Berlin sets Standards for the Digital Future with Industry 4.0
Its blend of top-notch research institutes, innovative IT start-ups, and strong manufacturing companies make Berlin an ideal place for the promotion of Industry 4.0. As with other tech sectors, the German capital is one of the national leaders in pioneering development and application of the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The buzzword Industry 4.0: definition and background
Industry 4.0 (or Industrialisation 4.0) means digitalisation of industrial production using information and communication technology (ICT). Sophisticated IP-based networks link up machines, factory floors, IT systems and people with one another. This means that companies can not only better coordinate individual stages of production, and produce cheaper and more customized products but also identify the early need for maintenance and repairs and optimise the whole production process with the data they collect. The term itself refers to a project of the same name included in the high-tech strategy of the German government which was first introduced and discussed at the Hannover Fair in 2011 where working groups revealed their research findings on their Google Industry 4.0 Online Platform.
Industry 4.0: digitalising production in Berlin
A whole cast of global software companies, including Bosch, SI, ÜSI and Cisco, are developing their Industry 4.0 technologies in Berlin. And many of Berlin’s start-ups are fully focused on solutions for smart production. Take, for instance, the software forge Industrial Analytics whose turbominitor lowers the operating costs of turbomachinery like turbines and compressors whilst also making it more efficient. At the Adlershof Technology Park, the EUREF Campus in Berlin-Schöneberg and other future-oriented sites in the city, Berlin’s industrial companies are working hand-in-hand with research institutes on the methods and processes of Industry 4.0. Major industrial players like Mercedes Benz, Biotronik, and Osram Werke have already successfully implemented networking applications in their Berlin production facilities.
Projects of the Berlin Industry 4.0 hub
The Senate Department for Economics regularly monitors the potential Industry 4.0 technologies hold for the Berlin high-tech hub, and uses its data for drawing up customised development programmes. The Berlin Economic Atlas on Industry 4.0 is a valuable tool that benefits producers and users alike. Software providers present their technologies on this online portal so that companies can find suitable solutions with a minimum of clicks. And small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) who want to find out more about how intelligent solutions can aid their own production processes can seek ready advice at the Mittelstand 4.0 Center of Excellence.
Industry 4.0 also plays a major role in Berlin’s scientific community. The Berlin Center for Digital Transformation, a collaborative venture by the four Fraunhofer institutes based in the city, researches networking technologies in a broad range of application fields including “Industry and Production”. The Innovation and Technology Center for Industry 4.0 established in the erstwhile industrial zone in Berlin-Schöneweide is a further lighthouse of the science community. The Beuth University of Applied Sciences and the University of Applied Sciences Berlin – HWT are also major players. Both these universities feature digitalised production technologies on their curricula and organise specialist conferences on Industry 4.0-related themes and issues.
The Turbomonitor from Industrial Analytics makes machines running
The turbomonitor manufactured by Industrial Analytics helps energy-intensive companies lower operating costs whilst also raising productivity. The turbomonitor is the name the Berlin Industry 4.0 specialist first used for its solution which monitors industrial plants far more reliably than other maintenance systems.