Two hands holding a virtual digitalization network



Digitalization as a disruptive force? Absolutely! From blockchain technology to big data and artificial intelligence, the industry has recognized the potential of digitalization and is increasingly using it for new products, systems, and processes. Innovative digital solutions are also changing the way we produce and collaborate at Kuraray. They are at the heart of our product development and numerous strategic initiatives. Our newly formed organization for Digital Transformation (DX) and Information Technology (IT) is driving this development at Kuraray Europe GmbH and cooperating closely with the company's business and service units. Together, we are creating customized digital solutions that combine efficiency with sustainability and maximum customer focus.

Chatbot piloting at Kuraray

When the digital colleague takes over

Do we have a 3D printer in the office? What was that application that everyone thinks is so great good for again? And how do I actually apply for educational leave? Questions upon questions ... The sometimes laborious search for answers will soon be a thing of the past. In future, Kuraray's chatbot will take care of it – interactively, quickly and around the clock. It not only provides targeted information, but also shares in-depth knowledge, provides application support and learns new things every day. Oh yes, and it is also multilingual, of course. With regard to chatbots or, in other words, the automation of office and administrative processes using AI-controlled dialog systems, the company is currently running two pilot projects, from which we are hoping for a lot. 

Artificial intelligence robot with notebook.

It's about saving time, barrier-free access to information, and the simplified onboarding of new employees, to name just the most important benefits. The interim results are encouraging and there are plans for chatbots to provide support in other areas in the future – including in operations during maintenance and troubleshooting or in customer service.

5G research project in Troisdorf

Science meets Industry

The fast data transmission of the new 5G mobile communications standard enables communication almost in real time. This means that 5G technology also opens up unimagined possibilities for industry. At Kuraray's site in Troisdorf near Bonn, Germany, a unique project is currently underway that is putting scientific findings directly into practice. Seven partners are conducting cross-sector research into how 5G can make industrial processes more efficient and sustainable. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport is funding the network with around 3.6 million euros.

As part of the project, Kuraray is conducting a pilot of a 5G toolbox that incorporates a mixed reality headset capable of receiving and playing back real and virtual 3D content. This high-tech device enables remote monitoring and maintenance of production facilities. By using 5G, the company's expert knowledge can be networked even more effectively and deployed flexibly, which will also open up new paths for customer service assignments in the future.

Man works with VR glasses

Another topic of development is real-time sensors, which can enhance production quality, minimize waste, emissions, and energy consumption. Together with ZWi Technologies, another Troisdorf-based company, Kuraray is also testing an intelligent control system for the forklift trucks used on site.

In addition to Kuraray and ZWi Technologies, the project involves partnerships with the City of Troisdorf's business development department and the municipal utilities subsidiary Troiline. The project also benefits from the scientific support provided by The Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Information Technology (FIT), the Institute for Technology and Innovation Management at RWTH Aachen University and the Institut Leistung Arbeit Gesundheit (ILAG). 

Digital Maturity Assessments

On the way to Industry 4.0

How digitally advanced are we, really? A strange question, you might think. After all, the analog working world has long been outdated for most people. But companies and organizations have very different levels of maturity when it comes to digitalization. And things are also changing at breakneck speed. So, it's important to know exactly where you stand, and at the very least know where you want to go.

For this reason, we have conducted comprehensive Digital Maturity Assessments for both our production and service areas with the help of external expertise. We are consistently implementing the insights gained from these assessments and are thus moving forward on the path of digitalization – all with the aim of strengthening our competitiveness and offering our customers the greatest possible added value. 

Business performance checklist, man uses digital pen to evaluate online survey.

It goes without saying that we are taking our employees with us on this journey. We have developed an ambitious digital upskilling training program for them. The different formats are geared towards the specific needs of the employees and start with the basic course in bronze. The knowledge acquired can be deepened in silver or gold courses.

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