A view of the future of machining

The future of the machining industry will be digital. A Factory 4.0 has a transparent shop floor and connected machines, as well as other advantages. What exactly does digitisation mean for you as a machining company? And how does it provide solutions for the challenges you are facing today?

Do you need a better overview of what is happening on your shop floor? Are you regularly just putting out fires? Or are you fed up with paper folders in your production area? If that is the case, perhaps you will also realise that times are changing and that your company and approach should be moving in the same direction.


Companies are increasingly dealing with enormous flows of information. The traditional methods no longer meet the needs to efficiently tackle the mountain of knowledge, information and data. In a digital factory, everything is paperless and automated. Data is exchanged automatically between the various systems, while actions are automated to the greatest possible extent. Important developments such as robotisation and the Internet of Things play a major role in this.

The aim of the digital factory is to get the right information at the right time in the right place by means of digital tools. This strategy is, for example, ideal for the digital control of schedules or the optimisation of product development and design. Direct advantages include higher quality, shorter lead times, cost reduction, better communication and cooperation, lesser need for machines and people, a shorter time-to-market, etc.

Transparent shop floor

The time when the shop floor was a black box where orders arrive and products leave, without any clear view of what, when and where, has gradually become obsolete. Customers but also the departments at your company expect more and more detailed information about the product status, the efficiency of the equipment, the quality of the process, etc.  A 'transparent shop floor' visualises what is happening on the shop floor, not only for managers, but also for employees, making sure they know what to do at all times. All kinds of methods for tracking, tracing and/or monitoring products and production equipment can be implemented for this purpose. Digital solutions are available for both manual workstations and machines that make your shop floor more transparent. In this way, you can save time in following up orders on the shop floor, you can find out why machines are standing still unnecessarily, how to increase your productivity, improve your quality ...

Connected machines

When you start building your 4.0 production system or reforming your existing system, connecting machines is an important element. Industry 4.0 is based on the idea that all production installations are connected and that data can be exchanged. To this effect new machines and controls are equipped with a wide range of connectivity options. Machines and equipment can be connected in different ways, each generating a dataset with different levels of detail and information. Depending on your needs, time and financial resources, you can choose the most appropriate connection method. Connections can be made at different levels, and the higher the level, the more complex the connectivity solution is.

4.0 Made Real Pilot Factory

How realistic is a Factory 4.0 and to what extent is it necessary for machining companies to make this happen (in the near future)? And above all, how to get started? Do you have any questions about how and why to connect your machinery?  And what about digitisation and the creation of a transparent shop floor? Sirris has been working on appropriate solutions in its pilot plant for some time now, in collaboration with various industrial partners. 

Are you curious about the affordable solutions that we are testing for you? Make sure to visit our pilot plant during the launch on 7 November in Hasselt and Liège!  

Curious to find out about 4.0 Made Real by Sirris? Take a look at 4.0 Made Real for more info!

(Source picture: https://www.dreamstime.com)