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Markus Rimmele with DigitalituM
18th August 2023 • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie • The Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie
00:00:00 00:32:53

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Industrial Talk is chatting with Markus Rimmele, Founder of DigitalituM about “How digitalization tools can solve ongoing challenges and dilemmas in manufacturing.” The following are some key takeaways for our conversation:
  • Intro to the podcast. 0:03
    • Scott Mackenzie is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry-focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving.
    • Manufacturers need to educate and collaborate.
    • Aligning supply chain strategy with the pf curve and the digitalization of the utilities, and how to do that effectively.
    • How digitalization tools can solve ongoing problems for manufacturers.
  • Who is Markus. 3:51
    • Scott welcomes Markus to the show and gives him a little background on who he is and his professional background in the manufacturing industry.
    • Markus shares his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities of digitalization and how it is important for him to educate himself on the topic.
  • Why is digitalization so important for manufacturers? 6:30
    • Why digitalization is so important for manufacturers, and why it is a solution to the problems in the manufacturing industry.
    • The reality is that manufacturers need manufacturers.
    • A digitalization strategy journey and finding the right partner is good for business.
    • Digitalization is a step by step approach over time, not just an engineering topic.
  • The gap in digitalization understanding and understanding. 11:01
    • There is a big gap in understanding between the big guys and the smaller and medium manufacturers, and why they are falling behind.
    • Scott and Markus look at manufacturing in different ways.
    • Scott and Markus have different toolboxes, but both need the same tools to do their job right.
    • Incremental approach to digitalization, adding a couple of digitalization tools to the toolbox.
  • Why is augmented and virtual reality so important for manufacturers? 15:33
    • The importance of being hard-nose and having a no-brainer roi. If done right, it makes sense. The question is always how to calculate it.
    • The implementation and training is always there. Nothing is worse that you get a new shiny silver bullet tool and nobody wants to use it.
    • Why AR/VR is important for manufacturers, as it allows them to get the information they need at the location they need it.
    • The first challenge for manufacturers is finding the right binder.
  • What is the problem with the current state of data? 20:40
    • There are two assets that are similar but not exactly the same. One has the wrong information and then does the wrong thing, which may cause problems.
    • Everyone in 2023 will have a smartphone.
    • The 3D model is an augmented reality and augmented reality model on top of the machine. It gives the information needed at the location.
    • The challenge of feeding the right information.
  • The benefits of digitalization. 24:58
    • As time goes on, these solutions will be driven down from a cost perspective. Boeing is using it for maintaining their planes.
    • Boeing has a steeper learning curve than traditional methods.
    • Manufacturers need to find a trusted Sherpa to help them along the way. A digitalization strategy is a must.
    • The major roadblock to change management is change management.
  • The need for change and the need for collaboration. 28:50
    • In the 2010s, there was a lot of change awareness, but there was no real need to change. Then came the big hammer COVID.
    • How to get more information about Markus.
    • How to get more information about Markus and his work, and how to connect with him via LinkedIn or his website.
    • Connect with Markus on industrial talk.
Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2023. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


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digitalization, Markus, tools, conversation, manufacturers, problems, people, talk, toolbox, topic, find, great, industrial, company, solution, reality, manufacturing, business, asset, system


Welcome to the Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting-edge industry focused innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get


our I once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk. And thank you so very much for your continued support of this ever expanding ecosystem of problem solvers. You're bold, you're brave, you dare greatly, you're changing lives, and you're changing the world. That's why we have this platform to celebrate you each and every day. In a hotseat We have a gentleman by the name of Markus Ramil, the company is digital item. And we you know, we're gonna be talking about digitalization, manufacturing, ar, VR, the tools that are necessary in this conversation, we just gotta get cracking. Let's get going. Yeah, whether you like it or not, manufacturers have got to educate, it's happening. It's happening so fast. That this just happened so fast. And you have to collaborate, you have to find individuals like Markus, to have great conversations about how you can leverage technology innovation, to help create that business that is resilient. Definitely. And so you need individuals like Markus and others to help you with that journey, because it is happening and it's happening. Fast. A couple of points of business, we have to we have multiple webcasts out there, but two newer versions of the webcast. One is aligning your supply chain strategy with the PF curve. How do you do that? It's all important. Your supply chain, your your logistics strategy must align with the way you're managing those assets and the PF curve, it just is. So every step of the way of that curve, being able to identify how you would approach your your logistics and supply chain solution. Great conversation. The second one is this digitalization of the utilities. It's out there. It's brand new. And it's being an old transmission lineman. And this is a journeyman. This is a really interesting conversation, because I'm very linear when it comes to what is taking or how I view utilities. But it's not linear anymore. It is a data collection, data analytics conversation, and how do you do that effectively? How do you allow utilities to have insights into their business? Right? And and still and still deliver power? reliably, cost effectively? Because it's happening. And again, I'm always advocating, educating, collaborating, those are the two great things and of course, the technologies, the technologies out there, you just need to know what is out there. Alright, let's get cracking with the conversation. The topic is how digitalization tools can solve ongoing problems and dilemmas for manufacturers. That is the topic of conversation. Markus is in the hot seat. Let's get cracking. Markus, welcome to industrial talk. Thank you very much for joining in and finding time in your busy schedule and being very flexible with the schedule because last week I was in Vegas, I was doing stuff with some hexagon, folks. And well, he was very nice and kind and said Sure. No problem. How're you doing today?


I'm doing very good. And thanks for having me, Scott. I'm excited that it's


cool. I I like for the listeners out there. We always have a sort of a form that they filled out and I just I'm pretty excited about the topic that we're going to be talking about. And it's all right there. It's pretty straightforward, but I'm excited about it before we get into that topic. Markus, give us a little or one one little background on who you are.


Yes, I'm happy to do so. If you may hear from my strange accent I am not a original Southerner from Atlanta, Georgia. I'm actually you're born and raised in Germany came 15 years ago to the US and I still like it and enjoy it. My professional past is in the manufacturing specifically machine building industry. Where I made my way up how we say here from mechatronic technician to an electrical engineer program first wiring up machines then programming them, installing them do commissioning on in factories all around the world. I've been in four or five continents, traveled a lot, seen a lot of different factories, gotten the chance to come to the US when they're into project management, and then later on into Field Service Management. And with the changes what COVID brought to all of us, I decided to start my own show, which is called digitality them. And they are we focused on digitalization tools for the manufacturing industry in the AR VR IOT space,


very old. And now, man street cred. Thank you very much for that CV, real time CV now, that's a good segue into the digitalization conversation. And so the problem I see out there, and the challenges I see, see, I don't like using problems. So I reversed that. And I said challenges. The opportunity I see how about that it's even more positive.


Because opportunities, problems dilemmas, however you want to call it.


Absolutely. I want to be positive. So I'm gonna say the opportunities. But the reality is, is that there's a lot of conversation out there. There's a lot of buzz there's a lot of people talk about digitalization, and let's say I'm a manufacturer. One, it's important for me to at least begin that journey or have that conversation or or educate myself. But the reality is, is that an EA might be able to explain this. Why is digitalization so important for manufacturers to at least consider,


in my point of view, everything what is under the umbrella of digitalization, and digitalization, it's such a big word, it means so many different things. It's huge. But it is in my point of view a solution to the problems we have in the industry. And there are many, many problems. We have this skill gap, we have not enough workers, we have data fragmented sitting around we have an effective methods of exchanging data. So we have a communication problems, and so on and so on. And these tools, and that's why I use that word digitalization tools, these tools, what digitalization offers us can be a solution to fix the one or the other problem and get better and make the manufacturing industry better and


more more attractive. Yeah, the reality is more efficient.


And whatever acronym you want to put in under the umbrella of better.


The reality is, is that we need manufacturers, we just do the the economy needs manufacturers, both here in the United States and around the world. That is important. The other reality that I you know, pull from that is, it's not getting any easier to find people, it's getting harder. And it's just the realities of the marketplace, even though there are many job openings, doesn't mean they're being filled by competent trained individuals. And so we have a bit of a major challenge there. Absolutely. But you're saying you advocating that a digitalization strategy journey finding the right partner is good for business, right?


That is my point. Yes. That's how you can sum it up. And on the other hand, if you do not focus on on digitalization, on your business and on your business model, I would also say that at one point of time, maybe your business does not exist anymore.


Yeah, because I'm in the business but I'm not working on the business. And that is a really interesting distinction. And you can still sort of straddle the fence and be in the business, but you still have to work on the business. So let's say you you've just touched it is like Yeah, I hear what Markus has said. Let us know let the listener know what what steps can we begin to sort of look into for achieving some digitalization. Journey?


Yeah. And digitalization journey is the right word, because it's such a big topic. You cannot do all everything on on at one point of time. It's a step by step approach over time. It's like climbing a ladder and getting better and better. Also, digitalization is not a topic, which is just a pure engineering topic what people often think it's it saying it's engineer Singh and these guys are taking care of it. There's another statement of mine or it's actually not my statement. It's all around where it says digitalization affects every department in a company. Recruiting, HR, operations, sales, manufacturing, maintenance, you name it, it impacts every department.


So, with that said, it seems again, I'm just Scott manufacturer and I, I'm, I hear you, it seems overwhelming, can it be overwhelming? Or can we incrementally sort of deploy


it so it is overwhelming. And there's a big gap in in understanding? I think that the big guys the fortune 500 companies, for example, they have the budget, they have the people they figured this whole digitalization thing already out. And they are playing it already. While the smaller and medium manufacturers they don't have the budget, they don't have the people, the specific people because they just focus on on their on their core business. And they are kind of falling behind. And that's where people in companies like me come in which help and consult these companies by understanding their specific situation and help them with tools to get better and see like a tool in your toolbox. Just or currently you still have your toolbox, your tool card with your screwdrivers, your pliers, your wrenches, and every of these tools has a specific use case and you can do one thing with it with with a half inch wrench you can open a half inch screw but not a three quarter inch tool with a screwdriver. You can open or close a screw and then it depends Is it the Philips a flathead and what size even. And in in digitalization, they are nowadays also so many different tools that it's almost becoming overwhelming.


Yeah. But it's going to it's going to be challenging because Scott manufacture looks at manufacture in one way. And and Markus manufacture looks at manufacturing, we might be manufacturing the same thing. But our approaches can be different which they I guarantee you they are so the the digitalization conversation has to be somewhat custom for each conversation, right?


Yes, to a certain extent. Going back to that toolbox example. If I look into Scott's toolbox, and if you look into Markus's toolbox, they look different. They're different in size, in how big is your toolbox? You have your favorite tool brands in there, I have mine, and you have the tools you're using a lot. And I have the tools I'm using a lot. But yes, we both have toolboxes. And we need this tools to do our job, right.


So back to the toolbox analogy that sounds to me that I can I can look at my operations. And I can sort of pick and choose the deployment of a digitalization strategy. Probably from the low hanging fruit, the inefficiencies and just start there and getting some wins. In that sense of before I do a big bag, would you advocate sort of a incremental approach to my organization?


Yes, definitely. There are like systems there, your your ERP system, your maintenance management system, your enterprise asset management systems, these are all big systems, which when you implement it to your operation to your organization, they take a long time. They are complex, it takes a while, can go into years until they're operational and everybody is trained. And it's a it's a big thing. Also a very big investment in time and money. On top of that, I still say you should add additional tools to that system to support it and do things what your bigs system cannot do. And that's what what the tools in your toolbox are for. And on top of your hardware tools from your toolbox. In the future, you add a couple of what I call digitalization tools to your toolbox in order to get better. And yes, this audit the low hanging fruits, as every of these tools has a specific use case, a specific problem to focus on and get you a solution on that.


See, if I was it, the course I'm going to be talking about or I'm going to be thinking as God manufacturer, I'm going to be thinking about my return on that investment, I'm going to, I'm going to want to be able to be really sort of hard nose a little tough on that. Because it's one thing to say, Hey, these are great shiny objects. And let's do it if it has a no brainer ROI. But from that perspective, it doesn't make financial sense. If I do it, if I do it, right, all things being equal. If I do it, right, it makes does it make sense?


I would say if you do it, right, it makes sense. The question is always how you calculate it. That's, that's the one thing, what values you put in there. And one issue is, for example, that certain inefficiency in your operations is not really measured in $1 value. So therefore, or it's in lots of different buckets. And therefore you do not have a real value against what you're what you're saving in an ROI. Another important thing with this digitalization tools is always there, the implementation and the training, nothing is worse that you get this new, shiny silver bullet tool. And nobody wants to use it or knows how to use it. And then it's just sitting there and collecting dust.


A common tail. It does happen. And you're absolutely right. So there's that that usability component, because you, you want to hate to say it, it's sound so authoritarian, you want compliance. So you want people to use the tool to the advantage of the organization? And, you know, but it don't make it hard for me. Don't, don't


yeah, and there's, of course, also a lot of times there's skepticism, there's this, this new thing, and it's completely out of my box, I cannot really think what this is all about. And if I use it, does it actually take my job away? And all of all of these things, and that's the reason why I don't use it. In digitalization automation that's still kind of in the in the back burner off off a lot of people.


Yeah. Because I, the reality is, of course, I want to keep my asset up and running, I want to keep on spinning, I want to keep on, you know, fulfilling and achieving the demands of the market. No doubt about that. I agree with you, 100%. But you brought up something that's interesting, from my perspective, is like the shiny new stuff, and a lot of conversations revolve around the Advent, I got the IoT devices, the everybody's talking IoT, vibration, you know, thermal, whatever. They're all out there. And we can, we can do some a lot of connectivity. And that makes sense. And I like that. And it's it's imperative. Got it. But there's also a lot of buzz and conversation about AR VR, and insight and using those, you know, emerging solutions for my organization, can you sort of help the listeners understand why sort of an augmented and virtual is sort of important for manufacturers?


And it's that big one was the:


Yeah, and it's, and it's out of date,


yes. Or there are two assets, which are kind of similar, but not exactly the same. And we take the other one, have the wrong information, and then do the wrong thing, which then may cause some issues and problems. Then some other companies when when I tell the story, say, Oh, we are digitalized already, which means they have all the information on network drive or on a shared drive. Unfortunately, the way how it looks like it's a cumbersome folder structure, like in your explorer, with hundreds of different subfolders and strange names. And then within, if you go 510 20 levels down, you'll find documents with a file name, 123, abc dot pdf, or other strange names. And if that awesome Windows Explorer search function, and you put in what you actually looking for, you get either two results, either you get 1 million hits, and then you go through that 1 million list to find which one is yours, or you get nothing. But you do not get what you need.


Right. Right. And again, that sounds like a a common journey on on what exists today on the floor of a manufacturer. And and yeah, so what you're saying is that


s everybody of us in the year:


if you're out on the video, as he's holding up,


see it, it's called a smartphone. And this magic device can do a lot of things. And it can give you for example, the information you need at the location you are by, for example, scanning a specific custom QR code on that asset. And with this, you get staying with augmented reality, you get an augmented reality and 3d model augmented on top of your machine. And within that you see now where are all your different components and the associated documents, PDFs, manuals, video links are are in that, and what does it do for you, it gives you the information you need, where you are and that specific one for that particular asset.


It sounds cool. Yeah, can also identify if I remember correctly, it can also identify problems with the asset of overheating, burying or whatever it might be vibration of some sort. And it it also sends that information delivers that information to the individual, you know, exactly what doesn't it require a accurate data on the other end, like you know, you need you can't have garbage going in and you need to have some sort of a backend to be able to to deliver that level of efficiencies. Is that correct? Of course,


like like, was every system garbage in garbage out? Yep. And that's also one one challenge of feeding the right information into the system to then get them get them out. And I would say in more older systems that this whole wiring of data happens manually. And then nowadays with the advancements of tools we have under the umbrella of AI or artificial intelligence that makes this manual wiring which is very cumbersome and takes a lot of time and therefore all the expensive, kind of automates it and makes it better to establish such pro projects much faster as a as a lower cost. That's how I see this in general.


Yeah, and I think as as time goes on All these solutions will be driven down from a cost perspective, Boeing is using it, Boeing is using it for maintaining their planes. And, and, you know, they're, they're using it so that they don't have to go back to the the old fashion not to say that they don't, I'm just saying that they don't have to go to the single line maps and figure out, you know, the cabling and all of that stuff and find the one that they want to work on. So from a safety perspective, kudos, I like that.


So deadly, it brings a lot of advantages. And if we come back now to the whole training aspect, bringing new people into the profession, or helping the newer ones, the beginners in, in growing and understanding this all, using this tools has a far steeper learning curve, from my point of view, as the traditional method as the traditional method in learning your trade is still you kind of look how the the senior is doing it, and you following in his his shade, and after years of following it, you're you're you're kind of on that level as well. And if that person for whatever reason, leaves the company, because yeah, she gets retired, this whole know how is is gone. And that's another aspect of digitalization by being now able to bring this specific content into a data form and actually keep it and also be able to share it more efficiently through technologies like either augmented reality, or virtual reality.


See that? This is all great. And I hear what manufacturers and I believe that manufacturers when they need to find some trusted Sherpa to help them along. I think that that's a real important and that's a that's a human interaction. And that's a conversation and it's a dialogue. And I like that and find that individual or find that company that can help you with that. That's one. I think that too. It's imperative that manufacturers as a whole, to be nimble to be agile, and have a resilient business. I think that a digitalization strategy is a must. I mean, it's because somebody is going to do it, and somebody is going to capture that market share. And it's only going to bla bla bla, you just need to be a part of it, whether you like it or not. And finally, with all of that great facts and realities of what's taking place in the market, what are the what are the roadblocks, what I mean? What, what prevents me from saying, Hey, I got it, Markus man. But I'm not fill in the blanks.


The major roadblock, in my point of view is the will say, the whole topic of change management, you need to change. And in general, people don't want to change as they used to do certain things in a certain way, even if they are inefficient. And even if they complain every day, every day, how stupid it is. But it's still easier to do it this way than doing in a brand new way. And I think that's one major, major, major issue.


Whether we like it or not change happens. And, and that's a great bumper sticker. People don't want to change, but change happens. It happens all the time. And you might as well just


y was available in the in the:


There it is, man. He wrapped it up. How do people get a hold of you there, Markus, if they said, Hey, he's talking my lingo. And I want to talk to him, how do they get ahold of you?


That's very easy. I'm very active on this social media, this professional social media tool called in, yes, if you ever heard about that, just put my name in. And you're connected. If you're able to spell my company name that you tell it to them, you find that as well either on LinkedIn or on the website. And that's how you can reach me and get in contact with you.


Well, it'll all be out on industrial talk. So whatever, whoever you need to get ahold of Markus, go out to industrial talk. Finally, it'll have his LinkedIn, it'll have his company out there. It will be easy peasy. Have a conversation with Markus, as you could tell mad skills, you will not be disappointed. Hey, thank you, Markus, for being on industrial talk.


Thank you so much as caught, it was a pleasure. And hopefully we talked again.


All right, we're gonna have all the contact information for Markus out on Industrial Tech. And we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. So stay tuned, we will be right back.


You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.


All right, your call to action is connect with Markus, as you can tell math skills, go out to his LinkedIn stack card, and you'll be impressed just because well, I was and you know, he's just as mad skills and you've got to, you've got to just commit to that education every single day. Technology and innovation is happening at a blistering pace. And you'll need to collaborate with individuals like Markus in a in a big way. There's just a lot of tools out there. And from my perspective, what I always get, you know, overwhelmed with is where to start, where to begin. You just need individuals to say, go here, do this use this tool, that type of thing. It gets some wins under your belt in a big way. All right. A couple of things, webcasts out there on industrial talk, check them out. They're great. The the people that are delivering the webcast, wonderful, absolute incredible Sherpas. All right. That's another call to action people be brave. They're greatly hanging out with Markus, you'll change the world. We're gonna have another great conversation shortly. So stay tuned.