Industry 4.0 - Simply a trend or the new standard?
|Posted by Nancy van Heesewijk on May 20, 2014|
Recently I attended the Belden Industrial Ethernet Infrastructure Design Seminar. This event, which took place in Prague, brought together leading experts who provided insight into the latest Industrial Ethernet developments.
A key speaker was Professor Dr.-Ing. Detlef Zühlke, often referred to as the "father" of the fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0). According to him, Industry 4.0 is a German-made vision for production, which he expects companies in Germany and Europe to embrace step-by-step. But the big challenge for manufacturing is that we need global solutions based on global standards. So Dr. Zühlke’s big question is: “Who will win the race for global standards: Europe, Korea or Brazil?”
All I can add is that Industry 4.0 is not a trend anymore - it is rapidly becoming reality. At this year’s Hannover Fair, I saw the first Industry 4.0 production line, assembled under the umbrella of the cross-manufacturer SmartFactoryKL technology initiative. Of course there are still many more steps to be taken, however, we are by now well on the way to the "smart factory" of the future.
Plenty of questions remain: who will be the ultimate Smart Factory thought leader and which companies will help to set the global standard? For now though, Industry 4.0. remains a very interesting editorial topic with many different angles.