November 4, 2022

Swiss manufacturer, DIXI Polytool, wins CSEM’s Digital Journey contest!

Creators of precision tools, DIXI Polytool SA, is the winner of CSEM’s Digital Journey Award 2022. This announcement was made during CSEM’s 7th Annual Business Day, which took place in Bern on November 3, 2022. The company will receive 100,000 Swiss francs in technical support from CSEM. CSEM’s Digital Journey award is significant within the Swiss innovation environment, as it explicitly supports small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which have enormous potential to drive the nation’s economic development.

Family-owned DIXI Polytool is based in the heart of Switzerland’s watchmaking county, Le Locle in Neuchâtel. Specializing in precision, solid carbide, and diamond cutting tools, the company plans to use CSEM’s knowledge to help it advance in digitalizing its processes and adopt a global industry 4.0 approach. This will allow the company to improve its productivity, ensure its competitiveness at a European level, and maintain the production of its products in Switzerland.

Digital tools to succeed

“With a strategy focused on niche markets and a desire to grow through geographical expansion through European sales branches, DIXI Polytool aims to keep its production in Switzerland. However, with this strategy, we must consider that while sales in the eurozone are growing, current fluctuations in exchange rates are hurting export margins. We must thus improve our company's productivity to remain profitable and competitive in European markets,” notes Simon Bournez, Technical Director at DIXI Polytool. “Digitalization and automation of our manufacturing processes are essential to meet this challenge, and they work perfectly with our implementation of lean manufacturing concepts in recent years,” says Bournez.

“In winning the CSEM Digital Journey award, we want to develop a 100% autonomous production cell encompassing the entire process chain, from material preparation to packaging and quality control. This requires various digital elements, such as sensors, artificial intelligence, and communication protocols, which CSEM can provide us with, helping us achieve our digital transformation. Moreover, this purely local partnership facilitates the exchange of knowledge and will enable the acceleration of the project,” enthuses Bournez.

Influential industry 4.0 idea

On their decision to name DIXI Polytool the winner, Robert Rudolph, Member of the Executive Board, Swissmem, and representative of the Digital Journey Jury, says: “Swiss machine tool manufacturers often operate in niche markets. They are challenged to evaluate new concepts and technologies to foster their competitiveness. The approach that DIXI Polytool, in cooperation with Rollomatic, has chosen is highly proactive and ambitious. They are a role model for the smart factory concept with their smart factory project. We believe their digital journey will inspire other SMEs in the industry.”

Local to international impact

Open to any Swiss SME looking to enhance their business through digitalization, the CSEM Digital Journey award was envisioned to help national and traditional SMEs increase their impact in their designated industry and boost the Swiss economy.

“Given that Switzerland cannot participate in the EU’s Digital Europe program, supporting digital innovation in Switzerland and helping our SMEs break new ground is now more important than ever,” says Bahaa Roustom, Head of Marketing & Business Development at CSEM and President of the Digital Journey Jury. “CSEM has been actively coordinating and cooperating with the EU research industry for over three decades. We can share our years of invaluable knowledge from working in local, national, and international contexts. We are thrilled to award this prize to DIXI Polytool, and we look forward to seeing them expand within Europe. Our expertise in IoT, AI, smart vision systems, and predictive maintenance and manufacturing will be at their disposal. We eagerly await matching our technologies to DIXI Polytool’s ambitions,” Roustom adds.

“I would also like to congratulate our runners-up, Alamtech, Global ID, GreenWins®, Hatebur, and ITIN + HOCH GmbH, for their innovative digital ideas, and wish them luck in their future endeavors. We will now see how we can support our runners-up so they can bring their ideas to the appropriate partners and funding agencies in Switzerland.” Roustom concludes. Calls to participate in the CSEM’s next Digital Journey award will begin in the summer of 2023. The finalists will be selected in the fall, and the winners will be announced at CSEM’s 8th Business Day.

For more information about DIXI Polytool: https://dixipolytool.ch/

2022 CSEM Digital Journey Award Jury

  • Bahaa Roustom, President of the Jury and Head of Marketing and Business Development, CSEM
  • Silvio Bonaccio, Overall Management of ETH Transfer, ETHZ
  • Nicolas Bürer, Former CEO, Digital Switzerland
  • Ursula Oesterle, Vice President for Innovation, EPFL
  • Raphaël Rollier, Head of Innovation and Product Management, Federal Office of Topography Swisstopo
  • Robert Rudolph, Member of the Executive Board / Head of the Digitalization and Innovation Division, Swissmem
  • Christian Wasserfallen, National Councilor

Winner of CSEM’s Digital Journey Award 2022

Bahaa Roustom, Simon Bournez, Marc Schuler, Alexandre Pauchard From left to right: Bahaa Roustom, Simon Bournez, Marc Schuler, Alexandre Pauchard
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