Tech-firms partner McKinsey to launch first Digital Capability Centre

21 July 2017 6 min. read
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The Digital Capability Centre in Aachen, Germany is the first of a number of Innovation Centres aimed at educating businesses in the best ways to utilise automation in their industry. The project, founded by McKinsey & Company and ITA Academy, is also supported by technology partners PTC, ark|group, Intex, Jakob Müller, Stonegarden, LinUp, Ubimax, Magazino, and Evolvea, as the group work to expand the project across the world.

Global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company has announced the opening of a Digital Capability Centre (DCC) based in Aachen, Germany. The DCC Aachen was the first of realisation of a global project, and sees McKinsey cooperating with fellow founding member firm ITA Academy – an international research and training service provider – along with a plethora of other collaborators. The DCC, with its motto “Explore – Try – Apply”, is described by the companies as a “learning factory” focused on Industry 4.0 manufacturing.

As manufacturing goes through a revolutionary overhaul toward automation, the firm is hoping to become the go-to source of expertise when it comes to the wider integration of such technology, with the use of the Industrial Internet of Things, whereby intelligent machine and humans are integrated within the wider production process, among other innovations. Industry 4.0 has been estimated as seeing a potential $4.5 trillion in investment by 2020, and McKinsey has therefore announced the expansion of the DCC project to other locales including Singapore, Chicago, Beijing, and Venice, as the firm attempts to gain an increasingly lucrative market.

Tech-firms partner McKinsey to launch first Digital Capability Centre

Founding members McKinsey and ITA are also supported by a technology partner network, which the companies expect to grow as the project expands further. The current partners include PTC, a global award-winning technology provider of the leading IoT and AR platforms, and ark|group, a provider of interdisciplinary development services for the digital transformation of companies

They are joined by Intex, a provider of an integrated and innovative ERP software suites for textile manufacturers and Jakob Müller, market leader in ribbon and narrow-fabric technology. Stonegarden, another systems provider for innovative tracking solutions and mobile data collection are also partners, alongside LinUp, a developer of ergonomic solutions, integrated tools and Virtual Reality, leveraging the booming VR industry to improve and enhance human behaviour.

Ubimax, a leading supplier for industrial wearable computing solutions – an innovation proving increasingly popular in the leisure industry – Magazino, a developer of mobile transport robots for warehouses and factories, and Evolvea, a systems integrator specialised in virtualisation across a number of markets, complete the rainbow coalition of tech-partners.


Innovative technology is seen by many as a double-edged sword, and while offering significant improvements in output, efficiency and profit, it can also cause disruption across markets, and present new risks from cyber-attacks on linked networks, along with a potential threat to short-term employment amid the long-term economic realignment it could cause.

Along with McKinsey, a number of competing consultancies have launched Innovation Centres aimed at tapping into businesses uncertainty surrounding automation. Notably, BCG launched an Innovation Centre for Operations to showcase Industry 4.0 technology, located in Paris. Such facilities offer visitors a range of customised services to provide insight into the potential of new technologies transforming the manufacturing process and in this respect McKinsey’s DCC is no different.

Founders McKinsey & Company and ITA Academy - technology partners PTC, ark|group, Intex, Jakob Müller, Stonegarden, LinUp, Ubimax, Magazino, and Evolvea

In order to help educate business leaders on the potential pros and cons of Industry 4.0 – which remains uncharted territory for the majority of UK and EU business – along with research the DCC in Aachen will also facilitate hands-on workshops, which aim to teach participants a systematic and targeted approach to unlock value from industrial automation.

"Many companies are already thinking about Industry 4.0, but get stuck when it comes to implementation. The DCC helps companies realise the concrete value-add of digitised production," said Christoph Schmitz, a Senior Partner at McKinsey. “Industry 4.0 represents both a major challenge and an opportunity for the economy. We founded the global DCC network in response to the question of what Industry 4.0 means for companies in practice and how digital transformation can be realised successfully.”