In the future, Industrie 4.0 and digitalization of industrial processes will encompass every step of the product lifecycle - from design to manufacture, service and maintenance. However, as production service providers, contract CNC manufacturers are generally involved in only a small part of this product lifecycle. Product design and services are generally the client’s responsibility. Even comprehensive production planning is not an area of focus for many small and medium-sized firms. Instead, work is almost always performed "on demand." For contract CNC manufacturers, therefore, digitalization tasks primarily arise in work preparation and production itself or in machining using machine tools.
Work preparation and production can be broken down further into additional process steps, ranging from tendering to quality assurance. The demand for digitalization solutions, and the current supply of solutions involving SINUMERIK CNCs, can be illustrated using the typical questions that contract CNC manufacturing companies ask themselves when it comes to each of these process steps.