“Industry 4.0 is the condition for the reindustrialization of France”

[CONTENU PARTENAIRE] Digital is the key for our country to catch up with a delay of 30 years, explains Gilles Battier, technical director within the Hexagon group, a company specializing in simulation software dedicated to the industrial field.

Released in September, an Ifri report underlines the key importance of the digitization of companies in the context of the reindustrialization of France. Do you agree with statement?

Yes. Without industry 4.0, there will be no reindustrialization of France. I hope that our country, which has fallen far behind in the industrial field over the past thirty years, will seize the opportunities that present themselves to it. We have strong digital skills, even unique for certain subjects. French industry must now quickly incorporate digital solutions, otherwise the delay already incurred will be irrecoverable.

What are the remaining obstacles to this digitization?

Some of them are generational. Arrived at a certain age, the manager of an SME or an ETI will not necessarily be pushed to integrate new technologies, a field that he does not master at all, in these internal processes. When the new generations take over the existing companies, I have every hope that the latter will be keen to play a much more driving role in this area. Second point: IT, digital technology, requires resources, adequate organization, and often dedicated teams. This set is a problem for SMEs primarily focused on their core business and sometimes lacking financing. Changing their processes is a real challenge for them. ETIs, for their part, have more of this capacity for change. They can, in fact, allocate resources to the digitization of their business.

The Hexagon group is a specialist in simulation software in the industrial field. What about the arrival of virtual reality and augmented reality technologies?

This is a new subject on which we are active. Personally, I strongly believe in the future of augmented reality. Through special glasses, it will be possible to superimpose images or information on the real environment. This technology is quite easily assimilated in terms of learning and bearable for a user, because it is not completely disconnected from reality (which remains the weak point of virtual reality). We are considering integrating augmented reality for educational purposes into training sessions on our HxGN Machine Trainer. In this way, if a student or a pupil blocks on a point, he will be able to benefit from assistance via the wearing of glasses which will be able, for example, to indicate to him on which button to press.

How do you integrate new environmental requirements?

There are two levels of answers. First of all, the use of our products will make it possible to save energy, materials, etc. This concerns all our simulation tools, our solutions CAE (virtual car crash test…), or even NCSIMUL (development of machining paths to avoid machine crashes). Finally, it is worth mentioning the Machine Trainer which, for its manufacture, requires less material (400 kg) than a real CNC machine (between 2 and 3 tons of material). As for its operating cost, the Machine Trainer only needs a 220 V socket to run its electronic components, the computer and the two screens in order to train the machine pilots. A real CNC machine, on the other hand, requires much more energy than to run a computer and much more material to associate with the learning process.

What developments are to be expected for the HxGN Machine Trainer?

In order to attract young people to the industry – this is a fundamental issue – we plan to associate Serious Games with our Machine Trainer. It is a lever that will allow us to attract more talent to our professions, which are often ignored. We should demonstrate this at the next Paris Air Show where we will be present as part of the “L’Avion des Métiers” forum.

This content was produced with SCRIBEO. The BFMBUSINESS editorial staff did not participate in the production of this content.

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“Industry 4.0 is the condition for the reindustrialization of France”

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