What about the Industry4 people:
Ir. Operator? MSc Technician?

Some interesting trends were spotted at TechniShow by our man Jan Peter Biersteker. The next step towards smart industry was the theme of the show and as its name suggest it was all about the technology. So, for us an amazing visit! But the trends give food for thought as well..

Production process: does it start with technology?

This year an interesting match was made with the ESEF show: combining this smart industry theme for the process industry with their makers’ industry. And it should be matched, because no matter how smart you products for production are if it cannot fit the processes in production it’s of no use. Anno 2022, processes are still largely defined and executed by people – so these parties need to communicate in order to take an effective next step towards smart industry.

Machine availability goes up for production, down for people?

The current digitalization developments strive to provide insights on dashboards that should be able to (in time) replace experience of operators and technicians, on certain topics that is. Or should be even more reliable, “truthful” and should be shared in a more efficient manner with other disciplines for further analyses for improvement. Data with context should in time exclude people to be required for historical analyses: no need to ask “what was going down at the time of that event?” Because statistics and algorithms would’ve filtered out any discrepancies. And when production actions are actually carried out you can make use of robots: no need to have a discussion every shift start about settings first or dealing with quality issues due to someone’s “ bad day”. Machine availability through the roof, and (or because of?) no need to make them available to people. We seem to trust technology that much, off course, who doesn’t love a fairy tale?

Product deliverers that call themselves solution providers – why?

But a happy ending for your fairy tale requires hard work. What people tend to forget is that a relatively simple product is the product. However, a complex product equals a product plus a person. Talk about digitalization then it’s the product PLUS an IT maintenance service and an available helpdesk. Such products are living products, as the digital world in itself continuously changes and develops, not to forget about security etc. That is on top of the incidental changes you already have in production: third parties that touch the machine, process line upgrades etc. Talk about robotics then it’s the product PLUS a software and hardware maintenance service and available helpdesk. Integration and compatibility with the ever-changing IT products, but also continuously more demanding safety standards result in constant work. Work for people. Machine suppliers do need to have high-standard knowledge and FTE available internally and externally continuously, supporting the products to fully be a functioning solution for their customer.

More and more difficult work, less people

So, Industry4 products result in work that might or might not be unburdened by their suppliers. However, production work at this point also still needs to be done. That can be a challenge within this ongoing industrial revolution for the factories. A current global issue is employee shortage, but at the same time a trend is that more people are achieving higher educational degrees. So where will the workers in production come from? You still need operators and technicians, but with all their degrees less and less people are willing to cover shifts at all time and do the sometimes hard work. Service Level Agreements can have the machine suppliers (solution providers!) cover you, especially for guiding or executing in the more complex matters. And you better get yourself a reliable, transparent, creative and cooperative partner for that, since they will face the same global trends.


Selmers is a solution provider that cares about your Operational Excellence, read more about who we are and our services. Or get in contact via sales@selmers.com to get acquainted, or to get more info on the options that could support your production and process challenges. @Jan Peter Biersteker would like to thank you all for an interesting TechniShow, let’s stay in touch!

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