Industry 4.0 – a commentary

Volpert Briel, Weidmüller’s Sales and Marketing Director, discussing the status and prospects of German industry’s commitment to Industry 4.0

“The fourth industrial revolution has continued to progress. In the beginning, critics were saying that it was simply a flash in the pan, but now they have to admit that it’s here to stay. This is a fortunate occurrence because, despite all the scepticism, Industry 4.0 offers Germany as a business location more opportunities than risks. But these opportunities also have to be exploited. Now – and with specific measures.

Defending a prime position

Other countries and markets have long been aware of the topic, too. With some massive promotional programmes they are attempting to regain ground and catch up with Germany. At a European level, and as a part of the Horizon 2020 initiative, the ECSEL programme is meant to help European industrial firms maintain their leadership in – amongst others – the embedded systems segment.

While it is certainly a correct and praiseworthy step, it also represents no more than a milestone in the context of the overall marathon. As regards technological development for implementing Industry 4.0 applications, Germany is now holding prime position worldwide, which needs to be defended.

Industry 4.0 must now be turned into reality
Volpert Briel, Sales and Marketing Director
We now have to implement our research findings in time, not least to prove how seriously we are committed to this field. On a technical level, German industry has laid the foundations. Components and solutions are available. The sector is carrying out research and development on a daily basis. All the trade fairs that focus exclusively on industry or automation now address Industry 4.0 as a key element of their conceptual design.
Industry 4.0 is on everybody’s minds; the minds of researchers, developers, the media and even politicians. The goal must now be to turn Industry 4.0 into reality. We will certainly see the first endeavours at SPS IPC Drives.”

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Published in November 2013