Industry 4.0 - combined with German production know-how - offers great opportunities for our economy. Due to the flexible production, we can create customization for everyone at a reasonable price and can stand up to Asian mass production.
In a nutshell, industry 4.0 means: Everything gets smarter. Precise preplanning is now replaced by flexible, smarter production. While up to now exactly planned and programmed, which machine takes over which task in a production line, this advance planning is replaced by industry 4.0: Machines communicate directly with each other. For example, the product Auto knows what color it should receive - and can tell the painting machines. It no longer needs to be determined beforehand that a certain number of pieces should now be sprayed in one color. In addition, a single robot can respond to bottlenecks on the assembly line and integrate itself into the production chain and take over tasks without having previously been programmed precisely.
The big opportunity for Germany
There is a great opportunity for Germany in these changes: No one knows as well as we do how to produce successfully worldwide. Creating this knowledge with the digital world creates a lot of potential. The train has not left for Germany yet, but action must now be taken. The German middle class threatens to oversleep this development. With a combination of our production know-how and 4.0 industry, Germany could confidently face mass production from Asia.
Just got really started, this is namely already doomed again. Thanks to the 4.0 industry, the desire for individualization for the masses can be met in the future. Through flexible production, individual products can be offered at reasonable prices. For example, with the implementation of Industrie 4.0, everyone will be able to produce an individualized shoe with an adapted footbed in the next few years. Because in the industry 4.0 it is unimportant for the robot, whether he makes only the same shoes or different.
We can not just be manufacturers
With all the focus on products "Made in Germany", we must not lose sight of Smart Services. For Germany as export world champion there is the danger to degenerate to the mere manufacturer. Cooperations such as those of VW and Google carry the risk that in this case VW will deliver only the body in further development. In the perception of users, the manufacturer but plays less and less a role. Just as it is important for smartphones today, whether you use iOS or Android, it will not matter in cars, who supplies the body. If in doubt, it means that you drive the Google car. The development to enrich products with services, therefore, must not pass us!