Ludwigshafen, 13 June 2017- On 12 and 13 June 2017, Plattform Industrie 4.0 presented its results and recommendations during the Digital Summit in Ludwigshafen. With its the platform is seeking to strengthen Germany’s leading role in the field of Industry 4.0 and expand it in a targeted fashion. In future, new issues are to be addressed in addition to existing topics, SMEs are to be supported through a Transfer Network Industry 4.0 and international cooperation is to be expanded. The main idea remains unchanged: putting human beings first when it comes to implementing Industry 4.0.
Strengthening leading position as number 1 country for Industry 4.0
In Germany, the use of Industry 4.0 is already generating real added value. Turnover in Industry 4.0 solutions is set to increase by 21% to 5.9 billion Euro this year, according to a recent Bitkom study (April 2017). For 2018, the total market for Industry 4.0 is expected to rise by over 22%, to 7.2 billion Euro. In order to further enhance Germany’s leading role in this area, Plattform Industrie 4.0 has put together a ten-point plan, including recommendations for next steps to be taken. In addition, the chairs of the platform’s working groups presented results and recommendations for action during a panel on 12 June. Both issues were then addressed by State Secretary Matthias Machnig (Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs), Ministerial director Matthias Graf von Kielmansegg (Federal Ministry for Education and Research) and representatives from the sectoral associations BITKOM, ZVEI and VDMA in the subsequent discussion round.
They highlighted the need to provide targeted support to meet the needs of SMEs, the necessity of addressing both current and new issues as well as the importance of exchanges with international partners. The latter will be essential when it comes to making headway for instance on topics such as interoperability and open standards. Generally, they agreed, the necessary economic shift can only be successful as an open and integrating process. This is what the successful model of cooperation between all relevant actors within Plattform Industrie 4.0 stands for.
Supporting SMEs according to their needs
New technologies offer new opportunities – and bring with them new responsibilities. A high-level forum brought together representatives from Plattform Industrie 4.0 and the platform on innovative digitalisation in the economy (Plattform Innovative Digitalisierung der Wirtschaft). Participants from politics, corporate management and employee representation discussed what each of the partners could do to contribute to a successful process of digitalisation. The management of Plattform Industrie 4.0, which was represented inter alia by the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Brigitte Zypries, Member of the Executive Board of Telekom Reinhard Clemens, Member of the Executive Board of SAP Bernd Leukert, particularly focused on SMEs since they are fundamental for a successful transformation. The “Transfer Network Industrie 4.0” initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and the Federal Ministry for Education and Research, connects and structures the multitude of diverse Industry 4.0 support options that exist throughout Germany. The Transfer Network is supported by partners from the Bundesländer, associations, chambers of commerce as well as federal research and funding programmes.
Accompanying the transfer of Industry 4.0 to new areas of application
More and more companies from diverse fields of industrial application are successfully deploying digitalised applications. Plattform Industrie 4.0 supports this implementation by providing application examples, demonstrations, practical guidelines and the Industry 4.0 digitalisation knowledge of voluntary participants from its committees. At the Digital Summit, Plattform Industrie 4.0 presented a “Chemistry 4.0” exhibit: the exhibition piece, which was jointly presented by BASF, SAP, Pepperl+Fuchs, SAMSON, Endress+Hauser and the University of Mannheim demonstrated how Industry 4.0 solutions can be applied in the chemical process industry. Through this cooperation, the companies were able to pool their expertise in a targeted way. With the help of smart sensors and through an open and secure data platform, the maintenance requirements of devices are precisely determined. In this way, maintenance work can be planned more efficiently and plant downtime can be reduced. This example is gaining momentum and in future, Plattform Industrie 4.0 will seek to explore the application of Industry 4.0 in various sectors together with its partners.
Statements Plattform Industrie 4.0
Brigitte Zypries, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy:
“Germany is the global leader when it comes to Industry 4.0. We seek to maintain and expand this position. That is what Plattform Industrie 4.0’s ten-point plan stands for. This plan outlines the concrete future steps which are required. Germany is also advancing the international dialogue. Our leading role in this regard is also due to Plattform Industrie 4.0. Its strength lies in cooperation across sectors and between social partners. The combined forces of industry, associations, trade unions, science and politics have prevailed and have produced results which are noted worldwide. We will therefore seek to continue and enhance the platform’s work in a targeted manner.”
Prof. Dr. Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister for Education and Research:
“Industry 4.0 is a reality in Germany – here and now. Research needs to provide new solutions which can quickly be implemented in practice. In this regard, we particularly want to help provide information to SMEs. With this aim, the Federal Ministry for Education and Research and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs will jointly assess SMEs’ needs through the new “Transfer Network Industry 4.0”, which will also present the various means of support offered by Plattform Industrie 4.0 and help to better link up the wide range of initiatives, competence and test centres and other support measures. In this way, we will provide a better overview and easier orientation.”
Bernd Leukert, Member of the Board of SAP SE, responsible for Products & Innovation, and spokesperson for the steering group of Plattform Industrie 4.0:
“Industry 4.0 has long ceased to be a theoretical concept and has become reality – with competitive and economically successful products. The platform is accompanying this development and is supporting companies with its concrete ten-point plan. Plattform Industrie 4.0’s unique concept has turned a convincing idea into a success story of digital industry. Our next steps will be to analyse issues of the future but will also address the developing data economy and will continue to contribute to the societal discussion on digitalisation.”
Reinhard Clemens, Member of the Board of Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Systems, and member of Plattform Industrie 4.0’s management:
“Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things digitalise products and means of production which so far had nothing to do with the Internet – from fever thermometers to complete production plants. This requires trust and security. Defence against cyberattacks necessitates investments in security solutions. Within the context of Plattform Industrie 4.0 we want to effectively protect industry when it comes to networks. Particularly small and medium-sized companies require recommendations and technologies for uncomplicated security solutions.”
Jörg Hofmann, First Chairman of IG Metall and member of Plattform Industrie 4.0’s management:
“In Industry 4.0 we cannot allow human beings to become appendages to machines. Humans have to be at the heart of production. This is what the organisation of work in a digital factory needs to focus on. We need viable concepts for employee qualifications, particularly in small and medium-sized companies. Within Plattform Industrie 4.0, IG Metall is relying on a dialogue between stakeholders and the added value of bringing together social partners.”
Dieter Kempf, President of BDI and member of Plattform Industrie 4.0’s management:
“The possibilities provided by digital transformation both for the economy and for daily life in society, which we have termed Industry 4.0, offer huge opportunities for more productivity, competitiveness and new business models. We need to leverage this potential. The best way of doing so is through an exchange with international partners, for instance on European legal questions and joint IT security concepts. The transfer of knowledge has to be strengthened – particularly across borders. When it comes to digitalisation, politics and industry have to pull together to promote its value for businesses and society.”
Dr. Klaus Mittelbach, Chairman of the Board of ZVEI and member of the Plattform’s strategic circle:
“Industrie 4.0 – Made in Germany is viewed as a quality brand across the globe. It stands out for two reasons: Firstly, the speed with which Germany has been able to organise at the top levels in industrial political terms due to Plattform Industrie 4.0 – this is an example for the entire world. Secondly, the fact that it was possible to implement Industry 4.0 at a practical level better than anywhere else. Many companies of all sizes – small, medium and large – are already working with specific application examples and are preparing their next move: business models based on Smart Data.”
Hartmut Rauen, Vice CEO of VDMA and member of the Plattform’s strategic circle:
“It’s not enough to merely talk about Industry 4.0 solutions. Companies have to be able to test and experience them. Access to support measures has to be simple, solution-oriented and non-bureaucratic. A good place for newcomers to start is the Industry 4.0 Compass provided by Plattform Industrie 4.0. Sector-specific implementation guidelines, factory tours and lab tours are three examples of how we can accompany businesses in the field of engineering. Companies with concrete ideas can try out new technologies in test centres to check their feasibility. The Labs Network Industry 4.0 then provides a bridge to standardisation.
Dr. Bernhard Rohleder, CEO of Bitkom and member of the Plattform’s strategic circle:
“Together with universities, research institutes and industrial businesses, Plattform Industrie 4.0 is working on valuable concepts for Industry 4.0. It’s about technologies, standards and business models across companies and sectors. Being the central network for industrial digital transformation in Germany, Plattform Industrie 4.0 was also very present at the Digital Summit and informed participants about the future of industrial production. The Plattform addressed experts from the field and newcomers to Industry 4.0 in equal measure. The future of Germany as an attractive location for industry can only be ensured and enhanced if all players are involved.”
About Plattform Industrie 4.0
Plattform Industrie 4.0 is the central network to advance digital transformation in production in Germany. In close cooperation with politics, industry, science, associations and trade unions over 300 players from 159 organizations are actively involved in the platform. The platform is one of the largest international and national networks and supports German companies – especially small- and medium-sized companies – in implementing Industry 4.0, particularly by providing practical examples of Industry 4.0 to companies and deploying them on site. In addition, it provides decisive impulses through concrete recommendations for action, as well as information on means of support and test environments. Numerous examples of international cooperation by the platform underscore its leading role in the international discussions on Industry 4.0. For more information, visit