Germany puts Industry 4.0 into practice



The Port of Hamburg is currently undergoing a metamorphosis: it is becoming a ‘smart port’. Some 40,000 lorries pass through the port every day, and thanks to the ‘Internet of Things’, a new road management system, consisting of sensors on roads and in parking spaces connected via the internet, is now helping to speed up the flow. The system delivers real-time traffic information, including personalized alerts, to tablets, smartphones and in-cab telematics units, improving the quality of life for local residents and increasing productivity of the logistics companies using the port.

Hamburg’s ‘smartPORT’ system is just one of several examples of smart technology in practice to be presented by analyst Mark Watson at this year’s CWIEME Berlin exhibition in May. As IHS Technology’s associate director for industrial automation, Mr. Watson leads a team of specialists who monitor and analyse the ways smart technologies and automated systems are implemented in manufacturing industries.

“There has been a lot of important progress made in these areas recently that, when applied in a manufacturing context, could offer exponential benefits,” he says. “For example, instead of having sensors on roads, as in Hamburg, sensors on a production line could be used to monitor performance and relay information back to a central control room, enhancing efficiency by reducing the need for hands-on measurements.”

By giving concrete examples of smart technology at work today, Mr. Watson aims to demonstrate how electrical and electronics manufacturing companies can harness its potential and use it to their full advantage.

“The implementation of smart technology is a gradual process,” Mr. Watson says. “It requires investment in hardware and software and involves a certain degree of training. However, recent case studies have shown that devices can be installed to allow remote access to components, ensure quick customisation, and provide a large amount of data for maintenance and servicing, enhancing the efficiency of the manufacturing process. The development of ‘smart cities’ and ‘smart homes’ has introduced this technology to the public. It is now time to investigate how this can be used to positively impact businesses.”

Mr. Watson’s seminar, entitled ‘Industry 4.0: Germany's revolution and its implications for global electrical manufacturing’, will take place at CWIEME Central on Tuesday 5th May, 10:00-10:50. CWIEME Central seminars are held in English and are free for all CWIEME Berlin visitors to attend.

CWIEME Berlin 2015