Disseminating the learnings from the Digital Factory Acceleration - Fall 2023

Sharing the learnings from Danish SMEs on their production innovation journey through the Digital Factory Acceleration program

One of the key objectives for the Digital Factory Acceleration program is to be able to extend its reach and its impact further than the 21 companies that will be able to join it. Because of that, it is fundamental to have a continuous reflection around the learnings built through the program, and the dissemination of these learnings – both across industry and across the academic community.

Fall 2023 has been a particularly dense period when it comes to knowledge dissemination from our Digital Factory Acceleration program.

First of all, the first scientific paper coming out of the program has been published by Springer Nature. The research has been collecting the most common technology-enabled production improvement opportunities in Danish production SMEs and studying their contextual relationships, to identify their hierarchy and suggest practitioners where it is generally more relevant to start digitalization activities. The small extract from the abstract of the paper highlights two key examples: “The paper finds that digitalizing dispatching processes and increasing the degree of automation in the material transformation processes should be the primary focus in early stages of SME digitalization”. The publication is the result of a collaboration between FORCE Technology (Sofie Larsen and Michele Colli, respectively Specialist and Head of Digital Production) and Aalborg University (Verena Stingl and Andreas Kornmaaler Hansen, respectively Assistant Professor and Ph.D. student).

Later on, these insights were further discussed by Michele Colli during his keynote at the Industry 4.0 conference from Computerworld, where a specific focus was put on the Digital Factory Mapping approach, adopted to systematically analyze the production operations in those Danish SMEs and to find the related technology-enabled production improvement opportunities.

The learnings presented in the scientific paper, with the addition of further insights and reflections from the field, have been translated into an executive report – you can download it for free here - titled “Key Challenges and Recurrent Production Improvement Opportunities or SMEs”. This article presents and discusses the emerging patterns when it comes to strategic and operational challenges, as well as their impact on production. These constitute the most recurrent production improvement opportunities that Danish production SMEs should pay attention to when they think about improving their performance.