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Industry 4.0: Digital Transformation for Swiss SMEs?

The definitions of Industry 4.0 are diverse. For some it is a revolution; for others it is a logical result of Internet-based digitization and networking.

Industry 4.0: Digital Transformation for Swiss SMEs?

No matter what you call it, Industry 4.0 is finding its way into almost every sector and is a result of the technological developments of the last decades. It is changing value chains and makes individual production possible, i.e. cost-efficient production in small quantities.

Industry 4.0 – significant for innovative companies

Alpiq Intec is one of the companies that wants to be at the very forefront in the transformation to Industry 4.0, explains Johannes Lieb in this video interview. Because for the Head of Corporate Development at Alpiq Intec, it is clear that this is a revolution. He would describe the launch of a new generation smartphones as a development, i.e. an evolution. There are a few new features, but there are no fundamental changes. A revolution, however, is the creation of something entirely new. For example, the ride service provider Uber, which has shaken up the taxi industry.

Evolution or Revolution? From 1.0 to 4.0

Western civilization has already experienced three industrial revolutions. With Industry 4.0, the fourth has just begun, although many experts see Industry 4.0 as an evolution, in contrast to Johannes Lieb's remarks. Whereas the first industrial revolution was characterized by the use of water and steam power as well as the development of machine tools, the second revolution brought electricity and mass production. The third industrial revolution significantly accelerated automation, thanks to electronics and IT.

Switzerland as a pioneer

With Industry 4.0, Swiss SMEs can optimize the flexibility and efficiency of their production and preserve resources – important aspects in the high-cost country Switzerland. In addition, companies can respond to the more demanding customer requirements and use intelligent technology to create tailor-made products. Switzerland has the best conditions to play a pioneering role in Industry 4.0. It leads the way with regard to important indicators. For example, 6% of Swiss workers work in technology and knowledge-intensive sectors, a peak value in Europe. And no other country in Europe has higher added value in industrial production per employee. Innovative Swiss companies can be on the winning side if they take a proactive stance in the new industrial era and understand changes in their added value through digitization and develop new concepts.

Industry 4.0 at Foreign Trade Forum 2016

So don't miss the boat, and come talk to our consultants as well as interesting speakers from the field at our Foreign Trade Forum on April 21 in Zurich. Register now!

You can find more information on the topic in our dossier: Industry 4.0

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