Industry 4.0 - Transformability of companies in the value creation of tomorrow

Adobe Stock/Alex from the Rock

Adaptability is the ability of a company to perceive changes that exceed an originally plannable or foreseeable extent in good time and to control them both technically and organizationally. In order to develop and expand adaptability, it must be explicitly anchored in the corporate strategy. The funding guideline "Industry 4.0 - Adaptability of Companies in the Value Creation of Tomorrow (InWandel)" focuses on the sustainable interaction of people, company organization and technology in order to explore new ways of creating value in the future. Solution approaches for successfully dealing with dynamic challenges while making the best possible use of Industrie 4.0 potentials and tools are to be researched and investigated. For the networked value creation, corporate cultural, organizational, economic and ecological aspects are holistically considered. An integrative view of the areas of production, service and work is a prerequisite for arriving at interdisciplinary, application-oriented new solutions.

Strengthened adaptability for SMEs through agile, human-centric digital systems 

Economic, social, technical and political requirements present manufacturing SMEs in particular with the challenge of implementing suitable strategies for constant change. This affects, among other things, business models, services, value chains as well as customer relationships and requires a view not only of technology, but also of organization and employees. In order for SMEs to adapt to change and proactively adapt corporate structures and processes to challenges and new situations, their ability to change and their resilience must be strengthened. The READI project therefore focuses on the application-oriented promotion of a sustainable, agile interplay between people, business organization and technology.

The READI research project pursues the goal of enabling companies to identify, establish, anchor and harmonize the structures, processes and technical prerequisites required for sustainable and continuous change capability within the framework of a multi-stage change model including a set of measures.

In the course of the project, findings from three scenarios will be incorporated into the development of an overarching transformation model. First, an instrument is developed that can be used to determine the maturity of companies' digital transformation capability. The results of this application form the methodological starting point of the model development. The model is accompanied by an application kit that illustrates the tested technical and organizational measures, best practices and recommended actions for optimizing the transformation capability of companies. Here, the lifecycle phases of development, production and service are considered across the board and, in particular, agile processes of interdisciplinary, digital collaboration in value networks are also taken into account. As a result, an online platform with the transformation model and the construction kit is available to interested companies in an easy-to-use form as part of transfer measures.

The online platform developed in the project will be used to digitally map the transformation model and will show proven measures that were used in transformation events in a comprehensible and assessable way with the help of transformation indicators. Targeted transfer measures will make the results available to other companies and industries as well as to the interested public. In this way, SMEs have the opportunity to become acquainted with procedures, measures and strategies leading to structures capable of change, and to define them for themselves. As an associated project partner, Pfalzmetall e.V. will be involved for support in the transfer and further multipliers will be included via the existing networks of the project partners.

Funded by the BMBF as part of the funding line "Industrie 4.0 - Wandlungsfähigkeit von Unternehmen in der Wertschöpfung von morgen (InWandel)" within the program "Zukunft der Wertschöpfung - Forschung zu Produktion, Dienstleistung und Arbeit", accompanied by the project management organization Karlsruhe.

Project title

Strengthened resilience in manufacturing SMEs through agile, human-centered digital systems and systems design (READI)

January 2023 – December 2025

Project partners

  • Ergosign GmbH
  • Adient Components Ltd. & Co. KG
  • Artengis GmbH
  • Ellenberger GmbH & Co. KG
  • KnowHow! AG
  • Hans Leffer GmbH & Co. KG
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern – Lehrstuhl für virtuelle Produktentwicklung
  • Zentrum für Mechatronik und Automatisierungstechnik gGmbH


The "Readi" project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research within the program "Industrie 4.0 – Wandlungsfähigkeit von Unternehmen in der Wertschöpfung von morgen (InWandel)“

Contact person

Dr. Viola Hellge

M. Sc. Stephanie Dupont

B.A. Dominik Kaus