Ulrich Sendler

A Possible Export Hit Made in Germany

Industry 4.0 as an Opportunity

The idea of Industry 4.0 is developing into a German export hit. However, the concept is rather underestimated within German borders. Maybe it's the name, which suggests that Industry 4.0 is all about further automation of production and smarter factories. But it's far from it. The fourth industrial revolution covers the entire value chain and also includes products. It aims at the digitalization and networking of daily life. Industry 4.0 will change the social reality. A reason for all of the pessimism? Let's take a look into the future. In the Germany of tomorrow, data traffic and data protection are well regulated. People receive the training and qualifications they need in a new environment. In companies, employees share their knowledge and networks with customers and market partners across departments. Combined with this openness, technology enables the development of new business models. Product and equipment manufacturers become system providers. Their innovations no longer reflect what they can do but what users want. And they are in demand worldwide. Sounds like whitewashing? It only shows how much politics and business still have to do if they want to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0.

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