Industry 4.0 Digital Transformation


Whether you’re looking to improve efficiency, reduce downtime, or deal with labor shortages, digitalization provides new tools and methods to address “old” challenges in manufacturing.

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Digitalization: The Transformation and the Journey

Implementing digital tools to improve manufacturing functions and outcomes is referred to as a “digital transformation.” And the process of implementing these digital tools is referred to as the “digital journey.”

What is Digitalization?

For manufacturers, digitalization means using digital tools such as IoT devices, AI, simulation programs and edge/cloud computing to gain better visibility into their processes and outcomes. But digitalization doesn’t just mean more technology on the manufacturing floor – it extends all the way from product development, factory optimization and back-office operations to supply chain functions and data analytics.

Why embark on the digital journey?

The benefits of embarking on a digital journey can be seen throughout the manufacturing floor – and beyond – through increased efficiency and quality, reduced costs throughout the product life cycle, faster decision-making with fewer unknowns, and even an improved client experience. And in most cases, manufacturers see a combination – or even all – of these benefits.

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How has Patti Engineering helped our clients, and why are we different?

There’s no shortage of people who can tell you what digitalization can do – and in the context of manufacturing as a whole, they’re not wrong. But Patti Engineering will collaborate with you to understand your operation and uncover what digitalization can do for you.

We’re digitalization experts who actually own (and wear) steel-toed shoes. We take the time to get to know your facility, your operations and processes, and your challenges. Then we make recommendations that fit your business needs and goals.

And we know that digitalization is a journey – it starts with a first step and continues with a well-defined outcome and plan to reach that outcome. Patti Engineering is a trusted advisor throughout your digital journey, helping you define the path and take those steps.

Patti Engineers
Robotics automation

Will your manufacturing operation benefit from a digital transformation?

We understand that not every company will reap significant benefits from digitalization. But many will – especially if you have a problem that can’t be solved with traditional methods. Let’s face it, developing a hypothesis and testing it out by trial and error can be costly and time-consuming.

Some of these signs will be obvious, and those are the issues that most often drive manufacturers to embark on the digital transformation. But during this journey, they also find that digitalization uncovers “hidden” issues that are difficult to identify in day-to-day operations and data.

The assessment can be boiled down to two scenarios…If there’s a gap between your operation’s performance and its potential, you need to start on a digital journey. Or if there’s a gap between your operation’s current performance and your requirements – in other words, you need to get more out of your system than it’s currently providing – digitalization can help by streamlining and improving processes.

Here are some of the signs that digitalization can help you:

  • Operational efficiency is lower than expected (or desired)
  • Equipment isn’t running at full or expected capacity
  • Downtime – whether planned or unplanned – is extensive
  • Scrap and rework costs are too high
  • Product development time is too long
  • Product implementations and changeovers are plagued with last-minute changes
  • You have a wealth of data but don’t know what to do with it all
  • Revenue and growth are stagnant or falling below benchmarks

What does a successful digital transformation entail?

Digitalization isn’t simply a matter of implementing software and letting it run, so to speak. To be successful – and to realize the full benefits of digitalization – manufacturers need to take a full lifecycle approach. Patti Engineering breaks this down into five phases:

IT-OT Convergence Digital Infographic

Phase 1

Data Gathering – analyze the current situation to understand what’s working, what’s not, and where there are opportunities for improvement.

Phase 2

Analysis – determine which digital strategies and tools can be most helpful and how they will impact operations, processes, and outcomes.

Phase 3

Implementation – develop a detailed plan of what to implement, how it will be implemented, and what outcomes can be expected.

Phase 4

Deployment – execute the first deployment (the first “step” on the digital journey), typically for one process or aspect of the operation.

Phase 5

Expansion and Lifecycle Management – analyze the success of the first deployment, make adjustments where needed, and move forward with additional implementations.

Let Patti Engineering guide you on your digital journey.

There are plenty of companies that can program automation systems. And there are plenty of companies that can perform data analytics and understand digitalization. But Patti Engineering is one of the few companies that is an expert in both manufacturing and digitalization.

We have a deep understanding of manufacturing operations and the challenges and opportunities that manufacturers face, and we understand what it takes to undergo a digital transformation and make it work for the client. In other words, we’ve bridged the gap between OT (operations technology) and IT (information technology).

We also understand that a digital transformation can seem daunting, and it is a big undertaking. So, we start by taking a first step – looking at an area where improvement is needed, whether it’s a “big” problem that you can’t solve with traditional methods or a recurring problem that you just can’t shake. We guide you through the digitalization process to address that problem, and then help you refine your digitalization tools and processes and expand them to other areas.

You might already be using some of these digitalization tools:

Edge and Cloud Computing

  • Data collection and analysis at the device (edge) and in the cloud
  • Some of the popular edge systems include Inductive Automation’s IgnitionEDGE, Siemens SIMATIC WinnCC OA, and Siemens SIMATIC WinCC Unified.
  • Some cloud platforms we have experience with are Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, Siemens MindSphere
  • Network design and implementation, databases, data lakes

Advanced Data Analytics and Machine Learning

  • Standardize and contextualize data to uncover patterns and anomalies
  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Various Vision AI products

Tracking and Tracing

  • Lot tracking and lot tracing systems, RFID devices, real-time locating systems
  • Siemens RTLS and Patti Engineering ProxM8
  • RFID Systems including Siemens and IFM.

Digital Twins

  • Digital replicas of manufacturing facilities and factories, processes, and products
  • Siemens Plant Simulation, Process Simulation, and NX
  • Fanuc Roboguide and Yaskawa Motosim


  • Traditional industrial and collaborative robots to improve efficiency, quality, and throughput
  • Fanuc
  • Yaskawa
  • Robot Safety Assessments to uncage your robotics

IIOT & Industry 4.0

You’re collecting so much data, you don’t know what to do with it. You’re spending too many hours on tasks that seem repetitive. You have great visibility into some systems in your production, but not others.

That’s where Patti Engineering comes in. We’ve spent collective decades in all kinds of manufacturing facilities. We get your “gut feeling.” But we’re also experts in the new technology coming down the pipe. Our experts can help you analyze data and put it to good use. We can help you find the bottlenecks and wasted time and automate it. We can develop systems, apps, and solutions that look at the whole picture and give you total visibility. No matter the size of your facility or project, we can help you take advantage of the cutting edge.

Start your Industry 4.0 journey below for free, whenever you are ready!

Industry 4.0 is a journey, not a destination, so we think manufacturers should have a roadmap. Along with our partner i4Score, Patti Engineering is working to help manufacturers evaluate, assess, and implement Industry 4.0.

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