Learning all new things requires a foundation of previous knowledge.
If you want to learn to make wood furniture, you need to master the properties of wood and composite materials, be able to join boards, cut rebates, learn to mill edges and miter angles, etc. etc.
Once you realize this, you can bring it together into a beautiful piece that can sometimes last for generations. Something you can and should be proud of.
On the other hand, however, you could buy ready-made furniture, but you will never know what is a good buy, how to maintain it or adjust it to your taste. Not to mention the difference in price tag.
Another example: to drive a Formula 1 car, you start with kart racing, then practice in Formula 3, then Formula 2 and/or Formula E, and only then Formula 1.
Getting into a Formula One car without experience is a recipe for accidents.
The car’s power is way too high, you can’t handle the G-forces in your body, and there are an unimaginable number of digital systems that impact the car’s behavior.
The point is:
If you want to realize a smart factory, an industry 4.0 factory, you must first have the basics of good workmanship, the right machines and the right software.
You have to gain experience with that. Building the foundation with knowledge and understanding. Only then can you link everything together in a high-tech way and move on to industry 4.0 initiatives.
Like a master of wooden furniture, or a Formula 1 racer, you need to master several components before you can perform in the king class of digitizing. You have to experience and understand the steps. After that, you can build it out.
So, if you want to achieve a truly smart factory, try to grow step by step at the pace you and your team can handle.