In the future suppliers, producers and clients will all be integrated and networked. The question is not whether industry is going to adopt this new digital scenario, but rather how efficiently it will do so. What is needed is a strong, vital network between IT and mechanical and electrical engineering. digital factory allows for the optimization of processes and the development of new products that conserve resources.
Radical change awaits us, in which entire operating flows will be transformed. Flexibility and individualized production and logistics are prerequisites for remaining competitive. Almost all industrial companies have recognized this and want to digitize their entire value chain by 2020. German industrial companies alone are investing EUR 40 billion for this transformation. For example, companies that specialize in machinery and plant engineering already use sensors that automatically indicate whether a machine needs maintenance – long before the machine breaks down. But the networked industry not only brings opportunities. There are also risks, for example in data security. How can companies protect themselves effectively from cyber-attacks? And how can they prevent product piracy?
Main sectors of Digital Factory:
- Virtual product development (CAx)
- Product lifecycle management (PLM)
- Production and process planning (ERP, PPC)
- Rapid prototyping and rapid manufacturing
- Process integration
- manufacturing / automation (MES)
- Virtual commissioning
- Offline programming and installation
- Visualization and simulation
- Additive manufacturing
The global players at this year’s HANNOVER MESSE include Siemens and Microsoft.