Johannes Kalhoff, head of the working group „technology and application scenarios“ Enlarge

Johannes Kalhoff, head of the working group „technology and application scenarios“

© BMWi / Michael Reitz

Challenge and mission: Making the future tangible

Industrie 4.0 stands for constant change. Technologies and topics continue to evolve, new trends emerge. Anyone who oversleeps a new development quickly lags behind. Therefore, changes must continually be monitored and evaluated.

The Working Group on „Technology and Application Scenarios“ takes a look into the future for Plattform Industrie 4.0. It develops scenarios that make abstract terms and big ideas tangible. It explores new topics in dialogue with external communities and rates them with regard to their relevance for the work of the platform.

Outcome 1: Application and scenarios bring the Industrie 4.0 vision to life

This working group has developed ten application scenarios. The application scenarios describe the German industry’s vision of its digital future. Each scenario shows one way in which digital networking can be used profitably in industry in the future. At the same time, the working group uses scenarios to point towards central challenges for standards, research, security, law and employment. They are thus an important source of inspiration for companies that want to implement their own digitalisation projects. In addition, the scenarios set a common framework for the working groups of Plattform Industrie 4.0. Two examples of application scenarios are:

  • Value-Based Services (VBS): At the core of this application scenario are IT platforms that collect and analyse data from the production and use of products. With the help of the data, novel services can be offered – such as optimising system maintenance based on sensor data.

  • Order-driven production (AGP, in German): This scenario describes a manufacturing facility where flexible equipment can produce individualised products and network with each other across factory boundaries. The consumer can, for example, have shoes made that are ergonomically adapted to them and are made in their favourite color. The producer can rent out her or his production capacity to other producers in times of low demand.

Outcome 2: From pieces of the mosaic to the overall picture

In the publication "Application scenario in practice", the Plattform Industrie 4.0 for the first time combines the aspects of Industrie 4.0 covered by the working groups into a comprehensive overall picture. On the basis of the scenario "order-driven production (AGP)", it shows how the different areas of standards, research, law, security as well as employment and qualification interact. At the same time, it illustrates the impact of these aspects on business practices, especially for SMEs. The bicycle handlebar takes central stage as a key example, which is individually and automatically produced for an e-bike.

Objectives: Think ahead and connect topics

This working group is on the lookout for the platform: in dialogue with external communities, it explores new topics and identifies relevant technological and economic trends. New technology and application scenarios are created. With these results and constant exchange of ideas, the experts in this working group provide new input to other working groups and ensure their horizontal networking. Cross-cutting issues are coordinated by this working group.

The Initiativ Digital Standards (IDiS) is a network group for the digital transformation of standardisation and norms. It was started by DKE and DIN. The initiative gives German industry, SMEs and standards users the opportunity to actively participate in the latest international developments on the digital standard. The goal: to transfer the consistently automatable use of standardisation content (e.g. requirements from standards) into the development and operation of products and production systems (e.g. engineering requirement management systems). In addition, results from the this application should be fed back into the process. The IDiS working group "Vision and Roadmap" aims to work out the challenges and possibilities of digital standards and to share them with a broad public.

Application scenarios are created in cooperation with the working group on „Technology and Application Scenarios“ of the Platform Indistrie 4.0. These describe the benefits of digitally created and available standards in industrial engineering and their use in production systems and value chains with the mechanisms of Industrie 4.0.

Work structures: A team with outposts

This working group is comprised of 30 members, who usually meet four times a year. Between meetings, conferences calls and web conferences structure further exchange.