The changes brought by Industry 4.0 are not only related to the production process in a new, digitized way, but it will also increase competitiveness, it will be easier to respond more quickly to customer requirements and make it easier to adapt to new trends in the production process. Production is based on the concept of smart factories, to raise product quality, reduce costs and increasing competitiveness.
The pandemic had an impact on all sectors, some experienced losses and some had higher revenues. Croatian media, Večernji list brings some positive examples of companies, which have adopted successfully to the covid situation. Company Mobilisis, developed a system for implementing the principles of Industry 4.0 in the existing company, ExaByte - created research and development of artificial intelligence systems for rapid measurement of body temperature with the help of thermal imaging cameras, Nopus - will soon start manufacturing robots for a German partner. There is also Vuplast, which runs the production of bags for washing contaminated clothes, Promming, which produces hygiene stations, Tehnix, which produces corona cabins and Čateks, a textile medical program such as antiviral overalls.
Company Šestan-Busch has developed a new protective mask for biological protection against viruses and other biological threats; Metalis has designed a device for simultaneous hand disinfection and temperature measurement, as well as control of the number of people in the rooms. In 2020, Rasco successfully completed the EU project of increasing capacity and technological optimization for sustainable global competitiveness with a total value of HRK 46.4 million.
Definitely, a lot of digitalization has been done in Croatia in the past year, but the COVID-19 pandemic pushed SMEs and the industry towards digitization and digital transformation. It is important to say, according to the Večernji list, that the food production sector profited. The closure of restaurants has increased the demand for food in retail outlets and family farms. Logisticians have also profited from larger orders, micro logistics, in particular, door-to-door ones, especially in cities.
In today’s world, digital transformation is no longer a matter of choice. Thus, it can be concluded that the main goal of digital transformation is to improve performance and faster adaptation to rapid changes. As far as Croatia is concerned, various events are taking place as part of the digital transformation, working on changing perspective and educating about benefits. The following events are announced for autumn 2021.:
· “The Challenges of today”, 5th International Conference, will be held from 7th until 9th October 2021. This year’s conference will place special emphasis on the challenges of today’s digital transformation. The goal is to connect scientists/experts and the business community to jointly inaugurate new models and insights and promote solving the challenges of digital transformation through an interdisciplinary approach.
· “KulenDayz”, an IT conference is planned to be held from 3th until 5th September 2021. In Osijek in Hybrid form 2 conference days with training in Development, Design, Data, ITPro and Project Management.
Although the negative consequences of the pandemic are more empathetic than the positive ones, the desire was also to point out positive aspects. This was an incentive for entrepreneurs to orient themselves as much as possible in the direction of digitalization and recognize its importance.
The project ECOS4IN is funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Program and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.