Press Release ICT
Industrial change blows through Windy City forum
Smart Factory Industry forum in Chicago
Oct 07, 2015
Berlin (gtai) - This Friday in Chicago, a number of industrial leaders will gather for the Smart Factory Industry forum at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, hosted by the German American Chamber of Commerce Midwest (GACC), Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) and Hannover Messe.
The event comprises several keynote speeches and two panel discussions, the first focussing on the meaning of digitalization for the manufacturing world, the second looking at some practical examples and featuring German companies Siemens and Wittenstein.
With next year's globally-renowned Hannover Messe trade fair featuring the strapline 'Are you ready for the 4th industrial revolution', it is clear that the digitalization of manufacturing processes and the integrated intelligence of manufacturing machines is both advancing and pushing further forward into global business consciousness.
The effects are many and varied. New experimental - often cross-border - business models are springing up as factories become smarter and better integrated even over distances. This also creates new strategies and new aspects of competitive positioning, while even new fields of business are born as service gaps are spotted and remedied.
Germany's position is multi-faceted: their version of digitalizing industry, known as Industrie 4.0 is the subject of a number of pioneering government initiatives, such as the recent start of five Mittelstand 4.0 Competence Centres and the Industrie 4.0 Platform (adding heavy research elements to the German national IT summit in November), along with a Fraunhofer Institute project entitled Industrial Data Space, targeted at tackling problems created by big data on an international level.
But while Germany is active on an R&D level as a result of these publicly-funded initiatives, it is also actively seeking investment and participation from abroad, where the Mittelstand companies, Germany's huge number of SMEs, present rich pickings for companies looking for specific solutions and research projects in this field.
The importance of this investment to Germany and its cross-pollinating effect on this crucial global business concept will be underlined by the forum's opening speech from GTAI CEO Dr. Benno Bunse. GTAI is the first port of call for foreign investors looking to set up in Germany, while many of Germany's federal states will also have representatives present.
"It is difficult to stress enough the significance that a successful shift to Industrie 4.0 might have on Germany and the manufacturing world," said Dr. Bunse.
"As leaders in the research field and as a renowned manufacturing location, blessed with a SME landscape that is as flexible as it is knowledgeable, Germany is in a healthy position to lead this shift, but it is equally important that we are able to attract investment and know-how from other leading countries in this field to help the fourth industrial revolution gather pace."
The Smart Factory Industry Forum will be at the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, 1415 N. Cherry Ave, Chicago, IL, from 1pm to 5pm local time on Friday October 9.