EIF 2024 Review – Digital Services

Author photo: Alexey Grechko and Constanze Schmitz
ByAlexey Grechko and Constanze Schmitz
Industry Trends

ARC’s European Industry Forum, part of the successful series of worldwide conferences in Europe, America and Asia, has been held in Sitges (Barcelona), Spain on May 6-8, 2024. The event offered exclusive presentations and workshops on strategies and case studies in line with this year’s topic “Managing Digital Transformation in the Age of AI, Open Architectures, and Sustainability” to its 150 international participants from over 20 countries.

Digital Services as a New Reality
In today's rapidly evolving industrial landscape, shaped by factors like COVID-19 consequences, remote work transitions, and labor force issues, digital services play a crucial role in industrial operations. These services increase efficiency, improve operations, and reduce expenditures. For service providers, digital services allow them to scale operations globally, eliminating the need for high-level specialists in every region by enabling remote management and load distribution. According to ARC data, digital services are one of the most promising areas in industrial automation, with an expected CAGR of about 30% over the next five years. This high growth rate highlights the significant impact of digital services compared to the overall industry growth. At EIF 2024, various sessions covered the value of digital services, featuring five incredible speakers who presented unique solutions.  

Speaker Highlights  
Patrick Scholz from FLECS highlighted the transformative power of platform solutions in the digital services market, emphasizing their role in accelerating deployment and monetization. He compared the evolution of the PC industry to industrial automation, noting how standardized digital platforms are revolutionizing the field.  
Elia Díaz Vázquez from RS Group shared a case study on improving operational efficiency at a food and beverage plant through smart metering solutions, providing real-time insights into energy usage, leading to cost savings and better decision-making.  

Marco Turdo and Gabriele Civati from HIMA Group discussed integrating digitalization in functional safety. Their approach focuses on safety lifecycle digitalization, ensuring compliance and streamlining engineering processes, thus enhancing safety management and operational efficiency.  

Natasha Nelson from Schneider Electric outlined their approach to integrating digital services in energy management. She detailed how their digital solutions optimize electrical systems, ensuring operational continuity, reducing energy waste, and supporting sustainability goals through advanced analytics and AI.  
Michael Schaaf from SIG Group presented how virtual commissioning is transforming the packaging industry. By using simulation models for iterative development and real-time adjustments, SIG reduces the time and cost of commissioning new equipment, enhances collaboration, and boosts production efficiency.

The rapid advancement of digital services is reshaping the industrial landscape, offering significant benefits for end-users, suppliers, and service providers. End-users can achieve greater efficiency, reduced downtime, and improved maintenance processes, which are essential for staying competitive. Automation suppliers and machine builders can strengthen customer loyalty and enhance their market positions by integrating digital services. Third-party service providers benefit from open architectures and platform solutions, enabling easy comparisons, installations, and software updates. As the industry continues to evolve, embracing digital services will be crucial for all stakeholders to drive innovation and maintain a competitive edge.  

ARC’s European Industry Forum & Platform
We like to thank our sponsors, who supported the ARC EIF 2023, and all our speakers and presenters, who made the event interesting, exciting and memorable. The next Forum will take place in Sitges (Barcelona), Spain, on May 5 – 7.
For more information, please contact Ann-Kathrin Blech (mailto:[email protected]).


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