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Industry 4.0

5 things we can do without in manufacturing by 2025

technical retrofitting Source: Bosch Rexroth

A bit more than ten years ago, manufacturing companies discussed whether the expenses for the internet would ever pay off. Today, any company not using internet technologies intensively, would be cut off from its customers and suppliers. The discussion about whether Industry 4.0 makes sense, is pointless. The integration of production with IT will happen faster than we all can imagine. That is why we have to explore the technological options step by step now, and to implement quickly what is useful. I am sure that this evolutionary procedure will lead to revolutionary business models at a certain stage, as had been the case with the internet around the turn of the millennium.

"In ten years, the world of production will be completely different because of that. "

Many of the technologies and workflows taken for granted today, will only be memories.

Here are five things that will most probably be history in 2025: 

1. Fixed maintenance intervals

Today, fixed maintenance intervals in manufacturing involve the preventative replacement of components – whether necessary or not. In 2025, machines and facilities will report their operating statuses and maintenance needs online at any given time.

2. Printed work instructions

Printed work instructions have to be kept up-to-date in a tedious process. In 2025, 3D holograms will show what steps the associate has to perform on the current work piece. The instructions will take into consideration the language skills and expertise of the associate.

3. Variety of operating devices

Today, manufacturing operators have to know different displays with different user interfaces. In 2025, operators and maintenance technicians will use a single, personalized input device. It will grant them wireless access to any machines for which they are authorized.

4. Technical retrofitting

Today, the technical retrofitting for new products is a huge time and financial effort. In 2025, work pieces will be linked to their virtual image and inform the machines which task is going to be needed. The automated retrofitting for that purpose will be carried out by software modules.

5. Subsequent quality assessments

Quality assessments of finished components and elaborated rework is still quite common today. In 2025, intelligent modules and machines are going to assess and document the quality in process. They will also monitor the process during manual tasks, point out errors to workers and step in correctively.


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Technical retrofitting
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Fixed maintenance intervals
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Subsequent quality assessments
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Printed work instructions
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Variety of operating devices

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  • 13. October 2015 at 17:22

    From the beginning of the article, i was really surprised of what the future holds for us, a little too optimistic if you ask me but at the same time, considering the proven capabilities technology can do and as a person who interacts with it every day, is it possible. The five things mentioned above are quite common when it comes to production today, so in my view it is quite obvious that its bound to upgrade in the coming years. Great insightful article nonetheless.

  • 30. April 2015 at 12:29

    Exciting article and challenging ambition for 2015 although too optimistic in my view. In ten years preventive maintenance, variety of operating devices, technical retrofitting and subsequnet quality assessment still will be very common. Main reasons (lack of) (production) proces knowledge, (lack of) industy standards and an installed base too expensive to upgrade to 4.0 a/o replace. Last but not least, we’re often too optimistic about adaptability to changes of organisations a/o people. Marc Schrijvers, Philips Industry Consulting.

    • 30. April 2015 at 14:57

      I agree: 4.0 is rather an evolutionary process. We will reach the goal in small steps only. I also don’t expect a new industry world at the push of a button in ten years. But it’s a matter of fact, that these are things we can reach with respect to technical requirements. And what we definitely have to optimize, is our way to work together in an interdisciplinary way.

  • 25. April 2015 at 13:18

    Dear Sir,

    Interesting article and insights shared.

    We WiSense Technologies (Bangalore, India) are in the IoT / M2M space offering our own Mesh Network, Hardware and Firmware. We would be happy to discuss and seek your inputs on how we can align to address the future needs highlighted in your article.

    Thank you Sir,
    Best regards,
    Ram Krishnan

    Twitter: Wisense_India
    Mobile: +91 8123 868229

    • 28. April 2015 at 18:49

      Hi Ram, Thanks for your suggestion. I forward it to my colleagues. Anita

  • 11. April 2015 at 7:20

    Dear Sir,
    It was a wonderful article to read and I myself am a mechanical engineer who has worked in Bosch Adugodi plant in Bangalore and currently I am a entrepreneur in Gujarat and a Bosch authorized distributor for power tools in Gujarat.
    I intend to start my own manufacturing plant here in Gujarat.
    Sir is there any way I can visit Bosch Rexroth factory in
    Gujarat and understand automated assembly line costing and efficiency for my factory which I am planning to start.
    Thanking you
    Parvez S Hathi
    Apex Tools Corporation
    Gujarat – India

    • 21. April 2015 at 16:37

      Hi Parvez, one of my colleagues will get in touch with you directly. Anita