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Belgian Factories of the Future: is it a direction of development for other countries?

ContinentalNewtecRousselot and Duracell have been awarded the prestigious title of “Factories of The Future“. What are the sources of such dynamic development of Industry 4.0 in the Benelux countries and why should we take an example from them?


Factories of the Future is an annual competition in which Agoria experts use the Made Different method to select the most innovative factories. They implement Industry 4.0 rules in their activities. These companies are appreciated, among others behind:

  • High-class materials used for production
  • Based on the circular economy
  • High-quality technology
  • Operational efficiency
  • Human-centered and the belief that “people matter”

Creating personalised products and services, while optimising processes,
it’s important to note that the slogan “Factory of The Future” is not only a prestigious title, it is primarily a philosophy of action that should guide every organisation that wants to achieve success in Industry 4.0.


The Belgian factories are a model for not only European countries, but also for others. These 32 “Factory of the Future” awards are, on the one hand, the result of nearly 850 million euros of investments made over the years 2012-2018, and on the other, a contribution to increase employment in the manufacturing sector – by as much as 15%.

The Belgian companies’ path to such impressive results is largely based on openness to change and the ability to quickly “redefine” activity – both at the level of planning and operations. This is facilitated by the implementation of concepts related to change management, based on cooperation between the strategic division and employees, and clear communication.

The Belgian Factories of the Future also assume the transformation from “comprehensive organisations and simple activities” to “simple organisation and comprehensive activities”. This allows companies to control individual activities at every possible level – also strictly operational. This idea also assumes the integration of individual tasks in the factory and building flow. All in the name of simplifying the activity and then digitising them to increase the efficiency of operations.

Tools and solutions whose main goal is to simplify and optimise the processes taking place in the company (from planning, through production, to logistics) are a great support in this area. In this context, it is worth mentioning the concept of lean manufacturing (assuming process standardisation and reduction of losses) or Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM).


The ADMA initiative is a tool supporting companies in simplifying and standardising processes. It acts as a help centre for organisations that plan to implement the assumptions of “factories of the future” in their activities.

How does it work? The ADMA process begins with a company audit. It allows indicating potential problems on the way to digitise the organisation’s activities (assuming the aforementioned simplification of processes). In the next step, ADMA indicates a detailed transformation plan in selected areas.

In the last stage, the analysis and identification of potential solutions allow to carry out the digital transformation of the company at the operational level.

Concepts and tools such as ADMA give organisations the chance to be extremely effective in standardising processes and digitising everyday activities. Combined with the idea of lean manufacturing or Quick Response Manufacturing, they can be an extremely important factor on the road to a smooth transition from a “modern factory” to a “factory of the future.” The Belgian market shows that it is worth it implementing such solutions and gaining benefits in the form of a well-functioning, effective organisation.

Article written by Renata Poreda from ADMA Supporting Organisation Astor, and translated by Liliya Pislar, Marketing Specialist at FundingBox

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