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Industrie 4.0

Education and networks are the keys to Industry 4.0

What will the industrial workplace look like in 2025? The Scientific Society for Production Technology (WPG) has published a position paper on how the digital revolution can be made more humane.

12 Sep. 2018
HMI-ID08-088ds_FraunhoferIPK
Education and networks are the keys to Industry 4.0 (Photo: Fraunhofer IPK)

The position paper was written by professors of production technology. In it they developed a model that analyzes the degree of automation in industry and determines the need for action. According to the paper, full automation of German industry is still far from being a reality. The paper maintains that even full automation would still require humans to instruct the self-learning production systems.

In order to maintain the Germany economy's competitive edge, the education system would have to be adapted in a timely manner, as the current system is "much too rigid". For example, vocational school teachers, professors and mediators would have to be updated in matters of digitization. One possibility would be to more closely interlink companies and research institutions. As early as 2015 the WPG had already founded a so-called production academy offering about 20 seminars and workshops on the topic.

Others have already reflected on what the workplace of the future will look like - for example, the consulting firm PAC and Fujitsu in the Workplace 2025 study. According to an industrie.de summary of the core findings, companies should develop a context-specific and personalized work environment tailored to the employee's individual needs. Rigid hierarchies and departments are increasingly being replaced by small, collaborative network teams of employees and external freelancers.