Industry 4.0 sample factory training and demonstration project for small and medium sized food industry enterprises to capitalise on their information and data.
The so called “Industry 4.0 Sample Factories” flagship project offers a free program that provides key, hands-on experience and knowledge, among others, to food processing micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises to learn about industry 4.0 technologies, their applicability. As a result, they increase their data and information management capabilities by developing/applying the innovative IT products and services, processing technologies.
Majority of food processing SMEs fall short in automatization and digitisation due to lack of professional knowledge, finance and insight into technological solutions. Having these at hand, they could ideally reduce company operating costs, increase their productivity, and minimize passive production times. Also, they may meet new/higher supplier ratings and as a consequence, enter new markets.
Implementation has four steps:
1. Registration and self-scanning of their IT, data and information management capacities, industry 4.0 readiness,
2. Individual visits to relevant sample factories and technology centres, based on expert assistance,
3. Local consultancy, production management, industry 4.0 and technology workshops,
4. Elaboration of tailored, SME focused industry 4.0 development plans.
Beneficiaries of the flagship project are listed in section “main institutions in charge”, indirect ones are the targeted food industry SMEs. Stakeholders are regional clusters and county level directorates of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture
The budget of the project is 2,35 billion HUF (6, 6 million EUR). Successful implementation required constant availability and commitment of project staff at participating beneficiary organisations and of sub-contractor. Project identification code is: GINOP – 1.1.3-16-2017-0001.
Evidence of success
The project supported smart specialisation driven transition of concerned food industry (and other) SMEs. Exploiting of data-information centred research based technological solutions (IoT, Big Data, Digital Twin, 3D printing-prototyping, Automated Guided Vehicle, etc.) enhanced their operation, increased effectiveness of production processes.
Facts-figures: 78 events, 1744 visitors, 1000 SMEs reached, 350 of them received knowledge transfer, 50 SMEs development plans.
Some lessons learnt at food industry SMEs:
Industry 4.0 readiness are overrated by SME self-measurements compared with on the spot measurements.
Paradigm shift is needed: the software itself may also “produce”, not only the workers and machines.
The smaller an SME is, the less industry 4.0 ready.
Potential for learning or transfer
Industry 4.0 sample factory training and demonstration project is rooted in data and information science research conducted at Budapest University of Technology and Economics. Future engineers, professional organisations, even bigger size SMEs and large enterprises are very much interested in the topic, some of the latter even are looking for “I4.0-ready” suppliers. Last, but not least the project successfully identified that approximately 1/3 of SME development plans reflect the industry 4.0 mindset.
As regards the above, and based on the popularity of this kind of training-demonstration projects, the transfer is advised towards such European regions, where:
- data and information driven industrial production is a development priority,
- the regional economy is significantly export driven,
- the presence of state of the art university research background, ICT solutions providers, and strong state initiatives all support the expansion of industry 4.0.