The new topic area IT2Industry at Automatica 2018 provides information on the interaction between automation and information technology - a core component of digital automation and robotics. It offers companies guidance on current digitisation trends.
The Industrial Internet of Things will play the leading role in industry in the future. Automated production machines and robots are connected to each other and to other companies, resulting in flexible production systems that are not only able to produce automatically, but also to control and maintain themselves to a large extent.
IoT platforms - an indispensable technology
For industrial 4.0 applications to work, companies must invest in so-called IoT platforms, which connect the machines to the Internet, secure, analyze and control them and provide the necessary interfaces for access to applications and other systems. In a survey conducted by IDC in autumn 2017 among 385 german IT decision-makers, mainly from the manufacturing industry, 57 percent consider IoT platforms to be an indispensable technology. It is already being used by around 22 percent of those surveyed.
Nevertheless, according to the german Wirtschaft Digital monitoring report, with 42 index points, the manufacturing sector is only "moderately digitised". According to the study published by the Federal Ministry of Economics, this sector of the economy is clearly lagging behind the comparatively highly digitised sectors such as the ITC industry, financial and insurance service providers and trade.
Digitisation poses two major chalenges for industry: the digitalization of production and the digitization of business models and processes.
Manufacturing individual products at low cost
Digitisation in production is the focus of Automatica 2018, which will take place from 19 to 22 June 2018 in Munich. The aim is to combine complex, highly automated production machines and robots with current IT and Internet connectivity in such an "intelligent" way that they bring together the best of both worlds: the low costs of mass production with the high degree of customer proximity and individuality of the solutions offered by craftsmen and manufacturers.
IT2Industry, the topic area of Automatica, connects two worlds: IT and automation. In the IT2Industry area, not only relevant software and hardware providers, integrators and management consultancies exhibit, there is also a lot of discussion here: about robotic automation, big data, cloud, security and of course about IoT. Exhibitors include traditional IT providers such as Trend Micro or proALPHA, as well as companies offering practical Industry 4.0/IoT applications or IoT platforms - including Essert, WidasConcepts, fabrikado and SW Schwäbische Werkzeugmaschinen.
This article was first published in German on Industry of Things.