“Is my organization ready for the fourth industrial revolution? That’s the big question that CEOs and plant managers are currently asking themselves,” remarked Dr. Jochen Köckler, Member of the Managing Board at Deutsche Messe. The fourth industrial revolution – aka Industie 4.0 – will bring major change to energy systems and industrial production models. In factories, there will be a shift away from mass production as customers increasingly demand customized products – albeit at the same low prices they currently enjoy for mass-produced goods. And energy grids will need to become smarter so that they can optimally balance and deploy available power, gas and heat capacity from a wide range of sources. The answer to these challenges is the lead theme of Hannover Messe 2015 ‘Integrated Industry - Join the Network!’ – the intelligent digital networking and integration of industrial systems and processes.
Integrated Industry is about enabling machines and workpieces to communicate with one another. This, in turn, will allow entire production lines to autonomously and dynamically re-configure themselves, thereby rendering small-batch and one-off production in large-scale plants commercially viable. “Industry is in the early stages of a revolution known as Industrie 4.0. It’s a phenomenon that has skyrocketed to the top of the agenda in industrial thinking over the past two years. Meanwhile, there is an enormous information vacuum, and most companies still don’t know what they need to do in order to be ready for Industrie 4.0. What they need to do, of course, is form close networks with all stakeholders involved in their production processes.”
The key challenges of the fourth industrial revolution – such as achieving universal standards for machine-to-machine communication, maintaining data security and finding new business models – can be mastered only through collective endeavor in networks. This requires effective dialogue and cooperation between the mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and IT sectors. Visitors to the fair will witness digitally networked production plants, smart grid technologies, ingenious new production processes:
> Collaborative robots with sensor systems so advanced that they can work right alongside their human counterparts without any safety barriers
> IT-based automation solutions that will bring fundamental change to all in-factory processes
> Smart technologies that manage and coordinate power, gas and heat networks so that capacity can be balanced and optimally deployed across the entire energy system
These technologies and themes will be explored in even greater depth in the 1000-plus supporting forums and guided tours on offer at the fair.
German industry ready to announce Industrie 4.0 strategy
At Hannover Messe, the German government and key German industry associations (VDMA, ZVEI and BITKOM) will jointly outline their strategy for achieving integrated production. Köckler: “Germany’s industrial firms have come a long way with their Industrie 4.0 research over the past two years and are now ready to put their findings into practice.” At Hannover Messe on Tuesday, 14 April 2015, Germany’s economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel will outline the nation’s industrial plans and call for cross-border collaboration in the presence of some 250 invited guests from Germany, other parts of Europe, the USA and Asia.
Deutsche Messe AG