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How can you digitize industrial engineering and production processes from start to finish? The "Smart Engineering and Production 4.0" technology network, comprising Eplan, Rittal and Phoenix Contact, have set out to answer just that question at HANNOVER MESSE 2018. The network is staging a remarkable live demonstration using the example of a switchgear installation to show visitors what highly automated manufacturing based on a batch size of 1 looks like. The exhibit showcases the companies’ latest results in their work to develop an administrative shell specifically for switchgear engineering. The aim is to enable Industry 4.0 software systems, plant and machinery to communicate.

"Our technology network highlights the potential of end-to-end digitization and the networking of configurators, engineering platforms, production plants and digital assistance and test systems - for SMBs and large companies alike," says Maximilian Brandl, Chairman of the Management Board at Eplan and Cideon. Dr Thomas Steffen, Managing Director Research and Development at Rittal adds: "Our particular focus lies on developing manufacturer-neutral data description and interface standards along with appropriate communication protocols." Roland Bent, member of the Executive Board at Phoenix Contact, provides the following summary of the technology network's goals: “"A semantic description of the properties and options of the software systems, plant and machinery involved in the administrative shell is required to clarify what the data being exchanged means and is saying. Eplan, Rittal and Phoenix Contact are actively driving and shaping the development of this technology and incorporating the results in SEAP 4.0."