For the past couple of months, Industry 4.0 has been THE topic in the manufacturing world. Magazines are filled with articles about the possibilities of connected production lines and machines, and conferences dedicate their entire program to the topic. Industry 4.0 is certainly the current megatrend in the manufacturing space. So it is no surprise that the Hannover Messe, the world’s largest industrial fair, is picking up on this trend. Using the motto “Integrated Industry – NEXT STEPS,” the Hannover Messe is expanding upon this idea and presenting the next steps towards intelligent, self-organized factories.

Industry 4.0 at a tipping point?

Although the term Industry 4.0 is still new, it looks as if we have already reached the tipping point. The topic has spilled out into all reaches of manufacturing and is becoming the buzzword for many important players on the scene. Only about two years after it was first mentioned by industry experts, manufacturing and IT companies have already developed new technologies and solutions to increase the flexibility of the production process in order to efficiently adapt to changing market conditions. The beginning of many Industry 4.0 projects have been announced recently and companies like Bosch are using Industry 4.0 technology in their own plants more and more.

From concept to reality

Having attended the Hannover Messe last year, I feel like I have experienced firsthand the beginning of the rise of this trend. A year ago, however, it was mostly concepts and ideas companies were talking about rather than developed solutions. This year, companies seem to have more concrete plans to realize their concepts and ideas from last year. If you were following the press surrounding the show like me, you may have recognized that a good amount of companies announced that they will be presenting their new technologies and solutions for Industry 4.0. It is hard to tell beforehand what will be presented, but it all looks very promising.

Next steps

If we look again at the motto of this year’s event, I am even more interested in learning about what those “NEXT STEPS” will be. I am curious to see what companies have put together to solve the challenges we are facing today when implementing Industry 4.0 technology. So far, the technologies from the different suppliers and users are usually not compatible, meaning they don’t speak the same language. Therefore, standards need to be defined. I would also like to see which steps companies made to further enable factories to be more intelligent and flexible. Lastly, it will be interesting to learn about the new business models and applications companies are working on.

From April 7-11, we will be able to see for ourselves, whether Industry 4.0 is still only hype or if it has become a reality. For everyone who doesn’t want to miss any of the Industry 4.0 highlights at the Hannover Messe, there will be guided tours free of charge.

Let’s get together

Hannover Messe 2014If you are curious to learn how Bosch Software Innovations is helping shape the future of manufacturing, then drop by at our booth. You’ll find me in hall 7 booth C04. Register here for a personal meeting.

Stay tuned for more updates from this year’s Hannover Messe.

About The Author

Alexandra Enderle

I studied international management at a technical college in Karlsruhe, Germany. After graduating, I worked in online marketing for an international e-business company in the B2B sector. I am currently working as a marketing technology consultant for Bosch Software Innovations with a focus on predictive maintenance, Industry 4.0 and other manufacturing oriented Internet of Things topics.

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