Industry 4.0

“Competition means you either have an advantage in technology, cost, or speed. Digitization helps us to achieve all of this,” says Peter Oberparleiter, CEO of GKN Powder Metallurgy.

The future of productivity and growth

It’s a simple vision and credo that drives our efforts in the fourth industrial revolution. New technologies and solutions are being developed and brought to market at high speed. As with all transformational changes there are countless challenges, ideas and modules how to get there, including: digital transformation, Industry 4.0, IoT, cloud computing, tool machine 4.0, and digital shop floor. At GKN, we manage our Industry 4.0 transformation process through our digital business model. 

  • Full connectivity
  • Clear roadmap
  • Improving performance and adding value 

Connectivity: Digital shop floor and beyond

We have come far enough to master complete connectivity and data acquisition. With more than 1,500 machines digitally connected and permanently providing real-time data, we have set the basis for better decisions on product quality, performance management and cost control.

Transparency and data-driven decisions will significantly change the way we interact with our customers. In addition, data will provide new opportunities for service and business models. Having open and direct communication with customers and partners will streamline value chains, workshops, and logistics between all involved. We are ready to join smart products together with our customers to maintain competitive edge. 


GKN PM has identified clear business advantages and assigned those to specific projects. All this has been summarized under the project Karthago.

The thoughtful planning and construction of the ancient city Karthago has been taken as a role model for our shop floor of the future.

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Adding value & product development: Implementing Industry 4.0 at GKN PM

We have already made progress to capture and digitize the vast majority of our machines. 

Our target is to have full remote access to our machines and assets. This will lead to new ways of working and how we manage our shop floor of the future. New organizational and working models will be a resolution.

Remote monitoring and control

Our objective is an integrated planning of production and maintenance to reduce downtimes, as well as improving resource allocation for maintenance. 

Today, we use real time and historical data to make our decisions. In our projects, we are now investigating and defining cases that will enable us to predict possible events regarding quality, productivity, output and  maintenance.

Predictive analysis

Improving line production with automated in-line quality checks is a clear cut advantage and has been used for years. 

Going forward, quality checks including methods, sequence and frequency will be based on real-time process data, historical data analytics, current performance and customer requirements. We are working intensively with partners to develop sophisticated automated in-line quality checks, taking into account  visual inspection capabilities such as picture recognizing systems and artificial intelligence tools (AI). Quality management will become a dynamic process.

Active quality management

Automated transport and self-controlled material flow planning bear a huge potential to improve efficiency and reduce cost. 

We are exploring opportunities and challenges to implement Real Time Location Systems and robots within our existing plants. 

Connected supply chain

The digital transformation has also accelerated a collaborative economy. 

This is key for our vision to become more efficient in problem-solving and transferring information. Augmented reality software and tools will play a role in this project. 

Remote support and training

Get in touch

Paul Mairl
Paul Mairl
Vice President Programme Management & Lean
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