How can technology develop industries

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In the factory of Industry 4.0, intelligent machines independently coordinate production processes; Service robots support people in assembly with heavy work, driverless transport vehicles take care of logistics and material flow independently. Networking does not only take place within "intelligent factories", but across company and industry boundaries - between different actors in the economy: from medium-sized logistics companies to specialized technical service providers to creative start-ups.

Produce more flexibly, more individually and more efficiently

The use of digital technologies in industry will result in a multitude of new production processes, business models and products. For example, a production line no longer has to be restricted to one product. This changes the requirements for industrial production. IT support will make it possible to flexibly adapt processing stations to a changing product mix. In doing so, capacities can be optimally utilized. In addition, the automated analysis processes can also show maintenance requirements and failure risks.

Cooperation: So that we can take advantage of the new opportunities

This offers enormous potential for Germany as a location for innovation and business: around 15 million jobs are directly and indirectly dependent on the manufacturing industry. The digitization of industry will not only change value creation processes, it will also create new business models and new perspectives for employees. Intelligent, digital production processes offer great opportunities, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

But: the more industry is digitized and networked, the more interfaces there are and the more data flows. Uniform norms and standards, IT security and data protection therefore play a central role. However, such overarching questions cannot be answered by individual companies or sectors on their own. We can only successfully shape the fourth industrial revolution together if all relevant actors from business, science, politics and society are involved at an early stage and cooperate in partnership.

Central social and political design task

The federal government wants to use the enormous potential of Industry 4.0 for Germany as a business location. Intelligent, digital production processes offer great opportunities, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

Industry 4.0 is a central topic of the federal government's digital agenda. With the two funding programs "Autonomics for Industry 4.0" and "Smart Service Welt", the BMWi is making almost 100 million euros available to advance research and development for important innovations in the field of Industry 4.0.