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BMW Group Plant Steyr wins INDUSTRIE 4.0 AWARD

+++ World famous award for Industry 4.0 solutions in production +++ First in category for Discrete Manufacturing +++

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Munich/Steyr. The world famous INDUSTRIE 4.0 AWARDS are presented by the operations consultancy ROI-EFESO recognition of innovative solutions in digitalisation and automation. At the ceremony in early February in Munich, BMW Group Plant Steyr scooped the coveted award in the category for Discrete Manufacturing.

Over 200 digitalisation solutions already in operation

The BMW Group’s Austrian facility in Steyr carries out research and production of e-drives for future BMW Group vehicles. Digitalisation has played a prominent role here for many years, with the first AI solutions introduced as early as 2018. Today the plant is in the midst of the biggest transformation in its history as it gets ready to produce next-generation electric drives alongside combustion engines.

Steyr’s hub for digital skills is the InnoLab, where new applications are trialled and the most beneficial are rolled out in production. Which digital solutions are already on stream can be seen on a digitalisation map. There are currently around 200 different projects, ranging from simple data visualisations, via complex AI solutions that span multiple production lines, through to generative AI, which is used in AI-based quality control of components, for example.

Sharing within the network and employee training are key to success

“The key driver behind effective innovations – and therefore the enhancement of our production systems – is our employees, with their wealth of creativity and experience. Once a smart solution has been successfully rolled out, it soon makes its way into other areas of production too, and across the entire BMW iFACTORY network,” explained Klaus von Moltke, Senior Vice President of Engine Production at BMW AG and Plant Director at Steyr. The majority of digitalisation solutions from Steyr are scalable and can be used in various ways. Thanks to the principles of the BMW iFACTORY, there is also the absolute flexibility, outstanding processes and superlative integrability needed. An important component in all of this is the comprehensiveness of digitalisation. The holistic approach to the interplay between humans, processes and systems ensures optimum processes and supports employees in their work. Implementation is underpinned by three strategic strands: data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and virtualisation.

When it comes to the transformation of the BMW Group, employee training is key. Initiatives range from the plant-wide interactive data visualisation week to RPA (robot process automation) applications for employees, to name just two examples from Austria. The next highlight at Plant Steyr will be the Snapp-a-thon, in which even employees with no prior programming experience will learn to develop their own apps in just a matter of days to improve processes in their area of work.

Recognition for efficient technologies at BMW Group Plant Steyr and creative, scalable solutions for the BMW iFACTORY network 

“BMW Group Plant Steyr is a shining example of how Industry 4.0 excellence takes not just skilful adaptation but also innovations that embrace an element of risk. Over the years, the team in Steyr have built up a complex yet highly efficient technology landscape that offers convincing answers, especially in the key field of AI, with a homegrown, creative, scalable solution,” said jury member Dr Jörg Ulrich, Executive Vice President, Head of Operations Region Europe, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, speaking on behalf of the jury. The INDUSTRIE 4.0 panel of judges comprises 22 decision-makers from industry around the world.

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