Industry 4.0: Digitalisation in industry
Manufacturing is similar to the industrial sector, with the latter being characterised by machine-based production, division of labour and large-scale production. Due to the traditionally high level of technology and use of machines, digitalisation in manufacturing – often called the forth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 – is already very widespread and is becoming increasingly important in manufacturing.
Manufacturing is witnessing a trend towards increasingly customised products that can be tailored to the customers’ very specific needs. Even small series production is to become affordable and efficient. This requires more flexible production. The integration of computer chips in devices as well as (semi-)autonomous machines that can act without operator intervention (so-called smart factory) as well as the ongoing exchange of smart technologies enable changes even at short notice.
Another trend is the increasing integration of products and services, such as maintenance services for machines. Other new developments in manufacturing include technological advances, such as 3D printers which are becoming increasingly common.
Digitalisation enables manufacturing companies not only to manage production in realtime, but also to use energy and resources more efficiently and to increase their productivity.