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Innovation Centers for Operations

BCG’s network of model factories—Innovation Centers for Operations—demonstrate the firm’s commitment to innovation, Industry 4.0, and the use of advanced technologies in operations.

Industry 4.0

Becoming Immersed in Industry 4.0

BCG’s Innovation Centers for Operations (ICO)—now located in France, Germany, and the US—offer clients immersion, experimentation, and training on all topics related to Industry 4.0. A customized visit to one of these model factories features capability-building sessions, an exchange of experiences with experts, and hands-on testing (including actual production lines)—all aimed toward generating ideas about how to implement Industry 4.0.

In the US, we offer flexible ICO formats tailored to client needs, including Industry 4.0 discovery sessions, hands-on immersion workshops with technology providers, and even road shows leveraging BCG's broad ecosystem of Industry 4.0 vendors and academic institution partners.

—a topic that affects every manufacturing domain and comprises advanced manufacturing technologies that are empowered by all means of data progression, storage, and optimization.

Putting ICO to the Test—and Reaping Rewards

A European plant took advantage of one of our model factories by applying the firm’s four-step Industry 4.0 approach and came away from the experience ready to take the plunge into Industry 4.0.

  1. Understanding Pain Points. The plant assessed its Industry 4.0 maturity level in more than 20 categories by participating in exploratory demonstrations. As a result, the company will be making improvements in two-thirds of the categories tested.
  2. Developing a Long List of Specific Opportunities. The plant drew on 70 relevant use cases from BCG’s database of more than 150 examples of Industry 4.0 applications. On the basis of ICO workshops, the plant’s representatives prioritized those cases and prepared for further assessments.
  3. Assessing Impact and Making Choices. In an additional workshop, the European plant’s representatives winnowed down the long list of cases and prioritized more than a dozen, basing these choices on assessments of financial and nonfinancial benefits and considering time required for their implementation—distinguishing among short-, medium-, and long-term opportunities.
  4. Implementing Solutions. BCG helps companies identify technology suppliers, perform application engineering at the model factory, and prepare to implement a pilot program and full rollout. We can also help companies assess the qualification gaps in their workforce and determine the best ways to respond by hiring new talent as well as retraining the existing workforce. In the end, the European plant successfully leveraged BCG’s engineering partners and facilities to implement specific Industry 4.0 solutions.

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