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"Industry 4.0 is software driven", says VDMA. Whether product development, enterprise resource planning, embedded technologies, system control, or equipment control monitoring using smart devices – in the end industrial innovations are always put into effect by software. "Industry 4.0 is all about networking and integration. It’s about networked products and machines and the integration of IT. It’s about collaboration between engineers from all disciplines, and constructing an end-to-end digital value-adding chain," says Arno Reich, Director, Digital Factory.

The rapid growth of the leading international trade show for integrated processes and IT solutions does not come as a surprise to the trade who manager. "At HANNOVER MESSE, Digital Factory bundles industrial software solutions that are used to develop intelligent products, smart machines and automated production lines. They serve to digitalize production planning and production, and make industrial processes more efficient," says Reich.

In Halls 6, 7 and 8 Digital Factory is showcasing solutions for all software issues in the industrial process chain – from computer-aided engineering to manufacturing execution systems, additive manufacturing and product lifecycle management. This leading trade show also accommodates the increased integration of various sub-systems in businesses: Process integration, visualization, supply chain management and virtual commissioning are important themes at Digital Factory.

With over 40 main and joint exhibitors at Digital Factory, the USA, Partner Country HANNOVER MESSE 2016 , is an exceptionally strong presence this year. This major IT powerhouse has been one of the largest foreign exhibitors at Digital Factory. Whereas Europe talks about "Industry 4.0" the U.S. economy is searching for software for the "Industrial Internet of Things" (IIoT). The trend however is the same: IT solutions and integrated processes provide more flexibility and efficiency in manufacturing. Factories are becoming more intelligent. The industrial and IT sectors are growing closer together.

The 8th MES Conference is being held alongside Digital Factory 2016 in the Convention Center (CC) . This is a highlight of both Digital Factory and Industrial Automation: Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES), which are indispensable in achieving digital integration at the production and management levels, are the focus of this event for manufacturers and users in the manufacturing and process industries.

The CAE Forum in Hall 6 at Stand L46 is a communication platform for simulations experts: The stage and the stand demonstrate what can be accomplished in numerical simulation, 3D visualization and 3D printing. In ten sessions, representatives from industry and academia provide information on new software, hardware, methods and applications used in computer-aided engineering.