Digital transformation: An opportunity to reinvent ourselves.

As in many other industries, the construction sector is being impacted by digitalization and new technologies. In recent years, the development of digitalization in processes and advanced data analysis have meant companies need to adapt to a new work environment. On the other hand, the COVID-19 crisis has accelerated this process, both in mitigating labour restrictions and advancing new forms of work.

What is digital transformation?

Digital transformation is the integration of digital technology into all areas of a business and requires fundamental changes in the field of technology, culture, operations and value delivery. To make the best use of emerging technologies, companies must reinvent themselves and radically transform all their processes and models. It also involves shedding legacy technology, which can be costly to maintain, and modifying corporate culture in order to support the progress brought about by digital transformation. Companies that are open to change and which adapt to a new more agile model will more likely obtain greater corporate success.

Adapting to customers’ new needs and offering a quality solution is one of the main goals of digital transformation.

Why opt for digital transformation?

As a result of the great technological advances we are experiencing, companies are replacing their traditional interactions with digital experiences. Transformation frequently occurs, not because companies choose to transform, but because if they fail to adapt to the new needs demanded by customers and offer a quality solution, organizations seem destined to failure.

On the other hand, those that are open to the changing environment and adapt to a more agile model are more likely to have greater success. This is because digital transformation basically consists of taking into account all aspects of a company, and figuring out how to update them so they evolve in step with technology.

Digitalization offers the following advantages:

  • Improve processes: new technology implementation allows for the automation of simpler processes and the elimination of intermediaries in more complex ones. This allows the company to increase its agility and use its human capital more efficiently.
  • Discover new services: through emerging technologies, new ways of business can arise. It is important to identify such opportunities and take action.
  • Create more personalized and engaging experiences for customers: today’s customers are very demanding and expect companies to listen to them and meet their specific needs. Technology has evolved to adapt to this specific objective.

To make the most of digital data, it is necessary to adopt technologies as they become available, try them out, and use the results obtained to adapt better and look to the future. Although incorporating technology can be very costly, the reward can be much greater.

It is undeniable that companies, employees and consumers have changed the way they act. The customer seeks to be more connected, interact more and trust the brand enhancing loyalty. Therefore, employees and companies change technologically and culturally to adapt to new customer demands.

Digital transformation has to do with the value of services, improving the business model, innovation, differentiation and strengths.

How to develop a digital transformation plan

A series of steps must be taken to develop a digital transformation plan to completely transform the company so it can achieve all its objectives.

In the analysis stage, an X-ray is made of the company in order to know the actual status from which an action plan will emerge towards the objective proposed by the digital transformation.

In the action stage, the objectives that will lead to the specific actions to be implemented and monitored are set out. Do not hesitate to seek professional help to ensure the success of your investment.

The industry, therefore, is entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, so technologies 4.0 such as Data Analysis, Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Digital Twin are the main core in CEMOSA’s digital transformation plan.

CEMOSA’s Digital Transformation

At a strategic level, CEMOSA is positioned in R&D projects such as OMICRON ‘Towards a more automated and optimised maintenance, renewal and upgrade of roads by means of robotised technologies and intelligent decision support tools’  and AICREDITS ‘Artificial Intelligence for Extended Energy Audits’  which are based on using technology to offer new services increasing the user and customer experience, thus consolidating the commitment to the future and in the long term.

At the productive level, CEMOSA has shown determination in its commitment to digitalization by integrating BIM methodology not only in its engineering, but it also develops and uses its own BIM tools in the laboratory for controlling materials and geotechnical characterization.

Consequently, CEMOSA is without any doubt committed to leading this change and being a benchmark in the construction sector, since it has the technology, resources and capabilities to address digital transformation and make it a fundamental competitive advantage in the coming years.

Welcome to Industry 4.0: The simple reality companies must get ready for

Nowadays, Industry 4.0 (also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution) is transforming    economies, jobs, and even society. After the advance of new technologies, Industry 4.0 is taking place at an accelerated rate in our daily lives, changing corporate behaviour and, therefore, companies’ strategies to distinguish themselves from their competitors in an increasingly competitive market.

What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is a new revolution that combines advanced production and operations techniques with smart technologies that will integrate with organizations, people and assets. Its fundamental pillar is artificial intelligence, closely related to the storage of large amounts of data (Big Data), the use of complex algorithms for their subsequent processing and the massive interconnection of devices and digital systems.

All this means there is a transformation in the way in which business is done. Previously, business leaders were accustomed to traditional data and linear communications, but the real-time shift of data access and artificial intelligence enabled by Industry 4.0 has increased business productivity.

The digital integration of information from different sources and locations allows business to be carried out in a continuous cycle. This flow takes place through a series of iterative steps known as PDP (Physical-Digital-Physical):

  • From physical to digital: Information is obtained from the physical environment and a digital record is created.
  • From digital to digital: Information is shared and useful and valuable information is obtained through advanced artificial intelligence analysis.
  • From digital to physical: Algorithms are used to translate decisions of the digital world into useful data, to provoke actions and changes in the physical world.

Key Technologies of Industry 4.0

The technologies on which Industry 4.0 is based are:

These technologies combine with each other creating digital enterprises that are interconnected and capable of making more efficient decisions.

Organizations must analyse the decision on how and where to invest in these technologies and establish which of them best meets their needs. To do this, companies must continuously adapt to existing changes and take advantage of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0 to gain ground in the market.

Why is Industry 4.0 important?

It is important to know the potential of this fourth industrial revolution because it does not only focus on production processes, but its scope is much broader, affecting all industries and sectors. Industry 4.0 can improve business operations and revenue growth by transforming products, supply chain and customer expectations. Such a revolution is likely to change the way we do things, but it could also affect how customers interact with them and the experiences they expect to have while interacting with businesses. Beyond that, it could lead to workforce changes, which would require new skills and roles. Technologies can also lead to the creation of  completely new products and services, as well as to improvements in products in various ways.

What are the impacts of Industry 4.0?

The impacts caused by Industry 4.0 can be perceived at different levels: whether in large ecosystems, at an organizational level or at an individual level (customers and employees).

  • Ecosystems. This impact represents the broadest level of all and goes beyond business operations themselves and how goods and services are produced. Industry 4.0 also affects suppliers, customers, regulatory considerations, investors, and other external experts and influencers that affect the organization (ecosystem). The potential of implementing 4.0 technologies allows interactions between each point of the network, thus connecting all stakeholders.
  • Organizations. The capacity to adapt to new customer needs brings with it numerous organizational changes. This allows organizations to be more responsive, proactive and predictive, as well as to reduce their productivity risk.
  • Individuals. The concept of Industry 4.0 can mean different things depending on from where we look at it. On the one hand, for employees it can mean a change in the work they are going to develop, while for customers it would mean greater personalization in products and services that best meet their needs.

Industry 4.0 is not just a passing trend, but it is here to stay.

Industry 4.0 is not just a passing trend, but it is here to stay. It is a clear tendency and we have to be prepared. CEMOSA believes that evolution towards the 4.0 paradigm is crucial today to meet the challenges faced by the sector, so it will continue to promote digitization and technological trends as a lever of change. Likewise, a company that fails to adapt to the new needs demanded by the client, will be a company willing to fail.

Flexibility in electrical networks. A new way to improve energy management

Uninterrupted electric power supply has always been a challenge for governments, businesses and the general public. Due to the numerous blackouts that have occurred, emphasis needs to be placed on the importance of the electricity supply’s safety and reliability. On the other hand, the growing degree of electrification of modern societies, a high penetration of renewable energy generation, the development of new forms of electric mobility and the increase in digitalization, make the modernization of distribution networks a strategic priority.

At present, many networks suffer from problems due to lack of investment. In addition, the continuous deregulation process following the functional and regulatory uncertainty existing in the sector, together with the destabilizing effect on the grid as a whole due to the rapid growth of the generation of renewable energy sources (especially wind energy), has worsened the problem. For all these reasons, CEMOSA focuses its efforts on developing flexibility mechanisms that make energy transmission networks more efficient and reduce the investments required in electricity supply infrastructures.

40% of energy consumption and 32% of CO2 emissions in Europe are due to buildings, i.e., to final consumer daily activities.

This new scenario seeks to decarbonize power generation by incorporating renewable generation units into the electricity grids, and the electrification of energy end-uses (such as electric vehicles and heat pumps). In this sense, the European Clean Energy Package rules recognize the distribution system operator’s (DSO) capacity to make distribution more flexible.

There are a number of technical aspects that must be taken into account to offer a flexibility solution:

  1. Nature of the problem: Control of voltage, congestion, island operation (microgrids).
  2. Quantification of flexibility needs (in MW, MVA), direction (energy injection or absorption), time and frequency of the problem.
  3. Network characteristics (topology): Capacity, configuration, meshed or radial system, etc.
  4. Network location area: Determine if it is a generalized, localized or third-party need.
  5. Degree of predictability: Identify whether it is an issue that is predictable (structural) or difficult to predict.
  6. Time horizon for flexibility contracting: Perform the planning of the operations involved to determine the time required.
  7. Degree of coordination between transmission and distribution networks: Level
    of coordination required between the transmission system operator (TSO) and
    the DSO, or between DSOs.
  8. Distribution energy resources (DER) response times: The DERs connected to the distribution network allow to provide rapid response services (balances) or conventional response services (technical restrictions).
  9. Network monitoring level. With the aim of obtaining more information on flexibility needs.

From an economic point of view, the following aspects must be taken into account:

  1. Degree of standardization of certain flexibility service parameters. Their standardization makes it easier to facilitate the enabling of flexibility providers and reduce entry barriers.
  2. Liquidity. Determined by the number of potential offers to provide the service.
  3. Transaction costs. Related to the costs of commercial transactions in the relevant market.
  4. Entry and exit barriers. Entry barriers are mainly given by the legal framework or by the authorities’ regulatory decisions, while exit barriers include the cost of leaving a market and the ability to take advantage of the systems or investments made in other markets.
  5. Information access and availability. It is essential for relevant information to be accessible and available to all providers in order to be able to make decisions based on it.
  6. Phases of the creation of markets and incentive schemes depending on the type of need.
  7. Study the effectiveness and efficiency of flexibility mechanisms.

Bearing in mind the technical and economic characteristics discussed above, different solutions are offered for a DSO to have the capacity to provide flexibility mechanisms and services. These solutions are the following:

  • Solutions based on the TSO-DSO coordinated common market. Intended for situations that have a potential impact of flexibility service on the network.
  • Local market design-based solutions. For situations that have a lower potential impact on the network.
  • In situations of low liquidity, there are other options:
  • Employ long-term flexibility products such as bilateral contracts or auctions.
  • Implement a price control supervised by the regulator.

Additionally, there is a set of regulatory recommendations for DSOs to use flexibility: a) implementation in the national regulation of Article 32 of European Directive 2019/944, which allows DSOs to incorporate and activate flexibility services and develop operating procedures to resolve technical restrictions in the network; b) regulation of the relationship between the new flexibility mechanisms with existing mechanisms (current markets and operating procedures); c) integration of the access and connection criteria of the different flexibility mechanisms; d) revision of the
remuneration framework for DSOs to develop incentives capable of adopting flexibility services.

CEMOSA is committed to leading this change and being a benchmark in the energy sector

In this context, CEMOSA is committed to leading this change and being a benchmark in the energy sector. The company is firmly committed to a completely flexible and reliable electricity network, which guarantees a high-quality energy supply, since it collaborates in the development of the necessary technology and has the resources and capabilities to address the flexibility of the electricity networks.