Océ embraces complexity

ESI symposium 2017. Managing Complexity, October 3rd 2017

Paul Hilkens: Océ embraces complexity

As high-tech systems almost equal complexity, Océ has decided to embrace this complexity as a way to master it. Two approaches stand out: to apply modeling to quantify uncertainty as much as possible and as a way to move towards virtual prototyping. The second aspect is to create as flat an R&D hierarchy as possible to create maximum flexibility and to make the most of each individual's contribution in development.

Paul Hilkens

Océ doesn't produce your average desktop ink-jet printer. The VarioPrint i300, for instance, can print 25,000 brochures per day. It is one of Océ's weapons of choice to conquer a growing share of the worldwide 909 billion dollars worth printing market and to raise the share of digital printing from 14% of that market in 2015 to 18% in 2019.
As with other OEMs such as ASML, Philips Medical or Thermo Fisher/FEI, also for Océ goes that complexity is the very definition of its high-tech systems. Complexity is defined by a multitude of known factors and a fair number of known and as yet unknown unknown factors. What further contributes to complexity is an end product meant for a fast developing market and a situation with confusing or conflicting facts and observations. Complexity stands for ambiguity and uncertainty. One thing is sure, says Hilkens: “Just like in politics, complexity cannot be solved by simplicity.”

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Link to symposium 2017