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Industrie 4.0

Machine manufacturers hesitate when it comes to data-based services

Industry 4.0 has arrived in German machine and plant manufacture. This is the bottom line of the brief analysis of an online self-check revealing which areas could do even better.

07 Feb. 2018
Eduard Heilmayr
VDMA-Mitgliederbefragung, 2015; IW-Zukunftspanel 2015, 26. Befragungswelle (Chart: VDMA)
VDMA-Mitgliederbefragung, 2015; IW-Zukunftspanel 2015, 26. Befragungswelle (Chart: VDMA)

An initial data analysis of the Industry 4.0 online self-checks for companies provided by project partners IW Consult and FIR from RWTH Aachen commissioned by the VDMA Impuls-Stiftung is now available. The good news: One in every three companies in machine and plant manufacturing (34%) is already "more advanced" in the area of Industry 4.0, more than 7% are considered "experienced" and 2% have even been given the status "expert". On the other hand, nearly half of the surveyed companies consist of "beginners" (39%) or even "outside observers" (8%). No single participant has achieved the highest level on the rating scale from 1 to 5 ("excellence"). And: In machine and plant manufacturing, little seems to have changed recently. With an average value of 1.37 on the scale, it is behind the manufacturing industry (1.43).

The analysis also examined the results for machine and plant manufacturing in detail based on six dimensions: strategy and organization, smart factory, smart operations, smart products, data-driven services and employees. Here, the authors have pointed out two conspicuous values: On the one hand, data-driven services are really lacking; 61.9% of machine builders remain at the bottom readiness level: 0. And there is room for improvement in the area of smart factories: Here, nearly three-quarters (71.7%) are stuck at level 0 (41.3%) or 1 (30.4%). In contrast, machine and plant manufacturers reach the best levels in employee expertise, with a readiness value of 1.71.