About Stefan Zimmermann


Global Head of Incubator Portfolio Industry Manufacturing

Stefan Zimmermann is responsible for the innovation and portfolio development in Industry 4.0 at Global Atos B&PS. He aims at helping industrial companies to identify business opportunities enabled by Industry 4.0 during their digital transformation process, embracing the Industry 4.0 framework.

He’s got a very strong industrial background, having worked for companies like Siemens (>10 years) and Rheinmetall Group and also comprehensive consulting skills gained when working for Roland Berger & Partner.




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Articles posted by Stefan Zimmermann

A decade of Industry 4.0 investments: Time for review and evaluation

The origins of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) date back to 2011, when the German government initiated a project to promote computerization of manufacturing. Since then, industrial companies have been investing in I4.0 technologies, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and IoT. Lately, there has been a lot of rethinking within the economy as a…

Cloud manufacturing: A game changer for business or an illusion?

Some of the first research on cloud manufacturing (CM) began as early as 2010, and since then this has only increased substantially. However, although CM promises to improve manufacturers’ efficiency, it has not yet been widely embraced by global manufacturing companies.Positioned as a key instrument to foster interconnectivity between manufacturing companies, CM has the potential…

The human factor and its surprising impact on digitalization

We are in the midst of the digitalization of our economy. Digital technologies are transforming the earlier product-oriented business models into comprehensive, service-oriented ones by offering new abilities like collecting and processing massive amounts of data to enable accurate predictions of asset failure or customer demand.Nevertheless, many digitalization projects fail or do not deliver the expected…

What is slowing down additive manufacturing growth in industry?

Additive Manufacturing (AM) is an exciting and promising technology providing new opportunities concerning product design or the individualization of products to match various consumer needs. Thus, it enhances product differentiation without the need for retooling or assembly. It provides an unprecedented flexibility in production with often incurring less effort than traditional manufacturing technologies. Nevertheless, its adoption…

Three ways data will change the manufacturing business

The digital transformation would be unimaginable without data, and many business leaders consider data to be the fuel that powers it. Technology enablers like the Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics support the generation of data — which will only continue to grow in the future.Over the last decade, the increasing individualization of demand and personalized products…

How 5G will impact tomorrow’s manufacturing industry

Industry 4.0 is driving the digitization of manufacturing processes. Manufacturing companies are forced to optimize their operations, as well as to explore new business models to stay competitive in fast-changing markets. This will require the collection, transfer and analysis of huge amounts of data in factories. Data will be needed not just to optimize processes, increase asset availability and…

Intralogistics: are they the ultimate efficiency lever in supply chain management?

As a result of the pandemic, the news is filled with stories about disrupted supply chains, semiconductor shortages and increasing logistics prices. Nevertheless, the pandemic is not entirely to blame, but it did underscore the supply chain problems many companies were already facing prior to COVID-19. On the other hand, it has led…

Six keys to success when implementing and operating digital twins

Digital twins are one of the hottest topics in digital transformation. As a cross-company concept, they promise many benefits, including faster prototyping and transparent collaboration between design, testing and prototyping, to improved asset availability and OEE in manufacturing, and lower operational cost of equipment in the field.The predicted growth rates and market volumes for digital…

How to make additive manufacturing work for spare parts

Spare parts are important for manufacturing companies since they generate higher margins than the original equipment business. Therefore, it is important to secure or even expand this business. Spare parts are generally manufactured by using conventional production technologies, such as milling, turning or welding. With the advent of additive manufacturing(AM), a viable alternative is arising that…

The future of drones in the manufacturing industry

Two years ago, I discussed the future use cases of drones in my blog “The use of drones in industry.” While things have changed since then, there are still some limitations to the commercial use of drones. In this blog, let us focus on the future of drones in manufacturing industries. Roadblocks are easing, but challenges remain Unfortunately,…

The impact of transparency in optimizing the supply chain

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on the shortcomings of today’s industry supply chains. They were disrupted due to border closings in 2020 to avoid the spread of the virus. This revealed that many companies were not really aware of their (global) supply chains, the transportation service providers involved, the transportation means, or the routes taken.…

Why investments in Industry 4.0 fail

Nearly four years ago, I began my very first blog on Industry 4.0 by writing: “Industry 4.0 is probably the most disruptive concept for most industries, affecting not only revenue and cost structures but also shaking up the core business and operating models.” Years later, after many proofs of concept and projects, the question is now whether these activities have really…

Quality management: A decisive factor for industrializing additive manufacturing

Additive manufacturing differs from traditional manufacturing methods in many ways. It allows for almost unlimited part designs, yet the use of new materials is creating new challenges when it comes to quality assurance. The traditional methods and approaches to quality management (such as verifying the part after manufacturing) will not deliver the desired quality for 3D…

3D collaboration – evolving from playground gadget to serious enterprise solution

3D collaboration is not a new topic. We at Atos started developments around augmented (AR), virtual (VR) and mixed reality (MR) many years ago. Our focus has been on applications for the industry and especially on the improvement of operational excellence, e.g., to streamline maintenance and assembly processes. Therefore, holographic work spheres managing…

Additive manufacturing to change the existing spare-parts business fundamentally

Spare parts are important to industries such as automotive because they promise higher margins than original car sales. Unfortunately, spare parts can also be a burden for OEMs providing parts for aging equipment that has not been produced for a long time but is still operational. This often results in the nonavailability of critical spare…

How crisis will foster the transition of manufacturing companies

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the most severe crisis of mankind after the second world war. Society and especially the manufacturing industries have been hit hard by the closing of borders and national lockdowns. This has caused the disruption of supply chains and in return the closing of factories. Most of the industries were not…

Additive Manufacturing – Will it save our Planet ?

Will Additive Manufacturing (AM) save the planet? Well, no single technology will save our planet from global warming. Since manufacturing activities worldwide are responsible for approximately one third of the global CO 2 emissions1), any production technology that can streamline manufacturing processes and/or reduce energy consumption will have a significant impact. Although empirical and reliable data…

Telemedicine to solve the problems of healthcare?

Problems within our healthcare systems are imminent: rapidly rising costs, difficult healthcare coverage in rural areas and the shortage of skilled and experienced personnel. On the other hand, the population in industrialized countries is ageing, requiring more care, while the number of chronic diseases is on the rise. Politicians, insurance companies and hospital operators are seeking for solutions to…

Remote Collaboration – A Working Model for the Future ?

The Corona crisis has unexpectedly presented many companies with major challenges. With travel restrictions and quarantines in place, many areas of business are in danger: onsite customer service, facilities maintenance and global production ramp-up. With globalization, our societies got used to cross-border dispatch of employees and their expertise as well as the bundling of expertise…

Industry 4.0 — How additive manufacturing will change the power industry

Additive manufacturing will have a bright future. The expected growth in market volume for additive manufacturing applications should see an annual increase of ca. 40% to $35.6 billion US in 2024, according to Wohler Associates. This development is driven by many positive characteristics: unprecedented design flexibility, manufacturing on demand and “lot size 1”…

Supply Chain after COVID-19

In February 2020 I posted my last blog about the supply chain of the future, predicting an ongoing integration between the players in a company’s ecosystem. A lot has happened since then, changing life as we know it. COVID-19 has disrupted supply chains, causing shortages in supplies of materials and parts. It also revealed the vulnerability of globalization to crises such as…

Additive Manufacturing – bridging disrupted supply chains in times of Covid-19?

The Covid-19 is severely affecting the business of manufacturing customers. Closed borders and increased border controls are disrupting or slowing down supply chains. Looking at pictures with 30-kilometer truck traffic congestion, for example at the German-Polish border, give an impression of the magnitude of problems currently faced in supply chains. Manufacturing industries…

How Digital Field Service Technology can help to master Covid-19

Our healthcare systems will face imminent additional challenges: “exploding” costs, difficult healthcare coverage in rural areas and the scarcity of skilled and experienced personnel. On the other hand, the population in the industrialized countries is ageing, requiring more care while the number of chronic diseases is on the rise. In countries such as…

The Supply Chain of the Future

The paradigm of Industry 4.0 of a more and more connected company ecosystem impacts also the way companies organize their supply chains. Trends such as the expansion of markets into emerging regions such as South East Asia, a wider consciousness concerning climate change and the individualization of customer demands are impacting the supply chains. Besides, also “internal” factors such as an…

The Impact of Digital Twins on Infrastructure Maintenance

The future for infrastructure related industries such as engineering, and construction looks bright according to sources such as “Forum of the Future” and “Global Infrastructure Hub”. Although they are mostly referring to the world population growth and the related urbanization as “engines” for investment in new infrastructure, one aspect should not be neglected and that is the ageing…

The Importance of Digital Twins for the Future of Infrastructure

The future for infrastructure related industries such as engineering, and construction looks bright. World population is expected to grow to a minimum of 9 bn people by 2030. The volume of global infrastructure is to reach $94 trillion by 2040 meaning that approximately six new Europes will be built until then.  Approximately 70 % of…

Industry 4.0 – The Use of Drones in Industry

Drones are “hip”. This is the impression you get nowadays with them being used for spare time recreation, but also business and research purposes. The former sometimes creating massive problems for the public as being observed last year, when the London Gatwick Airport needed to be closed for 3 days because air traffic was endangered by…

Industry 4.0 – Additive Manufacturing changing the Way of Food Production and Consumption

Additive Manufacturing is changing many areas of our daily life. Its impact reaches from the manufacturing of industry parts to the creation of dental implants. One of its evolving applications is food production. Experts believe that additive manufacturing could improve the nutritional value of meals, produce complex structures out of…

Industry 4.0 – how plant/asset virtualization will change asset planning and optimization

Digitization helps companies to boost their operational excellence in manufacturing. It will enable improvements in areas that may have been neglected in the past, or not in scope for optimization due to a lack of enabling technology. Plant (asset) planning has been such an area leaving industries without spatial layouts and optimal…

Digital maintenance solutions taken to the next level: Hannover Messe 2018

After sales services and solutions are gaining importance within Industry 4.0. It’s all very well having smart products but what do you do if they need urgent maintenance work and you cannot deploy experts who can fix them because your customer is in a remote location? For manufacturers, defense organizations or Energy &…

Industry 4.0 – 3D Printing in Manufacturing Industries

3D printing is one of the potential game changers that could completely disrupt the manufacturing value chain, allowing a shift from mass production to full customization, from centralized to distributed production. In the future 3D printing technologies will provide an alternative to “conventional” manufacturing technologies in many situations. It will deeply impact the way products are manufactured, delivered…

Industry 4.0 – The Future of Additive Manufacturing

Additive (Manufacturing) technology offers the ability to produce personalized products with lower development costs, shorter lead times, less energy consumed during manufacturing and less material waste. It can be used to manufacture complex parts, and enables manufacturers to reduce inventory, make products on-demand, create smaller localized manufacturing environments, and even reduce supply chains. This quite impressive “performance record”…

Industry 4.0 and open innovation

Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is probably the most disruptive concept for most Industries. I4.0 enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT) allows for the integration of people, applications and assets within a company. It also fosters the integration of a company with its wider ecosystem, potentially consisting of subcontractors, customers, suppliers and R&D partners. Major trends that encourage I4.0 are shorter product and…

Industry 4.0 – Legal challenges and methods to overcome them

Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is probably the most disruptive concept for most industries, affecting not only revenue and cost structures but also shaking up the core business and operating models. One aspect that is often neglected, but will have a major impact on the success of I4.0, are legal issues and how they will affect digital…

Industry 4.0 – How to master challenges to exploit new business opportunities

Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is probably the most disruptive concept for most industries, affecting not only revenue and cost structures but also shaking up the core business and operating models. Therefore, there is widespread awareness of what it means among the executives of manufacturing companies. According to a Forrester/Russel Reynolds Survey1) 74% of…

Why Aligning Operational Technology and IT is inevitable

In its recent research paper Ascent Journey 2016, the Atos Scientific community considers the manifold challenges that the established leading industrial companies are facing nowadays, stemming from the globalization of markets and therefore the advent of new competitors mainly from emerging economies such as China. Since most of these companies are competing on price but also more and…

Reducing Time to Market

As decision makers in the industry, you are faced with manifold challenges induced by the globalization of markets and, therefore, the advent of new competitors catching up in large steps with the established manufacturers in the market. This implies pressure on your production costs fighting against low-cost competition. It also requires a higher degree of flexibility in production (produce anywhere) and last but not…