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EDITORIAL Don’t miss international connection Dear readers, Industrial automation in the production sector has been making a continuous, especially due to the emerging technologies and digitalization of the factories. The same applies to the development of robotics in production sector. According to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), the global average number of robots in the production area has increased from 66 units per 10,000 employees in 2015 to 74 in 2017. In the recent years, Asia has been the leader for robot installations, especially in China, South Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan. For this reason, Siemens – German technology conglomerate – has set up one of its global research and development centers in China last year. This is where experts from all around the world intend to drive “The most dynamic development of the robotics sector is taking place in China.” the development of new robotic systems, the co-operation between humans and machines, and the integration of artificial intelligence in controllers. Companies, such as Phoenix, Kuka, Igus, and Balluff, that aim to be a driving force in the automation, robotics andIndustry 4.0 technologies have been active in China for years. Along with the large corporations, small yet specialist suppliers of tracking and control systems, intelligent sensors, and process design solutions are also well established. The next challenge for these companies will be to ensure that the designs of existing systems and machines are suitable for Industry 4.0. In this issue, we will be focusing on South-East China, a region where modern technology is one of pillars of industrial development. The IAMD Shenzhen trade fair (June 27 to 29, 2018) is one of the most influential industry barometers in Southern China and showcases a portfolio of innovative solutions for sectors including production automation, communication systems and the Industrial Internet of Things. Let yourself be inspired by the fascinating developments in China and inform yourself about industrial and economic trends and developments. We hope you enjoy reading this issue. Nicole Steinicke Deputy-editor-in-chief