productronica: Podium Discussion with Johann Weber

Zollner CEO Johann Weber joined the EMS Round Table discussion at productronica. The question posed to the members of the podium was: “How much digitalization does the EMS Industry need?”.

Markt&Technik, a professional magazine for the sector, invited experts to the discussion. Representatives from EMS companies of various sizes were collected on the podium: from a company with 30 employees all the way to Zollner Elektronik AG, with its more than 11,000 employees around the globe. Johann Weber illustrated the standpoint of a global player and underscored the necessity of digitalization. Although he personally would like to speak about the digital transformation, in the end it’s all about the numerous processes that gradually need to be digitalized to enable closer networking of processes and production.

The first step: “It is critical to an EMS manufacturer to equip machines in production with interfaces that allow them to be interconnected with the Manufacturing Execution System”, says Johann Weber. Zollner Elektronik AG did this at an early stage to guarantee traceability. Traceability of components in the production chain cannot solely serve the minimizing of risks. Mr. Weber’s opinion is that collecting only defect data is severely negligent. It’s all about the good data, which require AI algorithms to learn and with that to improve production process - the more the better. The objective is to generate solutions from this for the long-term and to exploit new business fields.

The essential factor for success for the digital transformation, according to Johann Weber, is the human. The human has one critical task here: “Collecting the data is a big challenge, and its evaluation is still wracked with issues.  Here each user must have made the objective very clear and what exactly will be done with the data”. The common fear of the ‘digitalization job killer’ is completely unfounded according to Johann Weber.