Various studies estimate the forecast value creation potential of Industrie 4.0 for the next five years between 100 and 150 billion euros – for the German economy alone. Agility as a strategic success factor of a company is fundamental for this. In this context, agility means being able to make changes in a company in real time. This enables companies to significantly shorten the time required to react to an unforeseen event and drastically reduce the associated loss of value or loss of productivity.

Technological Elements of Industrie 4.0

Real-time capabilities

Real-time capability means that an event is responded to within a precisely defined maximum time span – this time span is called latency. If this event is to deliver a result within a defined time span, the system must be dimensioned accordingly.

Systems Integration

The integration of systems goes beyond the linking and synchronization of applications and serves to identify and implement the right interfaces. In this way, not only existing system landscapes, but also additional systems and third-party providers are integrated and unproductive isolated solutions are avoided.

In general, Big Data allows you to analyze very large amounts of data from different sources. It can be subdivided into different areas: data retrieval from different sources through search queries, optimization and evaluation of the data obtained as well as analysis of the data and presentation of the results.

A possible goal is the optimal use of resources with the help of intelligent buildings and automated production facilities or the establishment of new production models up to the Smart Factory. In the Smart Factory, intelligent products can be clearly identified and localized at any time. They know their history, their current status and alternative ways to the target status. Industrial production is to be fully automated, decentralized and self-controlling up to batch size 1.  Not only the technological innovation, but also the synchronization of the entire organizational structure and the training of the personnel has a decisive influence on the success of your company.

Machine Learning und AI

Machine learning enables predictions to be made based on large amounts of data. The field of artificial intelligence is based on pattern recognition and has the ability to independently generate knowledge from experience. The technology is thus used in industrial processes.

Artificial intelligence is no longer a vision of the future. Large data centers and enormous storage capacities today make what was believed to be far away for years possible. The sub-disciplines Machine Learning and Deep Learning use the possibilities of Big Data to optimize processes, find new solutions and gain insights.

Decision support system

A Decision Support System (DSS) is an interactive computer-aided application system that supports professional and managers with models, methods and problem-related data in their planning and decision-making processes. Effective support in the planning and decision-making process (decision support) is intended to optimize the quality of decision-making.

Automatic decision making

Automated decision making, also called profiling, is the analysis of your production or processes to make predictions even when no decisions are made. In the platform business, profiling is used to collect data from customers to provide tailored solutions to problems.

Vertical and horizontal integration of processes and systems

With vertical integration, networking takes place within the company from the production level to the field level, with the IT systems communicating with each other at all levels.

Horizontal integration links production sites and promotes the exchange of information throughout the entire value chain. There is intelligent system communication in the areas of demand, production and logistics and the integration of the customer into the processes.

Cyber physical systems

The cyber physical systems enable the continuous exchange of information between the systems, machines and individual pieces. It allows the decentralization of the process control. All components of the production plant, even materials or workpieces, are equipped with sensors/actuators/computers and communication technology and connected via the Internet. A CPS consists of three logical levels: a service system to which intelligence is allocated and to which the actual logical networking takes place. A level in which mainly process data is stored about states and a level in which physical objects such as production plants, machines and products are connected.