VDMA workshop “The road to Production 4.0”
VDMA – Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau e.V.
Constant demand for our VDMA workshop series “The road to Production 4.0” illustrates just how much digitalisation is affecting businesses and businesspeople. A year after its successful kick-off event at NORTEC, VDMA Nord now invites you to a status check. Using examples from industrial practice, the aim was to discover how far companies have come on the road to Manufacturing 4.0, what obstacles lay on the way and what challenges they still face today.
The next instalment is already planned: the third VDMA workshop will be hosted at NORTEC 2018, and the dialogue will continue based on industry practice and actual examples.
The workshop dealt with some very different aspects of Industry 4.0 in a series of four talks. Ralf Heikens, head of the Automation Engineering Innovation Centre at Hauni Maschinenbau GmbH and representing the mechanical and systems engineering industry, spoke on the topic of “Smart machines, smart applications, smart service”. Dr Wolfram Lohse, CTO at Gehring Technologies GmbH, talked about Industry 4.0 at a machine tool building company and included a review of the effects of digitalisation in production and on products. Representing drive technology, Brar Johannsen, Works Manager at Getriebebau Nord GmbH & Co. KG, discussed the networking of global production sites and IT security in production and products. The state of technology in 3D printing process integration and the future of digital manufacturing at contract manufacturers was discussed by Joachim H. Hoedtke, Managing Director of Hoedtke Metall- und Lasertechnik GmbH.
As talks at the workshop demonstrated, manufacturers are busy developing their products to embrace Manufacturing 4.0. Machines and subassemblies are communicating with customers’ control tools and organising themselves, even to include their own servicing. And of course, all the opportunities that the development of digitalisation is producing are being brought into companies’ production lines. Contract manufacturers are faced by a whole set of different challenges: they are faced with identifying digital solutions from manufacturing all the way to industrial production, all under one roof. Organising processes while including people is the focus.
Speakers managed to include impressive examples of how they have embraced Manufacturing 4.0. Subsequent discussions with the 120 delegates showed just how much we can, wish to and should learn from each other. Nobody has yet arrived at the destination, but we are all well on the way.
That is why a declared aim is to continue the “Road to Production 4.0” workshop at regular intervals, build on the experience exchanged, and use a succession of practical examples to indicate where and how pioneering companies should proceed. This dialogue, with its direct practical relevance and actual examples, will continue with a third VDMA workshop on the subject at the forthcoming NORTEC 2018. The focus of the forthcoming manufacturing trade fair will also be on the industry lead theme “4.0 – Practical Guidance for SMEs”. Digitalisation solutions will be showcased along with the latest developments in networking man and machine, and machines with each other.
Review of the 2016 VDMA workshop – “The road to Production 4.0”
The first VDMA practical workshop at NORTEC 2016 showed that informatisation has now reached manufacturing and individualisation is already yielding the first actual results among products. To illustrate this, companies presented examples and modules from industry practice, for use in practice, thereby pointing the way towards Manufacturing 4.0.
The workshop offered a wide range of content including statements reporting on the consequences of the latest developments for production and products in companies, and real-life examples from manufacturing. These examples were an encouragement to confront imminent changes in industrial companies, set up benchmarks within those companies, make use of existing opportunities and use them to keep ahead.
The VDMA workshop has been running every two years since 1990. At NORTEC 2016 it was held on Wednesday 27 January on the grounds of Hamburg Messe und Congress GmbH.
Dr. Ing. J. Mutschler, VDMA Nord, and Professor Hans-J. Dräger were responsible for the workshop.