Industry 4.0. : The industry is constantly growing and becoming more complex and knowledge intensive. Digitization is increasingly leading to global changes in all areas. Meanwhile the number of upcoming and existing technologies is continuously increasing. The interconnectedness of the Internet along with components and services elongates many areas of everyday professional issues as well as industrial intake, creating the necessity to link real and virtual manufacturing environments. Therefore, the Internet and modern technologies are redefining the manufacturing industry. With increasing complexity, the aim of this merger is the manufacturing of an intelligent production chain, from raw material to the final product as well as education and after sales service. A central organization structure within virtual factories becomes increasingly flexible and decentralized as well as resource-efficient (Smart Factory). This creates a globally interlinked production that defies national borders, factory sites as well as areas of expertise within companies (Global Factory).
"Leading through networking" is the motto of Industry 4.0. The core idea is the computerization of industrial production by the collection of new information and communication technologies within the factory. In professional circles people are already talking about the beginning of the fourth industrial revolution. These technological innovations enable even the smallest quantities being produced just as inexpensively as large numbers with maximum productivity. Furthermore, mass production and the production process are optimized and become more flexible. Additionally, individual customer requirements are better addressed through greater involvement in the production process and simultaneously respond more rapidly to changing market conditions and requirements. The positive effect is the increase in resource productivity and efficiency. Even concerns regarding demographic changes are no longer a concern with this new approach.
In the future of production connectivity of hardware and software will play an even more important role. Only through connectivity with the absolute understanding of different disciplines (information technology, controlled instrumentation, electrical and manufacturing engineering, lean production) can success be achieved. The constant exchange with component manufacturers along with customer’s demand for innovative production solutions and finding novel solutions has been our constant goal. Therefore, the continuation of "Smart Production" within the automation industry is the foundation for which the possibilities and potential applications are brought together.