Apr 07, 2014
Industrial technologies develop and converge
Hannover Expo 2014
Berlin/Hannover (gtai) - There were two significant trade fairs in North America over the past fortnight, Globe, an environmental conference, in Vancouver and Interop, an IT expo in Las Vegas.
Unrelated trade fair themes, but primary details in both showed how the world is starting to converge on smart technology. Environmentalists, utility service providers and city planners alike are looking to smart, interlinked computers and systems to help distribute green energy, while the IT industry continues to develop cloud computing and the Internet of Things in order to change the way the industrialised world produces its products and governs its production processes. Both industries - and others - are looking to the large-scale integration of devices and processes to move them forward and create efficiencies.
Germany's concept for this 'fundamental interconnectedness of all things' industrial concept is known as Industrie 4.0. At the forthcoming Hannover Expo, Germany Trade & Invest, Germany's federal foreign direct investment promotion agency, will be hosting a moderated podium discussion on integrated industry, where renowned national and international experts from the worlds of industry and R&D will discuss the importance of Industrie 4.0 for the future of production and Germany's leading role in this field.
"We are delighted to be hosting this panel event," said Oliver Seiler, Director of MET at Germany Trade & Invest. "We are looking forward to a fruitful exchange on the future direction of integrated industry and smart manufacturing, and are particularly fortunate to be able to offer an international perspective on Industrie 4.0 as well as being able to display the progress Germany has made."
There will be a half dozen of industry leaders participating, including USA National Association of Manufacturors President Jay Timmons, while four Germany Trade & Invest industry experts, both from Service Industries and from Machinery & Equipment technology will be a part of the specialist group available following the panel discussion to discuss the advantages and advances Germany currently displays in the integrated industry field.
There is little doubt that the 'smartening' process of industry and manufacturing is going to change the face of global industry forever. At Interop, a presentation from Aluminium miners and processors Rio Tinto Alcan showed how they were planning on integrating and 'smarting up' their processes. The stated business case included the notable example of how intelligent, connected machines would create efficiencies in maintenance alone, changing a normal run-to-fill maintenance schedule to make it precautionary rather than reactionary by dint of the smart, connected machine predicting its own mechanical failures. Individual industry savings just on this point would run to tens of billions.
"The concept is known as Industrie 4.0, as it is regarded as a 'fourth industrial revolution', a change which will have a positive disruptive impact on the way we manufacture and do business," continued Seiler. "We are looking forward to showing the world how business and industry can be altered."
As stated in the German federal government's "High-Tech Strategy", Germany has set itself the goal to be a leading provider and market in the field of integrated production in an Industrie 4.0 scenario by 2020. This panel discussion will highlight the advantages of Germany as a business location compared to other countries based on factors such as regulatory framework, investment incentives, and an innovative SME environment. It will also address the necessary requirements (e.g. standardization and reference architecture) for transforming the vision of Industry 4.0 into reality.