Founded in January 2012, the Industry 4.0 working group brings together experts in information and communication technologies, production research, and user industries to analyze how the Internet of Things will affect production and logistics in the future. The Industry 4.0 working group was instigated by the COMMUNICATION promoter group of Germany’s Industry-Science Research Alliance, with acatech (Germany’s National Academy of Science and Engineering) assuming primary responsibility for coordination and oversight. Chaired by Dr. Siegfried Dais (Deputy Chairman of the Board of Management, Robert Bosch GmbH) and Prof. Henning Kagermann (President, acatech), the working group drafts strategic recommendations for implementing measures to strengthen Germany as a high-tech industrial location.
Industry 4.0 is a term which was coined by representatives from German industry, research, industrial associations, and industrial unions. It evokes the dramatic improvements the Internet of Things will bring about in engineering, production, and logistics processes in the future. The number 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution. At the start of the 18th century, three major technological advances transformed the industrial landscape and led to a huge surge in productivity. Now the Internet of Things is driving a major reorganization of industrial production: connecting machines, systems, workpieces, and products to create intelligent production systems which can control each other autonomously without manual intervention. And so Industry 4.0 is seeking ways of helping industry achieve greater flexibility, robustness, and dynamism, while also dealing with greater complexity.
The traditional centralized model of factory organization is becoming more and more flexible and decentralized (smart factory). Another important aspect is the linking-up of factories to form a production network that goes beyond individual companies and national boundaries (global factory).
The Industry 4.0 working group is looking into what exactly the abovementioned reorientation of industry could look like and which strategies should be pursued. In light of the great organizational and technical changes, such an undertaking entails, new processes, rules, and standards must be defined. A new laboratory for the future has been founded to meet this challenge. At the laboratory, findings and scenarios will be studied and implemented. This research will form the basis for practical recommendations and courses of action.
As an active member of the Industry 4.0 working group, the Bosch Group contributes with its mechanical engineering and production expertise along with the software and systems expertise of Bosch Software Innovations.