Grammer Serbia says it is “logical” there is some resistance to new ways of organising supplier factories, but maintains the plethora of technology available to manufacturers is already becoming more prevalent in plants.

Addressing last week’s Central and Eastern European Automotive Forum in Prague, Grammer Serbia general manager, Pierluigi Ghione noted the increasing adoption and refinement of Industry 4.0 techniques, which were already evident in the Czech Republic capital.

“Will machines talk to each other?” said Ghione. “Even here in Prague, about every four hours I get the pulse of the plant on my telephone. I am looking to integrate IT more into operation [s], before it was part of service [s].

“Industry 4.0 is a reality now. It is a matter of attitude and willingness – it is logical there is resistance. Is the system we still have matching our needs?

“We discuss 4.0 and the functions get more and more mixed. Grammer is ‘on the move’ – this is our motto for this year.”

Grammer has two plants in Serbia – a country Ghione insists is highly focused on the automotive sector and receptive to offering incentive deals – with the company cutting 1.3m square metres of metal last year.

“Serbia is an automotive country – it is relatively small with 7m inhabitants but look at the amount of [auto] footprint which is active there,” he added.

“There is a good package of incentives – the infrastructure and political system allow [for] that.”

Earlier this year, Grammer closed its Dolni Kralovice plant in the Czech Republic following the relocation of all production lines to other sites as planned. The Dolni Kralovice site was built at the beginning of 1997 and was acquired by Grammer in 1999 for the assembly of headrests, armrests and side cushions for German premium automotive OEMs.

The decision was part of Grammer’s Footprint East programme for optimising and expanding production capacities in Eastern Europe in response to growth.

With the project, plants in Zatec and Ceska Lipa were built and expanded at the same time as the closure of the Dolni facility.

Grammer manufactures interior components and seating systems for the European automotive and commercial vehicle market.