With the concept of industry 4.0 in mind, we discussed what kind of political environment could be established surrounding a digitalised industry with representatives of the economy, politics and others. The speakers invited to the event were Marina Grigorian (Telefónica Germany GmbH & Co. OHG), Alexandra Horn and Diana Scholl (BVMW – Bundesverband mittelständische Wirtschaft) and André Schmiljun, who represented InSystems Automation.
Industry 4.0 requires rethinking
„Industry 4.0“ has become an umbrella term for a wide range of topics. It has been used since 2011, when the government brought it into public use at the Hannover fair, and is meant to describe the ever-growing networks between machinery and computers, technical assistance and decentral problem-solving carried out by autonomous systems. In short, “Industry 4.0” describes the next major industrial revolution.
At InSystems Automation, we have been working on automation processes for SMEs (small and medium enterprises) for more than 10 years, and have developed solutions for various businesses in logistics, cosmetics, and the automotive and synthetic materials industries. Over the course of time, we eventually specialised in the creation of autonomously navigating transport robots which take over non-value creating tasks of the production process.
The topic of industry 4.0 is often connected with people fearing for their jobs due to the implementation of more and more intelligent technology such as robots. However, our experience has shown that this kind of development often has the opposite effect. Organisations which implement industry 4.0-mechanisms in their production process tend to allow their workers to acquire new qualifications or are able to employ more workers than they could before as tasks become easier due to technical assistance. The latter is prominently the case when assembly workplaces are fitted with Pick-2-Light-sensors – these guide workers through assembly processes and allow even less experienced employees to work efficiently and with low mistake quotas. This means that, regarding the entire theme complex surrounding industry 4.0, rethinking is in order.
Politics can help the digitalisation process in several ways. Usually however, SMEs require the most support when looking for industrial premises, creating strategies for long-term growth and finance, marketing products and establishing networks and also when searching for skilled workers.
During the event, InSystems also presented the autonomously navigating trash robot, a very newly created robot which is meant to be used in museums, shopping malls and offices as a replacement for conventional trash cans.