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MDA Technologies 3/2014

MDA Technologies 3/2014

news and markets Have we

news and markets Have we reached the Fourth Industrial Revolution? Dirk Schaar Digitalization is changing our world. The Internet increasingly characterizes the producing industry. “Industry 4.0” will turn today’s production logic upsidedown. Is the industry ready for this megatrend, though? Author: Dirk Schaar, editor-in-chief, MDA Technologies From the steam engine to the networked world – this could be the summary for the industry development of the last 250 years and more. There is much more than that going on in this time, which is full of discoveries and developments made by engineers around the globe, however. After the steam engine, paving the way for mass production, use of electricity and creation of the computer followed. At the moment, we have already reached the fourth industrial revolution. In future machines and products will be able to coordinate and organize their work without needing people or central computers as coordinators. Industry 4.0 represents the reorganization and linked control of value-added networks. Specifically, this is about integrated alignment with individual customer wishes, use of real-time data and inclusion of the environmental balance sheet in the production process. The basis for this is real-time assessment of many previously unlinked data – i.e. Big Data – created from the connection of all instances involved in value generation. In the orientation phase Since introduction of the term of “Industry 4.0” and founding of a future project of the German government at Hanover Trade Fair 01 Modern information and communication technologies promise increased productivity, quality and flexibility 02 Smart concepts are as important as technology 03 Smart drive technology is necessary for the Fourth Industrial Revolution 14 MDA Technologies 3/2014

NEW in the USA Your Partner for coolers and systems 2013, more and more engineers and automation specialists are discussing this apparently highly important step in industrial history. Once again, about 5,000 exhibitors came to Hanover this year, to present their solutions for the smart factory of tomorrow under the leading topic of “Integrated Industry – next steps”. Has the idea of the fourth industrial revolution reached the industry already, then? Or does industry 4.0 continue as an empty word only good for the marketing officers? “The companies are still getting their bearings where industry 4.0 is concerned.” This is the conclusion of a study after questioning managers from engineering and plant construction, as well as component producers, on the subject. At the moment, the meaning of industry 4.0 is considered moderate. In the next five years, however, the relevance would increase to high or very high. At the moment, only 25% of the component producers stated that they had industry 4.0 on their agendas. Among the engineering companies, they were 50%. Putting concepts into practice Modern information and communication technologies such as cyber-physical systems, big data and cloud computing promise the producing industry increased productivity, quality and flexibility. Now we need to show how the concepts can be put into practice and what practical applications secure competitive benefits for companies around the world. To remain competitive, industry companies must produce in a resource-efficient manner, react to market fluctuations quickly and at the same time meet the increasing demand in individual products. Flexibility and efficiency will be the essential criteria for success to prevail in international competition in the future. Drives move the future Once, it was drive technology that paved the way towards the automated industry with We wanted to know if the industry is ready for this megatrend and had a look around the Hanover Trade Fair 2014. Experts answer questions in the video. Video the steam engine. Drives will play an important role in the next step as well. New technologies continue to heed high-quality and efficient components and power modules. “Drive technology plays a central role in this context – it is a “driver” in the literal sense for smart production of the future. Drive technology is changing even more into a provider of solutions for the customer,” says Hartmut Rauen, member of the main management in the Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V. in Frankfurt (Germany). Specifically, e.g. a drive will monitor its own condition with sensors, while also including data from the process, assessing them and passing them on to other systems, while reacting independently to external influences and working in the most efficient manner in the overall process. “Smart drive technology, mechatronically upgraded and equipped with its own digital intelligence, permits multi-adaptive factories with extremely short re-equipment times and highest flexibility for high-mix and low-volume production via M2M-communication. Without smart drives, a service-oriented factory architecture cannot be implemented,” Prof. Dr. Wahlster, chairman of the board of the Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern (Germany), agrees. A long road The way to the new form of production, however, is gradual. Industry 4.0 isn’t appearing with a loud boom. It is a process. A lack of standards is still impairing communication, and most companies are still in the orientation phase. “Of course, industry 4.0 is a keyword at the moment. No company in automation – not here in Germany and not in China or the USA, can avoid thinking about it, though. However, many companies seem to be surprised that this IT trend is now gaining such a concrete form,” explains Ralf-Michael Franke, CEO Drive Technologies at Siemens. The economic potential of industry 4.0 is high in any case. According to a study, the gross value generation in Germany alone is to increase by about 267 Bn Euro by 2025. The benefits of industry 4.0 will not unfold revolutionarily immediately even after the Hanover Trade Fair, but be an industry evolution over the course of the next few years. The vision is turning into reality. The future is beginning now – not only in Germany. The industry will profit around the world. HYBRID COOLING Standard and individual designs FAIL SAFE COOLING Double wall - 100% electronic control Oil-Air COOLING Mobile and industrial applications Universal Hydraulik USA, Corp. Fort Meigs Business Center 25651 Fort Meigs Road Perrysburg, OH 43551 Cell: 419215 18 34 MDA Technologies 3/2014 15


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