INDUSTRY 4.0 IS UPON US
Calibrating a high-precision assembly unit.
WAGO has been manufacturing printed circuit board terminals at its Domdidier plant for the last 40 years. “Thanks to our expertise and high efficiency rate, we are able to export what we mass-produce here in Switzerland to China and the rest of the world”, proudly declares Frédéric Riva, Managing Director of WAGO Contact. The Fribourg company, which employs 500 people, owes this high degree of competitiveness to its lean management approach (a production excellence process) and Industry 4.0, a concept that is sometimes referred to as the digitization of manufacturing. “Industry 4.0 evolves in many different ways within our company. For example, our online configuration tool, smartDESIGNER, has expanded considerably in 2016”, explains Riva. As a result, all WAGO products can be displayed in 3D and the entire ordering process has become much simpler.
The Fribourg company has also set itself ambitious goals with regard to industrial asset management, the aim of which is to optimize the technical and economic performance along the entire production chain. Together with two partner firms, Stemys and Tornos, WAGO has developed a complete solution to monitor and manage interconnected equipment in real time. This platform, known as stemys.io, makes it possible to record temperatures, vibrations and electrical data in real time. “We have gone from statistical monitoring to systematic monitoring. This increases our yields and makes preventive maintenance possible”, adds the Managing Director. "Connected work” is another of WAGO’s priorities. “Outsourcing resources to sister companies or external partners has rocketed, while suppliers and customers are increasingly involved in the production process”, notes Riva. “By making machines more complex, Industry 4.0 is a wellspring of opportunity for Switzerland and its workforce.”