Hardly any other branch of business has been so shaken by the consequences of digitalization as industry. In the past few months, hundreds and thousands of conferences, studies, and technical articles around the world have revolved around terms such as Industrie 4.0, the Internet of Things (IoT), Industrial Internet, Integrated Manufacturing, and Digital Enterprise.
This is not surprising, because the potential of digitally linked processes is huge. According to a study by McKinsey Global Institute, German companies expect to see a 20 percent increase in productivity through the digitalization of their processes. So it is not surprising that more than half of all German machine building and plant engineering industry are already focused on the subject of Industrie 4.0, according to a member survey of the German Engineering Federation (Verband Deutscher Maschinen- und Anlagenbau, VDMA).
The U.S. government and U.S companies are also working hard on the subject of so-called advanced manufacturing. The Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC) has become a powerful association that includes more than 100 well-known and powerful research institutions, companies, and universities – including Siemens.