“Start now, don’t wait”

The fourth industrial revolution is at the door. To catch up with developments Sweden has to get a move on – preferably now. This was the challenge given by Phillip Ramin when he opened the conference on digitalisation’s opportunities and challenges for Swedish industry.

“Start now, don’t wait”

“The companies of the future must manage to be globalists, regionalists and also individualists,” he said.

In Germany, one of Sweden’s most important trading partners, Industry 4.0 is an established concept. Phillip Ramin works at the German Innovation Centre for Industry 4.0, which promotes technological development and conceptual education for the digital factory. On Tuesday he was at Elmia to spread this concept.

“When machines, materials and products can talk with each other, it opens up the way for new solutions and ways to benefit from information,” he explained. “One very important piece of the puzzle for making Industry 4.0 a reality is for the production line to talk to each other. It must be possible to share the information between the various suppliers in the chain and levels at the company.”

He focused on the challenges and opportunities Sweden is facing and what companies must do to drive development. But he said the most important thing is to get started.

“The development has already begun and is proceeding quickly. You can’t sit and wait for ‘the right time’. If you want to keep up you have to start now. So get the knowledge, find out what opportunities this development offers your own company, and start. It’s a long process – it’s nothing that you do in one or two days. And if you fail along the way, that’s all for the good. It strengthens a company.”

Ramin said the fourth industrial revolution is standing on two strong legs: the Internet of Things and the Internet of Data. These make it possible to have factories where robots, machines and tools are all connected. Where everything communicates with everything. This in turn produces sophisticated data analyses that enable companies to predict what must be done next, he said.

“Sweden is in an excellent position in terms of technological development and infrastructure,” he concluded. “There are excellent possibilities for Swedish companies to succeed in Industry 4.0. They just have to decide and then to dare to go for it.”