RALF W. DIETER, CEO, ON INDUSTRY 4.0
What role does the Industry 4.0 concept play for Dürr today?
Industry 4.0 plays a very important role, and we are well on our way. But it will remain my ongoing task to make sure the whole team understands the importance and the opportunities of digital transformation. This concept is nothing new for us; you might say it is part of our DNA. Nonetheless, it is essential to create awareness – both internally and externally. That’s why we set great store by this concept in our communications.
What is changing for employees in the Dürr Group?
Dürr has a fantastic team, and I am very proud of them. For our digital@DÜRR strategy we need both colleagues with decades of experience and also fresh, innovative minds who can think outside the box. Training and development is therefore particularly close to my heart. When trying to recruit new experts, our reputation as an attractive employer is especially important. And, last but not least: even the best expert is only as good as his tools, which is why we always have the latest technology available within the company, and we invest in digitization. One important factor here is that our people do not worry, and they have no reason to. They are curious and creative, and that’s a perfect combination.
What role will digitization, connectivity and automation – in short: Industry 4.0 – play for Dürr in ten years’ time?
I think we will have to pinch ourselves. The triumph of the Internet, smartphones etc. has given us a taste of things to come. The connectivity and intelligence of machines and factories will go on increasing. Companies that cannot keep up will regress, lose business, and they may not even survive at all in the market. Being a company group with a wealth of digitized production technologies, we are in an excellent position. We can share our expertise among us and thus drive markets. With the help of Dürr technology, our customers will have highly automated batch size 1 manufacturing systems, and enjoy the benefits of having their data link to us.
Is Industry 4.0 now turning Dürr into an IT company?
What use is the best software if the paint atomizer is poorly made? In our business, things never work without the perfect hardware. But it’s true that software is becoming more and more important. I see great potential for Dürr, especially when it comes to Industry 4.0 platforms, which is why we have acquired iTAC and DUALIS.
Will we see further IT acquisitions?
I would not rule out the possibility of further acquisitions to make us even stronger. But there is no doubt that our Industry 4.0 expertise is also an asset when looking for acquisitions in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. Smaller companies, in particular, often find it hard to build this level of expertise. The Dürr umbrella offers them perfect conditions for accelerating their digital business.