Industry 4.0

The 4th Industrial Revolution

You hear it constantly in the news: the Internet of things, man-machine communication, smart factories, intelligent automation, cyberphysical systems and the industry 4.0 of the future. What all sounds like the distant music of the future, or even like science fiction, is in fact already a reality.

Quelle: BMBF – Umsetzungsempfehlungen für das Zukunftsprojekt Industrie 4.0, 2013

Horizontal integration refers to the integration of the various IT systems and process steps involved in production and corporate planning, both within a company (e.g. logistics, production, marketing) as well as across multiple companies (value added networks), with the aim of implementing an integrated solution.

Vertical integration means the integration of different operational IT systems with downstream systems such as management information systems.

After the Industrial Revolution passed through mechanisation and electrification to arrive at computerisation, the onset of the Internet of Things and Services into business marks a fourth industrial revolution.

Integration of Industry 4.0

A cross-linking of the economic worlds of people, machines, objects, and software systems is made possible for the first time, such as never before – with real significance to industry. This development affects not only production and storage processes, but equally impacts digital workflows and business processes across the entire company. Such rapidly increasing interconnectedness replaces manual processes and requires strong, reliable and secure integration. The integration of the value chain is a key driver of Industry 4.0. A distinction is made between horizontal and vertical integration – see the info box on the right.

These new realities open up many new opportunities and enormous potentials for companies.

Benefits of Industry 4.0

With Industry 4.0, you can customise workflows and business processes more efficiently and thus economise on key resources. Employees can thus focus on value-added activities.

With automated workflows and processes, previously locked-down resources and capacities are set free. These new capacities can be reinvested, thus increasing competitiveness.

When workflows and processes are automated, quality is increased. Automated workflows and processes are planned in detail, going on to be implemented and tested extensively before deployment. This means that 100% quality can be achieved.

How to realise the benefits of Industry 4.0?

We can help you realising the benefits of Industry 4.0 with our intelligent automation solutions. Read more about our solutions here.