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Industry 4.0


Industry 4.0 describes the fourth industrial revolution, which is characterized by the digitization and networking of production processes. It integrates modern information and communication technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cyber-physical systems (CPS) and artificial intelligence (AI), to enable intelligent and flexible production.


The term “Industry 4.0” was first presented at the Hannover Messe in 2011 and has played a central role in the discussion about the future of production ever since. It relates to a profound transformation of industrial value chains and business models through digital technologies. The first three industrial revolutions were characterized by mechanization, electrification and automation.

Areas of application

Industry 4.0 is used in numerous areas of the manufacturing industry, including the automotive industry, mechanical engineering, chemical industry and electronics. By networking machines, systems and products, companies can optimize their production processes, increase efficiency and increase flexibility. One example of the application is the use of a self-service portal, which can be used to monitor machine states in real time and proactively plan maintenance work.


The main benefits of Industry 4.0 lie in the increased efficiency, flexibility and productivity of production processes. Companies can make more accurate predictions by using data analytics and AI, which improves production quality and reduces costs. Individualized mass production (mass customization) makes it possible to produce tailor-made products at the cost of mass production.


The challenges of Industry 4.0 include high investment costs in new technologies and the need to modernize existing infrastructures. Data protection and cybersecurity are also important aspects that must be considered. Solutions include the development of safety standards and training employees in the use of new technologies.


A specific example is a B2B retailer portal that enables a networked supply chain. This allows suppliers and manufacturers to exchange data in real time to optimize orders and shorten delivery times. Another example is the Smart Factory, in which self-organizing production is implemented through the use of IoT devices and CPS.


Industry 4.0 is revolutionizing the production landscape by integrating digital technologies. This results in more efficient, flexible and productive processes, but also poses challenges such as high costs and cybersecurity. Companies can achieve significant benefits through innovative applications such as self-service portals and connected supply chains.