In these times of Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) we may think that a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or an IIoT backbone has become an absolute requirement to digitally connect the office (the ERP) with the shop floor. In this first of two articles we look at whether this is always the case.

Software providers increasingly need to focus on the optimisation of their services, including the ability to react to customer preferences. Through its flexible framework and algorithms, the ITEA project Flex4Apps creates a full loop that allows companies to offer more complex services while advancing the digital transition. For this unique result the project partners have received the ITEA Award of Excellence during the Online ITEA PO Days 2020.

Cross-training of employees is a crucial activity for companies that want to reduce their lead time. Despite the many advantages there is often some hesitation to apply it. Digitising work instructions opens up a whole host of new possibilities, such as paperless activities, accurately measurements and monitoring and a considerable reduction in the chance of making mistakes.

In 2019, few could have predicted how 2020 would turn out. Sirris had already been preparing itself and the industry for a digitised future, to ensure businesses are more resilient, agile and stronger. Find out more in our annual report.

Hyperscale and Microcare are the most important drivers of the digital economy. The focus is on digital services which are scalable while also filling in the job-to-be-done of consumers or business users in a customer-focused way. Marion Debruyne, dean of Vlerick Business School, presents her vision.

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a great many changes. And even when society gradually starts up again and we are allowed back out into the world, there will still be challenges to face. How are manufacturing companies coping with the situation? What about the period after ‘lockdown light’? And what does all this mean in the context of Industry 4.0? We asked our experts at Sirris what they made of it all.

The digital economy is driven by hyperscale and microcare. It is absolutely essential that we offer scalable online services which take over tasks from consumers and/or business users, while also being user-friendly. We talked about this with Jan Van Steirteghem of BESIX.

More and more smart connected products pop up around us and more technology is available on the market to make smart internet-of-things (IoT) solutions. Many companies that build physical products wonder whether and when to take which steps. They are faced with numerous challenges such as creating added value and devising an attractive value proposal.

In Industry 4.0, design and manufacturing are closely linked. This is the starting point for the merger of the Prototyping Xpo and MNE trade fairs into a single fair for the entire value chain, from innovative design in small volumes to the production and marketing of series. Prototyping-MNE, in which Sirris also participates, will take place on 5 and 6 February in Kortrijk.

The digital economy is driven by hyperscale and microcare. It is absolutely essential that we offer scalable online services which take over tasks from consumers and/or business users, while also being user-friendly. We wanted to know the opinion of decision-makers about this and spoke with Nadja Desmet, founder of Socialemediaburo.be and Someflex and elected 'West-Flemish promising SME of the year'.