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Organised over five consecutive days, the 2020 edition of Smart Manufacturing Week allowed for more in-depth exploration of each of the themes highlighted in the programme. With the support of Minister of the Economy Franz Fayot and the presence of a representative of the European Commission, this event naturally fit in with both the national and the European strategy for the digitalisation of industry.

The format of the event and the preparatory work prior to each of the webinars offered the various speakers an opportunity to get to know each other better. “Some of them had never met each other before and discovered with interest what the others were doing. This is also part of Luxinnovation’s strength: putting economic players in touch with each other,” says Caroline Muller, manager of the Luxembourg Materials & Manufacturing Cluster.

With three speakers per webinar, everyone had enough time to express themselves and answer questions. “There was a very good complementarity between the different speakers and their presentations,” says Charles-Albert Florentin, manager of the Luxembourg Cleantech Cluster.

An opportunity more than a threat

More than 320 people registered to the 2020 edition, which focused on new technologies and processes. Several representatives of the manufacturing industry shared their experience in digital transformation, intelligent processes and sustainability strategies aimed at meeting the challenges of tomorrow.

“When asking whether digitalisation should be considered as an opportunity or a threat, the answer given by the participants was unanimous: it is an opportunity,” notes Jean-Paul Hengen, Company Relationship Manager at Luxinnovation.

The various topics discussed also had a sustainability dimension, in a context where circularity now seems to have become a matter of course. “The crisis we are experiencing shows that we need to change things and that we need to do it now,” notes Philippe Genot, manager of the Luxembourg Wood Cluster. “The Smart Manufacturing Week has shown that the solutions exist, but that a global approach is needed for their implementation. Holistic thinking is necessary to give coherence to all these solutions.”

Anthony Auert, manager of the Luxembourg AutoMobility Cluster, adds: “Becoming more circular and adopting a sustainable approach will generate concrete business opportunities for SMEs.”

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Introduction - Minister of the Economy, Franz Fayot

Opening speech of the minister of the Economy Franz Fayot at the Smart Manufacturing Week 2020.

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Introduction to EU trends: Digitalization & Sustainability

Adopting smart, digital technologies is essential for the manufacturing industry: they can improve aspects such as productivity and supply chain management while also helping companies become more sustainable and align their production with the principles of the circular economy. This webinar present European trends in the fields of digitalisation and sustainability and provide an in-depth understanding of how the manufacturing industry needs to be transformed to be able to embrace future technological and environmental challenges.

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Smart Manufacturing Processes

Digitalisation and automation have enormous potential to improve manufacturing processes. This webinar focuses on robotic process automation (RPA) for production lines and will provide concrete examples of how to apply automated quality controls and integrate robotics in the construction sector. You will also hear about how research projects can facilitate the digital transformation process of manufacturing industry.

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Smart Value and Supply Chains

Smart tools and technologies are essential to simplify the everyday life of manufacturing companies. This webinar shows how they can be used to optimise the tracking and tracing of products and enhance supply chains and why they are a must to answer today’s challenges of matching supply and demand. The session also showcases how the development of local value chains can be a competitive asset to overcome the current economic and health crisis.

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Smart Eco-Technologies

Smart manufacturing is today one of the key solutions for the implementations of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals in Luxembourg and in Europe. The increased awareness about sustainability issues results in changes in markets and customer behaviour and a growing demand for sustainable products and services. This demand is further boosted by the development of smart cities and eco districts.

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Smart Business Strategies

This webinar addresses how digitalisation can transform different functions of a company – sales, marketing, customer support, finance and so on – in a way that generates added value for the company itself as well as for its customers. The session showcases expertise and solutions in the fields of artificial intelligence support and new business models and present new tools for improving customer experience.

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