INDUSTRY 4.0: German manufacturers introduce smart factories to spark growth

By Glen White
Just as smartphones have revolutionized personal communication, German manufacturing is looking to smart factories to improve the countrys industrial ou...

Just as smartphones have revolutionized personal communication, German manufacturing is looking to smart factories to improve the country’s industrial output. Leading the change is multinational corporation Siemens, at its facility in the small town of Amberg.

SEE MORE: 2016 to be a 'tipping point' for manufacturing technology, says report

The Siemens factory in Amberg makes automated machines for companies such as BASF, Bayer, and BMW, however it’s not the machines, but the way they are made that is revolutionizing the sector. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal Siemens is linking 1,000 production facilities over 9,000 square kilometers via the Internet, all from its Amberg facility.

The project, known as Industrie 4.0, is the result of collaboration between the German government, research institutions, and business to develop fully automated “smart” factories.

SEE MORE: Top 10 industry leaders embracing robotics

These factories rely heavily on web and IoT technology and could make products fully customizable while on the shop floor. An incomplete product on the assembly line would “tell the machine itself what service it needs” and it will immediately put the final product together, Wolfgang Wahlster, co-chairman of Industrie 4.0 said.

SEE MORE: The future of automotive manufacturing

The idea behind Industrie 4.0 is improved competitiveness. German industrial production is the mainstay of Europe’s largest economy, but is at a disadvantage over labor costs compared to developing countries.

The Siemens factory at Amberg is not the only German plant to implement the Internet of Things and web-based manufacturing processes to its factory. Electric motor maker Wittenstein and Bosch’s hydraulic equipment assembly line are also adapting smart technology to improve production.


Featured Articles

COP28 to discuss emission reduction in pharma manufacturing

From WHO’s Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to Merck’s Jeffrey Whitford, eyes are on pharmaceutical manufacturing and how to lower emissions at COP28

How BP is reshaping the manufacturing landscape

Renewable energy, AI & sustainable initiatives are all on bp's manufacturing spectrum. Hear more from bp’s Ulrich Angeli at Manufacturing Digital LIVE

Embracing Factories of the Future at Hyundai

Hyundai Motor Group Innovation Center Singapore pioneers 'Factories of the Future' with the help of robotics, AI & IoT says Alpesh Patel, of HMGICS

Manufacturing's GenAI journey - cost savings & security

AI & Automation

The future of women in the manufacturing industry

Sustainability & ESG

The future of Tech & AI in the manufacturing industry