Digital transformation on the store floor - why people are the key

There is immense potential in the digitalization of store floor processes. Greater efficiency, fewer rejects and, above all, automated compliance with documentation requirements (especially in the food segment) are strong arguments for the digitalization of production.

But how do you manage the digital transformation so that it unfolds its full potential?

The key is not technology or even artificial intelligence. The key is people.

Mr. Opdenhoff: Contact person for mixer systems

Book your free, no-obligation personal consultation with Jürgen Opdenhoff now to discuss digital transformation on the store floor.

Classic digitization pyramid

But let's start from the beginning.

The Classic digitization pyramid looks as follows:

Classic digitization pyramid


We use the term "asset" to describe all system components that play a role in the production process. This can be hardware such as a dosing device, a mixer, a silo or a conveyor system, but also meta-information such as recipes or control algorithms.


The programmable logic controller (PLC), on the other hand, is always a piece of hardware: whether on a top-hat rail or as a "box" directly on the machine, the PLC controls the hardware assets, records and transports measurement signals or executes complex control algorithms.


Above this is the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system - a system or software that no longer contains the individual controls but monitors and controls technical processes in an abstract manner.


The Manufacturing Execution System (production control system) brings together the distributed systems for process automation. It enables production to be managed, controlled and monitored in real time. Production data acquisition, machine data acquisition and personnel data acquisition also take place here.


The enterprise resource planning system is at the top of the pyramid. This is where employees, operating resources and capital are planned and managed in line with requirements. The aim here is to ensure continuous value creation and optimization. In other words, there is a degree of abstraction from concrete production to a business perspective.

New approach:

Presentation of the digital transformation approach

Your journey to the digital twin in 4 steps

Hardly any other term is used in as many ways as the "digital twin". What do we mean by this at Opdenhoff?

We work with you to map your processes in a digital system and find ways to map your current processes in the digital twin using modern technology - possibly in a retrofit for your current hardware. This is done in four steps:

  • Clarification of the process steps
  • Clarification of the process requirements
  • Description of the digital twin and its necessary structures
  • Clarification of the process steps with your partners
  • Clarification of interface requirements
  • Planning the process implementation
  • Implementation of the process

In the spirit of the Agile Manifesto, the whole thing is done in small steps with small teams so that implementation can be achieved as quickly as possible and live experience can be gained with the new implementation.


Our project management is based on the SCRUM methodology with two decisive concretizations:

The focus is on you and your process / product!

Where previously large, extensive and slow projects rebuilt the individual layers of the pyramid, here we achieve quick results and prompt findings.

Why people are the decisive element

We humans are inert beings. We don't like change: Stability gives us stability and orientation.

Whenever processes and companies are digitized, this triggers diffuse fears among those affected: What is happening? What impact will it have on my job? Will I be able to meet the new requirements? Will I still be needed at all after digitization?

Our approach: We turn those affected into participants!

In small groups, we work with your team to identify the existing processes and the requirements for improvement and digitalization. In this way

  • everyone is included and has their say
  • no one can hide
  • every person is accompanied
  • fears can be addressed and dispelled

As a result, the people in the team reach a new level of qualification: they go from being machine operators to process experts. Instead of standing at a machine and pressing buttons, they now walk through production with a tablet and react where there is a need to react.

This requires further qualification of the existing team, but leads to greater job satisfaction, a better understanding of the overall context in the company and thus to greater efficiency.

Our OPDENHOFF consulting methodology is based on the reference architecture model with Industry 4.0 components (RAMI4.0).

This uniform model (standardized in DIN SPEC 91345) enables us to digitize your production sustainably.

What advantages does this consulting methodology have for you?

  • We can evaluate your production system for digitalization capability according to a uniform standard and can give you an outlook on the development capability of your system right at the start of the project.
  • Even before the project starts, we can show you which work packages we will carry out with you using a digitalization roadmap.
  • A targeted and early digitalization strategy allows you to achieve planning security at a very early stage and digitalize your production step by step.
  • We give your digitization projects a structure and can suggest concrete steps at a very early stage to help you digitize your production sustainably.
  • Gradual digitalization of your production processes ensures that all affected employees are involved and that you can deploy your resources in a targeted manner.

The following principles apply to our advice:

  • You and your process are the focus of the consultation.
  • By planning in high-quality materials, we achieve a long service life for our system controls and our professional services ensure sustainable processes.
  • Thanks to a structured and agile approach, we can respond flexibly to your requirements during the consultation.
  • We attach great importance to smooth and transparent communication during consulting and project implementation.
  • When it comes to process documentation, we attach great importance to a uniform and transparent structure that can optionally be integrated into your management system (e.g. QMS).
  • Our aim is to create transparent and comprehensible processes, which we achieve through optimal process management.
  • With our consulting methodology, we bring all key project stakeholders to the table and thus create a structured decision-making process.
  • We work with a clear consulting mandate according to a standardized consulting methodology (according to RAMI4.0) for optimal communication.
  • We combine proven process management methods (e.g. value stream mapping) with agile methods such as user stories.
  • We work with you to determine the optimum schedule and thus create the perfect basis for a successful process.

The digital transformation can only be mastered with people and not over them. We support you in this. Technically, organizationally, humanly. OPDENHOFF.

Mr. Opdenhoff: Contact person for mixer systems

Let us help you now free of charge and

for a non-binding consultation at a personal appointment with Jürgen Opdenhoff.

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