Shaping the Digital World
Digitalisation is gaining speed. After the steam engine, electrification and automation comes Industry 4.0 – production technology, automation and the Internet are all merging.
The expression “Industry 4.0” was coined in Germany. Many attribute the invention of the expression to the informatics professor Wolfgang Wahlster. Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution, driven by the development of IT and the Internet.
Industry 4.0 is not only considerably increasing productivity and efficiency but also provides an opportunity to manufacture individual products with the aid of automation. Under these conditions, even individual units can be manufactured as efficiently as a mass produced article. A Rolls Royce for the price of a Fiat 500? This example might be an exaggeration but shows the direction in which we are travelling. The Siemens factory in Amberg already referred to is considered a shining example of a new way of producing. And Phoenix Contact uses intelligent production in order, for example, to manufacture the many versions of the I/O system Axioline more efficiently.
Nevertheless: even these technically and intellectually ambitious examples are only the beginning. Because Industry 4.0 goes beyond the product, production and the factory and ultimately embraces the whole network of added value. This also includes for example the electrical wholesale sector. By now at the latest it should be clear that a comprehensive exchange of data is involved – and with it data standards.