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Although the potential of Industry 4.0 applications is common knowledge in manufacturing companies, just 45% of these companies are, to a limited extent, using them, reports RWTH Aachen University . The Business Development department at the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) has now compiled a 70-page guide , entitled ‘Implement it!’, to give advice on implementation. It also suggests specific organizational structures, processes, and tools and demonstrates these on the basis of two use cases: the implementation of smart glasses and the development of ‘data lakes’, in which all a given company’s available data is collected.

With this guide, its authors aim to counteract manufacturing companies’ lack of implementation concepts. Lessons have been learned from past popular concepts, such as the lean management concept, which rapidly captured the interest of industry back in the 1990s. It took years, however, before the relevant ways and means were available to implement this concept fully. The process is expected to be a lot faster in the case of Industry 4.0 solutions.

A multitude of other useful resources are available for companies: The German Engineering Federation (VDMA), for instance, has also published a guide that proposes ways to achieve affordable sensor systems. In collaboration with the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association (ZVEI), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) has published an overview of the requirements of Industry 4.0 products.