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Topics Industry 4.0

The ProduktionNRW competence network, which is run by the VDMA NRW, is the central communication and hub for all relevant players around the lead market. For them, the focus is on the topic of Industry 4.0, among other things. ProduktionNRW has defined five topics that need to be analyzed, discussed and promoted.

Research & Innovation

The results of research – and even more so their rapid and market-oriented implementation in companies – are decisive for the competitiveness of North Rhine-Westphalia as a location in the field of Industry 4.0. Reliable funding instruments in production and ICT research are important here. After all, this can increase acceptance and participation, especially on the part of small and medium-sized enterprises, expand their competencies and open up new access to technology. This enables them to compensate for size-specific disadvantages in the area of research and development.

Organization of production

The starting point is the question of how the company’s own production processes can be designed efficiently and production costs reduced with the help of Industrie 4.0 products. Important starting points for this include data processing in production, machine-to-machine communication, company-wide networking in production, IT structure in production, human-machine interface and efficiency with small batch sizes. 

Business models

Industrie 4.0 offers companies in the mechanical engineering sector in particular a wide range of opportunities to develop new and innovative business areas – from machine suppliers to long-term partners and solution providers. Entrepreneurial questions include: What (monetary) benefits can my company thus derive from Industrie 4.0? What implementation strategies and investments are needed? What do implementation examples or demonstrators look like?

People & Work

Industry 4.0 will significantly change work and its processes. Employees in the factory of the future will be called upon more than ever to coordinate processes, manage communication and make decisions on their own responsibility. The activities will become more demanding from both a technological and organizational perspective, and interdisciplinary skills will become more important. The state, its educational institutions and companies must prepare for these challenges by placing the topic of Industry 4.0 on a broad footing.

Safety & Security

IT security is essential for the acceptance of Industry 4.0. The automated exchange of data between networked production systems must be secure and reliable. The identification of the process actors must be controlled and the know-how of products, machines and plants must be protected. Impacts on legal issues are already apparent today in the environment of Industrie 4.0. For this reason, the further development and reinterpretation of existing law will be a central task in the implementation of Industrie 4.0 in everyday business.