This is a worthwhile article to read on Germany developing Industry 4.0 in which is a collective term for technologies and concepts of value chain organization. Based on the technological concepts of cyber-physical systems, the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services, it facilitates the vision of the Smart Factory. What I find interesting about this article are the last references to China with Germany suggesting that with Industry 4.0 the world doesn’t need China’s cheap labor. That is a significant statement. The term “Industrie 4.0” refers to the fourth industrial revolution. It originates from a project in the high-tech strategy of the German government, which promotes the computerization of manufacturing. Large scale mass manufacturing but so efficient through computerization each product coming off the assembly line can be a unique specialized product.
The Internet of Things, Big Data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are changing how we live. Germany has now adopted a development strategy embracing those trends that it hopes will lead a revolution in how things are made.
When the world’s most influential automation show – SPC IPC Drives – was held in Nuremberg, Germany, in late November 2014, it felt more like a hardware show than a high-tech fest, with electrical cables, fasteners and nuts in evidence everywhere.
But what most caught visitors’ eyes was a metal octopus that along with its exhibit embodied Germany’s development plans for the next 20 years.
Much like rows of assembly lines, a cluster of factories or a string of supply chains, these robotic octopi can be linked together and with a central nerve center to be able to sense each other, communicate and make decisions together and work in unison.
Following an emphasis on hidden champions, this is Germany’s new development approach. It has mobilized the private and public sectors and academia and fully invested the country’s economic might in this new vision – to redefine the manufacturing sector and take charge of its future direction by becoming “the factory of the world’s factories.”
Germany’s “octopus” plan has a formal name – Industry 4.0. Its objective is smart and fully networked manufacturing.
Go to the Asia Today to read the entire article.