Industry 4.0 – what it means to us

In Industry 4.0, development and production processes become more flexible, more efficient and more customer-specific. Product development, production, logistics and customers are intermeshed with the help of the latest intelligent information and communication technology.

The driving force behind Industry 4.0 is the rapidly-increasing digitalisation of the economy and society. The technical basis for this comprises intelligent, digitally-networked systems that can be used to achieve the greatest possible degree of self-organised production: people, machinery, plants, logistics and products communicate and cooperate with one another. Flexibility and one-off production are the main aims of Industry 4.0, enabling companies to achieve resource efficient and ergonomic production, with dynamic integration of their customers and business partners into the value chain. The technological basis for this vision is the Internet of Things. It links cyber-physical systems, i.e, intelligent objects with embedded hardware and software, in a global network. The phenomenon is set to become increasingly important for industrial production in the coming years. The world of factory automation, which is largely based on electrical engineering and hierarchical structures, will metamorphose into smart factory networks, in which production plants can communicate with one another.

This represents a turning point that offers enormous opportunities and at the same time confronts the sector with enormous challenges. It is only with consistent, interdisciplinary collaboration of all involved participants from industrial machinery, electrical engineering, automation and information technology that uniform, ground-breaking standards can be created and the future can be shaped. Component, system and solution providers must all change the way they think. In the course of Industry 4.0, the demands on cable and connection technology will also change. The Lapp Group is ready, and is already actively helping to shape the fourth industrial revolution.