Slovak–Finnish Industry 4.0 Day

On Wednesday, 17 June 2020, Slovak Investment and Trade Development Agency (SARIO) and Business Finland organized a free webinar titled Slovak–Finnish Industry 4.0 Day. The online event with 2 moderators and 10 speakers recorded a broad reach in both countries with more than 140 registered participants coming from various backgrounds important industrial players and Industry 4.0 solutions providers as well as ministries and governmental agencies.

Anna Łomża from Business Finland moderated the first key-note speeches session with 3 distinguished speakers. Erkki Siira, Scale-up Coordinator from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland presented several best practices of Reboot IoT Factory, which represent a tangible example of functioning cooperation and knowledge-sharing among leading factories, research institutions and SMEs.

Tuuli Ahava, Director of Digital Automation from NOKIA has acquainted the participants with the first-hand experience of Industry 4.0 practical applications in NOKIA factories located in Oulu (Finland) and Chennai (India). Tomáš Mičík, Head of Planning Management in Volkswagen Bratislava started his keynote speech with a presentation of key facts and figures about VW Slovakia with a focus on their digitalization and smart industry tools and strategies.

Afterwards, he interactively described some of more than 30 best practices of Industry 4.0 solutions adopted already in both manufacturing and administration of VW in Slovakia, e.g. advanced bin picking, smart laser cleaning or 3D printing. A subsequent Q&A part had an abundance of insightful questions for all three keynote speakers, in addition, there was a lively discussion, which arose also in the chat box of the event.
The second session with the title Smart manufacturing in Finland and Slovakia: solutions for factories of the future, moderated by Oto Pison from SARIO, had the ambition to put together 7 pitches of reputable solution providers from both countries, which have managed to get under the spotlight of many prominent industrial players.

The first Finnish company to be presented by its CEO, Edward Blomstedt, was AirFaas, which has developed a multi-party supply chain software, which can efficiently manage and interconnect the communication of personnel and management levels with a company, and thus, significantly reduce the transaction costs of companies.

Specialist for simulation of manufacturing and logistics processes, Silvia Furtáková from CEIT, provided the audience with an overview of its complex and customized solutions for any digital (virtual) 'factory of the future', based mostly on internal logistics automation (AGVs) and optimization of production or logistics processes.

Jukka-Pekka Akola, Sales Manager of the Finnish firm Cimcorp pointed out its end-to-end automation/robotic installations for intralogistics, employed especially, but not exclusively in the tire industry, in more than 40 countries. The fourth presentation slot belonged to Ľudovít Šurhaňák, Global Partner Manager of Photoneo, which provides vision and intelligence to robots through its state-of-the-art 3D-sensing technology (scanners & cameras) for advanced robotic applications, bin picking or inspection.

Hardware components for the Internet of Things (IoT) practical implementation with 1.5 billion RFID tags, labels and beacons all around the world are a domain of Confidex, a Finnish company represented by Automotive Sales Director, Alexander Abeln.

The third and last Slovak participating firm, Predictive Data Science, represented by its CEO, Stefan Rydzi, defines itself still as a start-up, although it has already developed own and further scalable Artificial Intelligence Platform (PDSAIP), which can monitor the state of various production facilities (mostly in the automotive segment) and predicts possible failures, anomalies, and bottlenecks.

On a similar topic of the predictive maintenance solutions contributed also Jukka Kivimäki, CEO of the software company Remion, which created a cloud-based 'Regatta' platform, which collects and evaluates real-time machine data, what serves to improve the efficiency of using machines, equipment and business processes. This pitching session was also concluded by Q&A with several supplementary questions for all speakers, discussing mostly recent trends and challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic.