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Agile digital transformation: revolutionizing mechanical engineering in the digital age

In today’s fast-paced world, the engineering industry is facing increasing pressure to keep up with the rapid pace of digital transformation.


Mechanical engineering companies must be agile and consistently use digital technologies

To remain competitive, engineering companies must be agile and leverage digital technologies to improve their operations, innovate their products, and deliver exceptional customer experiences.

In this article, we will explore the key role of agile digital transformation in the world of engineering and how it can revolutionize the industry. From using advanced software tools to leveraging data-driven insights, we will explore the strategies and technologies that can help machine builders stay ahead of the curve and succeed in the digital age.

Join us on this journey of discovery and learn how agile digital transformation is revolutionizing the future opportunities for mechanical engineering in Germany forever!

The importance of software and software development in mechanical engineering

Software and software development have become indispensable for mechanical engineering in recent years.

Here are some reasons why:

Design and simulation

Mechanical engineers use software to design and simulate complex systems and components. With this software, they can test the performance of a design before it is built, which can save time and money. Examples of software used in mechanical engineering are SolidWorks, ANSYS and MATLAB.


In many mechanical engineering applications, software is used to control the manufacturing process. For example, CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) software is used to control the cutting and forming of materials in CNC machines.

Data Analysis

Mechanical engineers use software to analyze data from sensors and other sources. This data can be used to optimize performance, diagnose problems and make improvements.


Mechanical engineers often work in teams with other engineers and professionals. Software tools such as project management software, version control software and communication tools are essential for effective collaboration.


Software is increasingly used to automate repetitive tasks in mechanical engineering. For example, software can be used to control robotic systems in manufacturing or to automate testing and analysis.

Software and software development are essential to mechanical engineering, enabling engineers to design and simulate complex systems, control manufacturing processes, analyze data, collaborate effectively, and automate tasks.

In the course of technological progress, software is becoming increasingly important in the field of mechanical engineering.

What role does agility play in mechanical engineering?

Agility in mechanical engineering means adapting quickly to changing circumstances, responding to customer needs and delivering high-quality products and services efficiently. Software und Softwareentwicklung können Maschinenbauunternehmen dabei helfen, diese Ziele zu erreichen:

Design and develop mechanical engineering products / mechanical engineering services for customers iteratively:

Agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban involve iterative development and frequent feedback from customers. Software tools like SolidWorks and ANSYS help engineers quickly design and simulate new product ideas, while project management software helps teams collaborate and stay on track.

Respond quickly to changes in demand

Software tools like CAM can help companies quickly change their manufacturing processes to respond to changes in demand or incorporate new design features.

More effective collaboration

Agile methods emphasize collaboration and communication between team members. Software tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams can facilitate communication and allow teams to collaborate on projects in real time.

Automate repetitive tasks

By automating repetitive tasks, such as data analysis in mechanical engineering or quality control, engineers can focus on more important tasks and companies can deliver their products faster.

Test and refine an innovative mechanical engineering product more quickly

Agile methods also place great emphasis on testing and continuous improvement. Software tools like MATLAB help engineers quickly analyze and optimize designs, while version control software and software platforms with digital software processes like GitHub help teams manage and track changes to code and designs.

Overall, agility in engineering means embracing new technologies and software tools that help companies respond quickly to changing conditions, collaborate more effectively, and efficiently deliver high-quality products and services.

Why data, data structures and artificial intelligence and agile processes are indispensable for the mechanical engineering industry

Data, data structures and artificial intelligence (AI) are becoming increasingly important with regard to agile methods and in mechanical engineering.

The key reasons for its importance in the IT strategy of machine builders are:

Data-driven decision making

Data can provide valuable insights into customer needs, product performance and manufacturing processes. By using data analysis tools like MATLAB, mechanical engineering companies can make more informed decisions about product design, manufacturing, and process optimization.

Data structure for more efficiency

Data structures are important in mechanical engineering because they help engineers organize and manage large amounts of data efficiently. For example, by using a structured data format such as XML or JSON, engineers can easily exchange data between different software applications and systems.

AI for automation

AI and machine learning can be used to automate repetitive tasks in mechanical engineering, such as quality control or predictive maintenance. For example, AI algorithms can analyze data from sensors on machines to predict when maintenance is needed or to detect defects in products during the manufacturing process.

AI for optimization

AI can also be used to optimize product design and manufacturing processes. For example, AI algorithms can analyze data from simulations to determine the most efficient designs, or optimize CNC machine settings to improve manufacturing efficiency.

Agile decision making

Using AI and machine learning, data can be analyzed in real time, enabling companies to make agile decisions and respond quickly to changing circumstances. For example, AI algorithms can analyze sensor data from a production line to detect anomalies and alert engineers to potential problems before they occur.

Overall, data, data structures and artificial intelligence are becoming increasingly important in terms of agility and the engineering industry, as they can help companies make more informed decisions, automate repetitive tasks, optimize product design and manufacturing processes, and enable agile decision making. As technology continues to advance, data and AI will become even more important in the engineering field.

Indicators for the Maturity Level of Mechanical Engineering Companies in Digitalization

Here are some indicators that can represent the maturity of a company in the engineering industry in terms of software and data:

Use of software tools

A mature company uses a range of software tools to design, simulate, analyze and manage data related to mechanical engineering projects.

KPIs for assessing the efficiency of software tools used

Use of software tools: Key performance indicators (KPI) could include the number of software tools used per project or per engineer, the percentage of projects using software tools, or the percentage of engineers trained in the use of software tools.

Data Management

KPIs could include frequency of data backup, data security measures in place, and number of data breaches or losses per year.

KPIs for effective data management

A mature enterprise has effective data management practices such as version control, data backups, and security protocols.

Data analysis skills

A mature enterprise has skilled data analysts and software engineers who can extract valuable insights from data and use them to improve product design, manufacturing processes and business operations.

KPIs for effective data analysis

KPIs could include the percentage of projects using data analytics, the number of data analysts in the organization, or the percentage of data analysts who have advanced degrees or certifications in data analytics.

Automation and artificial intelligence

A mature company uses automation and artificial intelligence to optimize processes, reduce costs and improve product quality.

KPIs for automation maturity and artificial intelligence

KPIs could include the percentage of manufacturing processes automated, the percentage of defects detected and corrected by AI algorithms, or the percentage of cost savings achieved through the use of AI.

Collaborative culture at machine builders

A mature enterprise fosters a culture of collaboration among engineers, software developers, data analysts, and other professionals that promotes knowledge sharing and teamwork.

Key performance indicators for the evaluation of collaboration

Metrics could include the frequency of cross-functional meetings or project teams, the number of cross-functional projects completed per year, or the percentage of employees attending training or workshops on collaboration.

Continuous improvement

A mature company constantly strives to improve its processes and products by using data analytics and feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement.

Key figures for continuous improvement

KPIs could include the number of process improvement initiatives launched per year, the percentage of projects completed on time and on budget, or the percentage of customer complaints resolved within a given timeframe.

Application of industry standards

A mature company adheres to established industry standards for data exchange, such as STEP, and uses software tools that comply with these standards.

KPI for continuous assessment of the application of industry standards in mechanical engineering:

KPIs could include the percentage of software tools used that meet industry standards, the number of engineers trained in industry standards, or the percentage of projects completed that meet industry standards.

Training and development

A mature company invests in the education and training of its employees to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to use software and data effectively.

Indicators for training and development

Measurable indicators could include the percentage of engineers attending training or workshops in software or data management, the number of employees obtaining certifications or advanced degrees, or the percentage of employees attending conferences or other industry events.

Application of best practices

A mature company adheres to best practices for software development, data management, and data analytics, ensuring that it keeps up with the latest trends and technologies in the industry.

Measured values for the use of proven methods

Metrics for ongoing assessment of best engineering practices could include the percentage of projects completed using best practices, the number of software tools used that are known as best in class, or the number of industry awards or recognitions received.

Integration of software and data

A mature enterprise integrates software and data into its business processes and uses them to improve communication, efficiency and productivity.

Key figures for the integration of software and data

Metrics could include the percentage of projects using integrated software tools, the number of processes or workflows automated or optimized using software or data analytics, or the percentage of employees reporting improved communication or productivity as a result of integrated software and data.

Digital services are becoming increasingly important for companies in the mechanical engineering sector, as they can offer numerous benefits and opportunities for growth. Here are some key reasons why digital services are important:

Improved customer experience

Digital services can help companies create a better customer experience by providing online portals for ordering, tracking and managing products and services. This can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty, leading to repeat business and referrals.

Increased efficiency

Digital services can automate and streamline many of the processes involved in the design, development and production of engineering products, leading to greater efficiency and cost savings.

Competitive advantage

Companies that offer digital services can gain a competitive advantage over those that do not, as they can offer a broader range of services and solutions to their customers, resulting in increased market share and profitability.

Improved product innovation

Digital services can enable companies to collaborate with customers and partners to develop new products and services that meet changing customer needs and market trends, leading to improved product innovation and differentiation.

Data-driven insights

Digital services can provide companies with valuable data-driven insights into customer preferences, product performance, and market trends, enabling them to make more informed decisions and optimize their operations.

Global reach

Digital services enable companies to reach customers and partners around the world, leading to more international sales and partnerships.

Improved customer service


The ability to be agile and implement digital strategies is an integral part of any digital transformation.

Digital services can provide customers with access to real-time support and assistance, leading to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Overall, digital services measurably help engineering companies adapt to an increasingly fast-paced competitive marketplace.

Efficiency expertise is essential for machine builders to remain competitive and innovative and to continue to offer machine building customers attractive prices and services.

The value added to your customers is not only perceived on the customer side, but also determines the future of your mechanical engineering company.

Mechanical engineering companies that successfully master the digital transformation use digital services and will always be more competitive and successful than their competitors in the long term.

Digital Transformation with Large-Scale Agile Frameworks

If you are looking for a practical methodology based on real project experience, you will find a guide to implementing digital transformation in your mechanical engineering company in the specialist book on digital transformation “Large-Scale Agile Frameworks – Agile Frameworks, Agile Infrastructure and Pragmatic Solutions for Digital Transformation”.
Large-Scale Agile Frameworks - Book Springer-Vieweg - Agile Transformations for Business & Organizations.

Practical tips & recommendations for digital transformation

Digital Transformation with Large-Scale Agile Frameworks, which are practical process models and directly usable recommendations based on real project experiences of countless IT projects.
The typical problems and issues that project participants and stakeholders face during digital transformation will be discussed. Agile prioritization is regularly a challenge for all involved.
You will learn how to define clearly defined goals for the digital transformation of your organization and thus actively shape the change to agile ways of working. In doing so, the importance of agile processes and the Large-Scale Agile Frameworks will be detailed step by step.
All relevant agile concepts and basic terms are explained. The Action Design Research method provides you with a modern approach to practice-oriented problem solving in organizations.

About the Author:

Ich bin Sascha Block – IT-Architekt in Hamburg und Autor von Large-Scale Agile Frameworks - Agile Frameworks, agile Infrastruktur und pragmatische Loesungen zur digitalen Transformation. Ich möchte dazu beitragen Agilität in Organisationen und das agile Mindset zu verbreiten. Nur so gelingt uns eine erfolgreiche digitale Transformation. Mit meinem Unternehmen der INZTITUT GmbH unterstütze ich OpenSource und mit dem Projekt Rock the Prototype leiste ich dazu einen aktiven Beitrag. Ich möchte Prototyping erlernbar und erfahrbar machen. Mit der Motivation Ideen prototypisch zu verwirklichen und Wissen rund um Software-Prototyping, Softwarearchitektur und Softwareentwicklung zu teilen, habe ich das Format und die Open-Source Initiative Rock the Prototype geschaffen.

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