We were happy to take part in ARC’s European Industry Forum 2018. It kicked off under the sunny skies of the Spanish coast of Sitges near Barcelona. More than 130 experts from the processing and discrete industries attended keynotes, break-outs and workshops.

The first day started with a keynote by Felix Hanisch, Head of Industrial Automation Bayer/Board Member NAMUR on “Setting priorities in digital transformation”. He emphasized the need to focus on strategic priorities: where can digitalization add value in industrial production? How do you identify, prioritize and justify the right topics and projects? Which are partners of choice you can trust?

The next plenary session was given by Peter Eisen of Voith Digital Solutions, part of the German machine builder Voith. He explained how digitalization is changing organizational capabilities and processes and covered the impact on customer centricity for machine builders.

A great emphasis was given to the cultural change the plants have to undergo in order to drive the floor to the digital transformation. Recommendations are for designed thinking, planning and executing where, when and how to begin implementing change, according to a plan.

Another important recommendation that came across several presentations was to involve all stakeholders, to bring all teams (IT, Operations, Process) together going through the process. In the future, the amounts of data are going to grow yet, and only collaboration would yield the best ideas of how to use it. Several speakers talked about applying bottom up changes, involving all teams in workshops and meetings through the course of change.

Workshops and break-out sessions were presented by users and experts, all were well visited and covered digitalization topics for the processing and the discrete industries. Precognize’s solution was well presented by one of their customers, Ohad Nahari, from

Bazan, explaining how they use predictive maintenance to address environmental concerns. Click here to watch the entire presentation.

Other discussions were dealing with the importance of standardization of the platforms and solutions as well as securing them.

One thing was made quite sure, in spite of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the entire digitization the industry is undergoing, human skills are going to remain unequaled for quite some time – but this is for another blog.

It was a great arena for manufacturers, solution providers, and analysts to share and exchange ideas as well as learn what are the issues that concern the industry the most. In future blog posts we will discuss more of the issues raised. Stay tuned!

Aviel First, Precognize’s VP Sales in a panel discussing MES (Manufacturing Executing Systems) in the process industries.

Learn More