In the last two years, it was clearly seen at the Hannover Messe: The Digital Factory has changed. On the one hand, it has grown; on the other hand, new companies are exhibited.
The Digital Factory has grown by 50 % more area to 18,000 m² and fills halls 6, 7 and 8. In addition, the thematic emphasis of systems for business processes, such as PLM, MES or ERP, to solutions for industry 4.0 and IoT has been transferred. Therefore, software companies in Hanover, that formerly were to found on a Cebit, also exhibit. For Rainer Glatz, CEO of VDMA professional associations for Software and Digitalisation as well as Electrical Automation, this next stage reflects digitalisation. And so the Digital Factory has also been established as the “Digitalisation Centre” at Hannover Messe.
Under the slogan “Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate”, it is to be shown at Hannover Messe what is actually possible with digitalisation. And among these are companies, such as Telekom, Microsoft, Amazon or IBM, as Arno Reich, Global Director Digital Factory at the Deutschen Messe AG, emphasised. Nowadays, they are also part of the industrial production. This also defines the Digital Factory of the Cebit, which put wider focus.
Implementing strategies with Microsoft Industry-4.0
How strongly large IT companies are interwoven with the industry are shown in the example of Microsoft, the host of the Presse Roundtable in the runup of Digital Factory. Initially, one could ask: Why Microsoft? Because software group supports industry companies in the conversion of their industry-4.0 strategy. However, other software providers also make this. Thorsten Cleve, Director Manufacturing at Microsoft Deutschland, explains that the difference lies in “How” and substantiates this with facts: For example, Microsoft invests several million dollars each year in data protection and data security, man currently provides 36 availability regions for the cloud service Azure and among them are also a separate German solution with T-systems as German data custodian, both on-premise as well as cloud solutions are available on the basis of the same platform (“hybrid scenarios”), the system openness for data exchange is supported and analytics as well as artificial intelligence in the systems offered can be integrated.
“We experience exciting periods, in which automation exhibits their software competence and classical ITK companies uncover new applications with the industry”, said Arno Reich. “And the Digital Factory is the reflection of this digital transformation.”
This article was first published on maschinenmarkt.de (German version).