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Monday, 23 October 2017

Digital, automated, connected?

Monday, 26 September 2016 | Posted by: Kirsten Wrede, European Coatings Journal

At the moment, the IAA Commercial Vehicles, the world’s most important trade show for transport, logistics and mobility, is taking place in my hometown Hanover. Years ago, I visited the show and was impressed by enormous cranes that wouldn’t fit in any exhibition hall.

In the IAA news coverage, you always come across the catch phrases digitalisation, automisation, networking, logistics 4.0, industry 4.0. These mega trends will become more and more important in the future, everyone says. A panel discussion at the show addressed the topic "Commercial vehicles 4.0: networker between markets and people”, for instance.

My colleagues and I also discussed the termin industry 4.0 in a recent meeting. Has this trend reached the industry, what’s the situation like especially in the coatings industry, which general definition exists, if there is one at all?

Bearing all this in my mind, I would like to get to know your opinion. How do you – a raw material or coating manufacturer, provider of measuring and testing equipment, or institute employee – define industry 4.0? Do you know at once what is meant when you stumble across this term? Do people in Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland or the U.S. have the same understanding of it? Do you think you receive sufficient information about this trend and how it effects your business? And last but not least: will digitalisation, automisation, networking be one of the dominant issues at the European Coatings Show 2017?

I’m looking forward to receiving your comments! Please write to me at kirsten.wrede@vincentz.net.

By the way: the "Plattform Industrie 4.0”, a joint project of German industry associations, gives the following definition:
"Industrie 4.0 combines production methods with state-of-the-art information and communication technology. The driving force behind this development is the rapidly increasing digitisation of the economy and society. It is changing the future of manufacturing and work in Germany: In the tradition of the steam engine, the production line, electronics and IT, smart factories are now determining the fourth industrial revolution.”

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