"What on Earth is a steam engine?" Plenty of visitors to HANNOVER MESSE 2018 will at least never have seen one in real life, that's for sure! But an encounter with its digital counterpart is up for grabs at the stand of University4Industry, based in Munich, which boldly describes itself as the Industry (4.0) University, with its emphasis on the digitization of manufacturing companies and systems and component manufacturers. Its current teaching program covers blockchains, machine learning, industrial security, OPC UA and EU DSGVO - all taught in collaboration with industry and focusing heavily on practical applications. In all, University4Industry boasts direct access to the expertise of more than 50 partner institutions, including prestigious names such as Siemens, Pepperl+Fuchs, HARTING, the German Engineering Federation (VDMA) and McKinsey & Company.
But coming back to the steam engine, University4Industry is running a "Steam Engine" LiveLab during HANNOVER MESSE 2018 to demonstrate how an Industry 1.0 system - in this case, a traditional steam engine - can be first automated and brought up to speed with Industry 3.0 before propelling it into the era of Industry 4.0 by means of digitization. To achieve this, the LiveLab contains the steam engine itself and functioning actuator and sensor technology, not to mention connections to a PLC and the cloud via an IoT gateway. This setup offers visitors a thrilling opportunity to remotely control the system, transmit data to the cloud and then evaluate the results.