The term Industry 4.0 (or Industrie 4.0, if you’re looking for the original), has been around since the Hannover Messe in 2011, but many manufacturers are still trying to wrap their minds around what it means for them. After all, hasn’t computing, programs, and automation been par for the course in production for years? How would this new wave of digitalisation differ?
In the manufacturing world, competition has steepened and consumer demands increased, due to developments such as digitalisation and globalisation. Consumers are hungry for new innovative products, but at the same time demand high quality. In response to this, a trend has emerged in the form of product variation. The ability to offer a high variation of products and solutions from lot size 1 to 1 million is the key for manufacturers to keep up with competition and participate in the industry 4.0.