Experiencing Digital Transformation in Estrella Damm Factory

February 26, 2019
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On 6th of February we went to the Estrella Damm factory in Barcelona, where we got a tour by Laura Gil (Director of Digital Transformation Department) and other members of her digital transformation team.

We got invited by Laura and were accompanied by our professor Patricia Castellvi, who is directing the course in Digital Transformation, which focusses on the processes needed to transform a non-digital company into a digital one.

The visit was about a well-known company which previously was not digitally native and currently is being transformed to be a more digital one. We were there to see how digital transformation process within the departments of Damm is going.

We started off in the meeting room where we got a presentation by Laura Gil on how Damm is being digitally changed over the years and that she is the head of a new team that is focusing only on digital transformation in every department of the company. Before going to the manufacturing hall, we got a glimpse on the roof which is fully covered in solar panels. The tour guide explained us that during certain days in the year the plant can be almost self-sustainable regarding electricity, which is quite an achievement for the large production scale.

When we arrived in the manufacturing hall we were overwhelmed by the extent of automation in the factory. We saw how the Damm Factory has transformed from being labor intensive to fully automated robots working in synchronization with very small margins of error. Only a handful of employees were present to supervise the work the robots were doing. It gave me a futuristic feeling when we were walking above those magnificent machines which were lifting heavy load in a very systematic and quick way. Then, we were escorted to the beer tasting room, where we got the opportunity to taste some of the finest Damm beers, under supervision of a beer sommelier.

My main impression during the visit of Damm was how the company tries to change the culture among the employees and how it performs technological experiments with cutting edge technologies such as Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence.

It was interesting to see that such a large and traditional company identifies the need to digitize and therefore creates the whole new team which looks for digital opportunities in all departments. Lastly, I was inspired to see that the industry I am interested in, is only going to become bigger in the near future.

Written by Thom Timans, Master in Digital Transformation Leadership student at Barcelona Technology School

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