The economy is on the threshold of the fourth industrial revolution. Driven by the internet, the real and virtual worlds are growing together into an internet of things. With the future project Industry 4.0, the Federal Government wants to support this process. The future project Industry 4.0 aims to enable German industry to be ready for the future of production. It is characterised by a strong individualisation of products under the conditions of highly flexible (large-scale) production. Customers and business partners are directly involved in business and value creation processes.
Production is combined with high-quality services. With more intelligent monitoring and decision-making processes, companies and entire value creation networks should be able to be controlled and optimised in near real time. German industry now has the chance to actively shape the fourth industrial revolution. In the process, new types of business models and considerable optimisation potential in production and logistics can be developed.
Internationally, Industry 4.0 today stands for the digitalisation of industry. The term “Industry 4.0” is intended to express the fourth industrial revolution. The first industrial revolution was mechanisation with water and steam power, followed by the second industrial revolution: Mass production using assembly lines and electrical power, followed by the Digital Revolution, the use of electronics and IT to further automate production became common.
Yet Industry 4.0 only came into being in 2011 as a future project within the framework of the High-Tech Strategy. In 2013, Acatech – the German Academy of Science and Engineering – presented a research agenda and implementation recommendations that were developed at the instigation of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). This built on the “National Roadmap Embedded Systems”. The Federal Government took up suggestions from this group of experts in advance and has since been implementing the Industry 4.0 research agenda.
You can find more information on the Internet on the pages of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (www.bmbf.de)