Industry 4.0: Where Are We Now?

Industry 4.0: Where Are We Now?

Industry 4.0, the vision of tomorrow’s industry initially evoked at the 2011 Hannover Messe, is now producing real solutions. According to experts, 27% of European executives claim they are already implementing Industry 4.0 solutions. Which are they?

ABB designed sensors that makes motors smarter, explains Thomas Schmidt, product manager.

What’s interesting is that it’s really small. And for a small amount of money, you can get basic operational data like temperature, magnetic field and vibrations. The data is sent quickly and wirelessly via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. That helps maintenance teams react quickly and prevent outages. You just plug it in to start gathering data. There’s no cabling and you don’t have to integrate it into your control system. It’s very simple to get your “dumb” motors data up into the cloud for analysis.

Thomas Donato, President Europe, ME, Africa at Rockwell, says that focus is on the connected enterprise.

What we’re seeing here is TeamOne, a collaborative platform where engineers in the field or at a manufacturing site, workers and operators can communicate and receive meaningful information about the status of their technology. This can reduce facility downtime significantly.

For Siemens, digitization is the key word. David Petry, from the public relations, gives an example with machine building.

Machine building has changed a lot over the last few years. It’s not just mechanics anymore. It’s automation software and electronics, and, of course, mechanics. With MCD—Mechatronics Computer Design—we’re offering a platform where you can model a real machine in a virtual environment. You can test the model with our virtual controller to ensure that the machine works the way it should before you build it.

All our interviewees agree—Industry 4.0 solutions have already proven their efficiency. Rockwell claims productivity gains of 45%. For Siemens, digitization cuts product development time by 30%.


This video was filmed by Simon Roloff.

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