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Digital Transformation [1]

The term is ubiquitous. Is it really something special or an old hat? The beginning of a short story about the ongoing transformation.

Posted on: 08/11/2019

Throughout the 2010s, the term "digital transformation" began to be used more and more. What exactly this term means varies greatly depending on who you ask. One thing is for certain, however. Every answer carries a certain emotional charge, showing enthusiasm, or fear. But is it really that bad, or really that wonderful? Is "digital" really that big of a deal?

"Digital" sounds very technical at first. In essence, digital technology is merely a carrier, a means of transport. It is comparable to paper in the previous millennium. Paper is the carrier of written information. For the written communication of information, paper was just as essential as digital technology is for digitized information. So is digital technology just a new carrier medium? Far from it! To better understand what's really going on here, it's worth taking a look at the history of human communication.

For centuries, the transmission of the information had only been possible through handwriting and spoken word. In contrast to spoken language, however, written text is able to record the information and thus transport it over space and time. Written text has always included the language, because it is only readable in the context of a language. In other words, it is language that gives text meaning. The development path from primitive communication, to spoken language, to written text was a slow evolution over centuries.

  • It all started with the gestures and facial expressions. Today we call this almost forgotten way of communication "Body Language&quote;. Unfortunately, our civilized society hardly understands this language, but in nature it can still be the difference between life and death. This type of communication has different variants, which can also be understood as languages or at least dialects. It is well known that dogs and cats, for example, communicate with completely different body languages. This is also the reason why dogs and cats often misunderstand each other and therefore don't always get along.

  • The spoken word made possible the development of human language(s). Till this day, this is the most heavily relied on method of human communication. People who speak different languages, but understand only their own, have the same problem with understanding that a dog has with a cat.

  • Handwriting opened up a new dimension in communication. Thoughts could now be recorded and therefore, preserved. As a result, communication was no longer momentary to an audience, but also available for anyone to read in the future. For preservation, however, a carrier medium is required. Stone was used first, followed by parchment, then paper. Written communication, by nature, has the same hurdles as the language itself. Those who do not know the language of the author will find it difficult to read foreign writings.

  • Book printing made written communication much more efficient. This technique enabled documents to be copied much faster than previously possible. Prints also had another major difference in appearance. While ancient and early medieval writings were painstakingly copied by hand, making the original and the copy look very different, copies made by printing were always identical. Print had paved the way for the standardization of the handwriting's individual form.

The invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the 15th century was only possible because he found a way to change the printing plates quickly. His type case consisted of standardized letters that could be used to set any text. The letters were much easier to replace in the print frame. Previous standardization made the copying process much more efficient.

Since then, the process and paper have only been improved. New printing technologies and more powerful machines have increased throughput enormously, but the basic technology has remained unchanged to this day.

A fundamentally new way of exchanging information was only made possible through the advent of electricity. In the mid-19th century, the Morse Telegraph revolutionized communication, laying the groundwork for digitization. Read this chapter by continuing to Part 2.

Spread your wings!

Engineering is again at a turning point. The digitization of plans and planning tools has led to a significant increase in efficiency over the past 15 years. The digital transformation of engineering does not end here. The entire engineering process also need to be transformed. However, this will only succeed if we look at the process with all its synapses throughout a business. For this we need a wider perspective. We need to step back and look at the whole picture to better recognize all relationships and possible solulions.

Anyone who has ever seen the world from the window of an ascending airplane knows the fascination that continues to rise with every meter of altitude. Not only are hundreds of objects suddenly visible, but also how they relate to each other. This change of perspective alone opens up unimaginable insights in an exciting new world.

On this website you are invited on a virtual flight. Spread your wings and join us on a journey through the new world of engineering. Gain new insights through posts and stories. They are about experiences, successes and failures. They are about the cooperation of people in a complex process. They are about expectations and how they are met. They are about the way we search for ways to solve problems and why failure usually is not caused by technology.

What we offer

We guide companies on the way to digitizing their engineering processes

There is no universal recipe how engineering can be digitized. Every company must find its own way. In such a case it is good to have a guide at your side, who has done this kind of pathfinding many times before and can recognize tempting wrong ways but also hidden chances in time.

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Consulting

Confucius sagte: the way is the goal.

In this sense, the common journey along your way will be an interesting experience. With our support, you will not only find your destination at the end of the journey, but you will also keep the stations of the journey in good memory. To consciously experience the way is also very important because the original destination is only a stopover, your journey continues afterwards. And we want you to dare to continue your journey without us.

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Tailor-made solutions

There are many ways to get from A to B. On foot, by bike, by car, by boat or by plane. However, not every vehicle is suitable for every purpose. Even in the story of Jules Verne “80 days around the world” the protagonists get into unexpected situations. They have to improvise and sometimes come up with solutions that nobody had thought of before, but which are very practical and sometimes the only way to reach their goal.

Together we will find the missing bridges on your way so that you do not have to make any detours.

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Digital process design

Current value-added processes can rarely be digitised 1:1 because not every sub-process can (or should) be automated. Digital processes differ in many respects from analogue processes and whether they function well or poorly is decided by completely different factors and aspects.

Digital processes basically require IT infrastructure, which is why the people who design or support these processes must acquire the corresponding IT know-how. Engineers are very technical by nature and most of them do not have much difficulty in acquiring IT skills. With us they will gain additional knowledge about the processes in the company, so that the path of the engineering team fits very well into the big picture of the company’s business.

Contact us

Digital Transformation [1]

The term is ubiquitous. Is it really something special or an old hat? The beginning of a short story about the ongoing transformation.

Posted on: 08/11/2019

Throughout the 2010s, the term "digital transformation" began to be used more and more. What exactly this term means varies greatly depending on who you ask. One thing is for certain, however. Every answer carries a certain emotional charge, showing enthusiasm, or fear. But is it really that bad, or really that wonderful? Is "digital" really that big of a deal?

"Digital" sounds very technical at first. In essence, digital technology is merely a carrier, a means of transport. It is comparable to paper in the previous millennium. Paper is the carrier of written information. For the written communication of information, paper was just as essential as digital technology is for digitized information. So is digital technology just a new carrier medium? Far from it! To better understand what's really going on here, it's worth taking a look at the history of human communication.

For centuries, the transmission of the information had only been possible through handwriting and spoken word. In contrast to spoken language, however, written text is able to record the information and thus transport it over space and time. Written text has always included the language, because it is only readable in the context of a language. In other words, it is language that gives text meaning. The development path from primitive communication, to spoken language, to written text was a slow evolution over centuries.

  • It all started with the gestures and facial expressions. Today we call this almost forgotten way of communication "Body Language&quote;. Unfortunately, our civilized society hardly understands this language, but in nature it can still be the difference between life and death. This type of communication has different variants, which can also be understood as languages or at least dialects. It is well known that dogs and cats, for example, communicate with completely different body languages. This is also the reason why dogs and cats often misunderstand each other and therefore don't always get along.

  • The spoken word made possible the development of human language(s). Till this day, this is the most heavily relied on method of human communication. People who speak different languages, but understand only their own, have the same problem with understanding that a dog has with a cat.

  • Handwriting opened up a new dimension in communication. Thoughts could now be recorded and therefore, preserved. As a result, communication was no longer momentary to an audience, but also available for anyone to read in the future. For preservation, however, a carrier medium is required. Stone was used first, followed by parchment, then paper. Written communication, by nature, has the same hurdles as the language itself. Those who do not know the language of the author will find it difficult to read foreign writings.

  • Book printing made written communication much more efficient. This technique enabled documents to be copied much faster than previously possible. Prints also had another major difference in appearance. While ancient and early medieval writings were painstakingly copied by hand, making the original and the copy look very different, copies made by printing were always identical. Print had paved the way for the standardization of the handwriting's individual form.

The invention of the printing press by Gutenberg in the 15th century was only possible because he found a way to change the printing plates quickly. His type case consisted of standardized letters that could be used to set any text. The letters were much easier to replace in the print frame. Previous standardization made the copying process much more efficient.

Since then, the process and paper have only been improved. New printing technologies and more powerful machines have increased throughput enormously, but the basic technology has remained unchanged to this day.

A fundamentally new way of exchanging information was only made possible through the advent of electricity. In the mid-19th century, the Morse Telegraph revolutionized communication, laying the groundwork for digitization. Read this chapter by continuing to Part 2.