensively into what Industry 4.0 can offer and switching to a smart factory. In a company like ours, there are many projects running parallel, which are working toward this objective. Be it spare parts management with a highly automated ordering process in our online store, the digital service platform MPower, which provides access to all service-relevant information, or new communication options that change the way we collaborate.
In production planning and assembly, we are also working on numerous projects that will allow us to use data consistently and without manual intervention. This is particularly important for short-term delivery deadlines and small print runs that need to be processed efficiently.
One piece of this puzzle is our new tool, which supports us in strategic purchasing. We started it as a small data mining project 18 months ago by importing a large number of drawings and the corresponding 3D data of production parts using the software from Shouldcosting. The analyses provided answers to many questions that arise daily in purchasing: Which products offer potential savings? What price is justified for a new part? Do we buy homogeneously within product groups or from suppliers? Are we using our data profitably?
It was very interesting to see how many different components have accumulated in our data repository over the 70-year history of Muller Martini. And, above all, how many similar parts there are, some of which differ only in minor details. The analysis enables us and our technicians to optimize similar parts, so we can achieve a larger batch size and therefore also secure lower purchase prices.