Focus Industry 4.0

The working group "Research I40 and AI" aims to initiate cross-sector research projects on Industrie 4.0 and AI. Interested member companies can participate in current applications.
The Research Allowance Act came into force on 1 January 2020. Here you can find out who benefits from the new tax incentives, what you have to take into account and how the VDMA will support you with this type of subsidy.
Virtual commissioning is becoming increasingly important as a practical part of digitization in mechanical and plant engineering across all branches of industry. The guide "Virtual Commissioning" provides a cost-benefit analysis and methodical instructions for action to enable an efficient start.
The scientific accompanying project WissProKMU supports and researches 26 inter-organisational projects from the BMBF funding line "Future of Work: SMEs - Innovative and Social".
Companies often cannot benefit from Industrie 4.0 applications because the existing machines do not provide the necessary data. In this case, the VDMA guideline supports manufacturing companies and suppliers in making existing machines fit for Industrie 4.0.
The aim of the survey "Artificial Intelligence in SMEs" is to determine the current status of AI technologies in producing SMEs. The survey is conducted by PTW of the TU Darmstadt.
VDMA and ZVEI, together with 20 companies from the mechanical and electrical engineering industries, have founded the "Industrial Digital Twin Association" (IDTA) as a user organization for Industrie 4.0. The aim of the association is to bring together the parallel development strands towards the industrial digital twin and to develop it as an open source solution together with the member companies.
Before the tax research subsidy can be applied for at the tax office, an expert body checks whether the project complies with the research and development concept of the law. From now on, applications for certification can be submitted to this "certification office research allowance".
Especially for digital technology developments in mechanical and plant engineering, VSMA GmbH has developed a new insurance solution, "Deckungsbaustein Industrie 4.0", which also covers damages that a classic liability insurance does not cover.
How must cooperation and innovation processes change in the age of digitisation? Which extensions of value-added networks come into question? And how can suitable partners be identified? Answers to these and other questions are provided in a new study by the IMPULS Foundation.
The VDMA accompanies and supports its members on their way to Industrie 4.0. Here you will find an overview of the current publications on the subject.
The platform economy will ring in a new age in mechanical engineering, just as it has in the B2C sector. In the future, the added value provided via digital services and business models will be a key element in helping mechanical engineering companies stand out. A position in the platform economy must therefore be a crucial part of any mechanical and plant engineering company.
The guideline "Self-learning production processes - introduction strategy for reinforcement learning in industrial practice" introduces the topic of machine learning and shows step by step how an introduction of industrial reinforcement learning can take place in your own company. Application examples illustrate the procedure.
With the "KI4KMU" guideline, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) supports projects between industry and science for a broader use of innovative machine learning and AI methods in SMEs.
The Industrial Collective Research (IGF) represents a unique innovation platform for small and medium-sized enterprises. As an open-topic and industry-driven programme, the IGF is an important building block in pre-competitive research for mechanical and plant engineering.
Industrie 4.0 requires changes at all corporate levels and along the entire value-added chain. The focus is on the three fields of action interoperability, sovereignty and sustainability.
In an interview with Computer&AUTOMATION, Hartmut Rauen, Deputy Executive Director of the VDMA, talks about the tasks of the VDMA in times of digitalization as well as the trends and technologies that will advance mechanical and plant engineering.
With the "Ideas Competition for the Biologisation of Technology", the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) intends to support projects that have a clearly recognisable connection to materials and materials research or production research.
In the web seminar "Retrofit for Industry 4.0", around 90 participants were able to experience approaches and implementation examples that showed how existing machines and systems can be modernized to make them suitable for Industry 4.0. Presentations from Hans Turck GmbH & Co. KG, viastore SYSTEMS GmbH and Fraunhofer IOSB-INA provided insights into digital retrofitting.
The third call for proposals of the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy is intended to support projects based on digital technologies in the fields of prevention and management of infectious and other threatening crisis situations. These projects should be suitable for strengthening the resilience of the economy and protecting the health of the population.
The Institute of Mechanical Engineering, continuing education academy of the VDMA, offers you various continuing education courses in the field of Industrie 4.0. Get ready for the digital change in mechanical engineering!
With the joint project "Building 4.0", 30 project partners from industry, associations and research institutes have set themselves the goal of researching and developing innovative, powerful and flexible machine and communication technologies. The aim is to support small and medium-sized industry in particular in implementing Industrie 4.0 on the construction site. The VDMA is one of the transfer partners.
In the joint pre-competitive research project "Intelligent and self-learning production processes (InPulS)", VDMA members and scientists have investigated how machines and plants can teach themselves the optimum processes with little data, independently and by interacting with the environment. The machine learning method "Reinforcement Learning" was used for this purpose and examined and tested in two application scenarios.
About 30 VDMA members met at the VDMA in Frankfurt on January 16, 2020, to launch new project ideas for joint research projects in the field of Industrie 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence.
With the "Reference Architecture Model Industrie 4.0" (RAMI 4.0) developed by the German Plattform Industrie 4.0, a framework was created to structure existing standards and technologies in a manageable way.
The Cybernetics Lab in Aachen hosted a LabTour in February 2020 and presented examples of research on Industrie 4.0 and artificial intelligence.
Around 20 VDMA members visited the Cybernetics Lab in Aachen in February 2020 to see examples of research on Industrie 4.0 and artificial intelligence.
With the help of reinforcement learning, control strategies can be learned for very complex processes as well as for complex environmental conditions without having to model them explicitly. The event at the AZO GmbH + Co. KG on 19 March in Osterburken offers you a deeper insight into the topic.
Virtual commissioning is becoming increasingly important across all industries. Against this background, the VDMA guideline "Virtual commissioning" is currently being developed. It will be published in autumn 2020.
Are you interested in participating in a cross-industry research project in the field of Industrie 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence? Then come to our working group meeting on 16 January 2020 and work with us on new project ideas that can be implemented within the framework of joint industrial research.
German production technology presents itself at the largest metalworking trade fair in the ASEAN region. The VDW uses the event to present umati - universal machine tool interface for the communication of machines and IT, for the first time live in Asia.
The BMBF is funding projects on the topic "The future of work: SMEs - innovative and social" as part of the research programme "Innovations for tomorrow's production, services and work".
The compilation “Industrie 4.0 Research at German Research Institutes – Overview” provides VDMA members with an overview of the work of German research institutes in the Industrie 4.0 environment.
An important basis for the successful introduction of Industry 4.0 is the manufacturer-independent exchange of data in production. The open interface standard OPC UA is increasingly established for this purpose. The VDMA guideline shows how companies can successfully introduce industry 4.0 communication with OPC UA.
The VDMA publication "Industrie 4.0 - VDMA´s activities" provides an overview of the association's diverse activities, which comprise the triad of information, knowledge transfer and networking.
The guideline "Interoperability through standardized features" shows how messages can be semanticized, how structures between components can be described in different views, and how identifiers can be used to uniquely identify objects worldwide.
The Learning Systems platform initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi) provides an overview of research institutions in the field of artificial intelligence.
The guideline "Making Money on Digital in Mechanical Engineering" presents four success patterns of digital service types: Integral Product Improvement, Complementary Service, Digital Intermediary and Digital Innovation. They make it easier for VDMA members to classify their own digital services.
The R&D Pilot offers an overview over 100 Industrie 4.0 research projects.
With the Startup-Machine platform, VDMA supports its member companies in identifying partners from the start-up environment, initiating cooperations and learning from the digital entrepreneurial spirit.
How can companies successfully introduce digital innovations? A VDMA study provides answers to these questions by highlighting important fields of action for future-oriented management.
With the model-based online tool "Investment Calculator 4.0" and the associated guidelines, the VDMA is setting new standards in the economic evaluation of digitisation projects.
VDMA Startup-Machine offers attractive services for VDMA members as a premium partner in the "Young Tech Enterprises" startup hub at this year's Hannover Messe.
The new VDMA homepage with the topic OPC UA Companion Specifications provides a central overview of current activities on OPC UA in the VDMA. The target group are OPC UA-affine interested parties who would like to inform themselves about existing working groups, their goals and composition, OPC UA Companion Specifications and current news.
The new spokespersons of the VDMA Interoperability Advisory Board represent industry expertise on the subject of Industrie 4.0.
On November 2nd the first "Meeting of the OPC UA Working Groups in the VDMA" took place. Presentations by experts from the OPC community inform the working group participants about the most important activities and innovations concerning OPC UA. In moderated parallel sessions an intensive exchange of experiences took place between the participants of different working groups.
VDMA and OPC Foundation organized the symposium "OPC UA Platform Enabler for Industry 4.0" on 22 and 23 October 2018 in the cities of Pune and Bengalore in India. The approximately 250 participants informed themselves about new activities, technology details, application scenarios and political positions around this worldwide communication standard.
The BMBF's new announcement on the funding measure "Industry 4.0 Test Environments - Mobilising SMEs for Industry 4.0" has been officially published.
Machines have to speak the same language in the Future´s smart factories. The decisive factor here is the standardization of communication interfaces. Therefore, the VDMA is currently developing industry-specific OPC UA Companion Specifications and has just released the OPC UA Companion Specifications for Robotics and Machine Vision.
The VDMA accompanies and supports its members on their paths to Industrie 4.0. Here you will find an overview of current publications on the subject.
The OPC Foundation is the world's leading community for industrial interoperability solutions based on the so-called "OPC Companion Specifications". The VDMA is now a full corporate member of this organization.
The SME 4.0 Competence Centers, which were established by the BMWi, support companies with numerous free services for the digitization of their business processes. The centers' offerings have been expanded to include the topic of artificial intelligence.
Machines that can think for themselves, complex 3D printer components, smart glasses that are able to communicate with machines, and logistics that can manage their own organization. These are not fantasies of science fiction, but already the reality in Germany’s factories. The multimedia report „The future is on“ delivers insight into daily digital work.
For the implementation of industry 4.0 solutions, many companies lack IT experts who above all have one ability: digital thinking. These digital creatives are mainly to be found in the startup area. This is why the VDMA is building a bridge between mechanical engineering and the start-ups and has used a new event format for this purpose: the Hackathon.
With the "Research Group I40" of the VDMA Forum Industrie 4.0, industry-driven, cross-industry and pre-competitive research projects are initiated and carried out.
OPC UA is an open interface standard that defines the mechanisms of cooperation in the industrial environment. The VDMA prioritizes its activities on this interface standard and gives an important orientation to the machine and plant engineering sector. The VDMA guideline “Industrie 4.0 Communication Guideline based on OPC UA” shows action steps that help to implement Industrie 4.0 communication in the company.
Startups convert trend themes into new technologies and products that also play a role in mechanical engineering. Startups apply new ways of working that machine builders should know. Conversely, mechanical engineering is a huge user industry for startups. We bring the two together - "Matchmaking" with mechanical engineering relevance!
North Rhine-Westphalia has the best prerequisites for the digital age. Companies in mechanical engineering and production technology are particularly in demand as enablers and problem solvers. They act as suppliers of industry 4.0 components, as integrators of IK technologies and sensor technology into their products, and last but not least as users of industry 4.0 solutions to optimize their own production processes.
Since its official launch in 2011, the capital goods industry, through digitization and Industrie 4.0, has been facing a major challenge, but also more and clearer than ever before, a unique opportunity to build new business and generate revenue.
Allianz Industrie 4.0 is a network initiated and sponsored by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics. Together with our partner organisations we bundle the competences from production as well as information and communication technology and accompany the industrial middle class in the direction of industry 4.0. The coordination office is located at the VDMA-Landesverband Baden-Württemberg.
Via its Research Group and the Lab Tours I40, the VDMA Forum Industrie 4.0 is building a network between companies in mechanical engineering and the innovation centers of German research institutes. The “Industrie 4.0 Research at German Research Institutes” compilation provides assistance in this, offering an overview of the German research landscape. In it, more than 50 universities and institutes report on their current projects.
In the VDMA Industrie 4.0 Forum, the VDMA has bundled its internal association know-how. A regularly published newsletter reports on the association's diverse activities in the areas of digitization, Industrie 4.0 and OPC UA.
VDMA integrates the sector-specific developments around Industry 4.0 and takes up the needs of the companies. One way of considering the needs of small and medium sized enterprises is the active development of Industrie 4.0 standards. The brochure "Standardization & Industry 4.0" gives you an overview of the VDMA activities.
Uniform interfaces are an important prerequisite on the way to Industrie 4.0. VDMA is currently focusing on the interface standard OPC UA. This standard should make Industrie 4.0 viable in a few defined steps. A review.
Industrie 4.0 needs standards that mesh together like gear wheels. Together with its partners, the VDMA is driving forward the standardization process both nationally and internationally.
Predictive maintenance is a key issue for Germany's engineering sector. That is one result of the study "Predictive Maintenance Service Servicing tomorrow – and where we are really at today" of VDMA and Roland Berger.
Whether Germany as an industrial nation succeeds in turning Industrie 4.0 into a business model depends on more than just the companies – important framework conditions need to be agreed with policy-makers and society.
With over 300 actors from 159 organisations, the Plattform Industrie 4.0 is Germany´s central network for national and international activities for the digital transformation of production.
Digitalization will affect and shape all sectors of industry. Be it a revolution or an evolutionary process – each and every company must find its way to Industrie 4.0.
Industrie 4.0 is already changing the world of work today.
The guide “Data Protection & Industrie 4.0 – how to treat personal data on a corporate level“ is meant to facilitate for you, as a member of the VDMA, the access to data protection in Industrie 4.0 and indicate at the same time approaches and further sources of information to minimise your risk and create awareness for data protection issues.
Industrie 4.0 is happening at the borderline between industry and IT. But many machine and plant manufacturers have very limited access both to IT talent as well as digital thinking in general. External support may be helpful. The purpose of the collection „Industrie 4.0 Business models” is to provide an overview of existing consulting offers.
Industrie 4.0 is unthinkable without protecting the data and expertise involved in production processes across all companies. VDMA supports its members in all areas relating to security.
Every product, every component and every machine integrated in future´s smart production will have an representative digital component.
Via the working group "Research I40 & AI" and the Lab Tours on Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence, the VDMA Industry 4.0 Forum links mechanical engineering companies with the innovation centres of German research institutes. This is also supported by the collection "Industry 4.0 Research at German Research Institutes", which provides an overview of the German research landscape. The whole is supplemented by the offers of the industrial joint research.
The German mechanical and plant engineering sector is facing the challenge of Industrie 4.0. However, many companies do not fully grasp the objectives and specific benefits of the solutions it offers. The “Guideline Industrie 4.0” is intended to assist them in developing their own Industrie 4.0 implementations and business models.
Nine out of ten companies in the mechanical engineering sector see Industrie 4.0 as an opportunity for them to stand out on the market. Many companies have already taken successful steps towards implementing Industrie 4.0.
New business models, smart production methods and products, data law and security: more than 400 top players from the fields of economics, science and politics shared ideas about implementing this mega-topic at an Industrie 4.0 congress in Düsseldorf.

Focus Additive Manufacturing

Working group designs user stories
On Friday, September 11, 2020, from 11:15 to 12:00, there will be an online presentation by Rainer Horstkotte on "Industrialized additive manufacturing - approaches for an automated process chain".
BMWi promotes cooperation: Market development
On Friday, July 17, 2020 from 11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., there will be an online presentation by Maximilian Keller from B&R Automation on "What can automation contribute to industrialized series production with additive manufacturing?"
On Friday, July 31, 2020 from 11:15 to 12:00, there will be an online lecture by Jan Wegner on "Powder bed-based melting of amorphous metals - functionalization of technological boundary conditions".
Interview with Manuel Laux, Head of AM Solutions
On June 19, 2020 an online lecture by Talu Ünal-Saewe from the Fraunhofer ILT on "New approaches to process digitization and process control for Laser Material Deposition (LMD)" will take place.
New member survey of the AG Additive Manufacturing in the VDMA
Successfull online-format of the working group Additive Manufacturing with over 30 participants in each session.
On May 29th, 2020 there will be an online lecture by Maximilian Binder about "Multimaterial processing and intelligent components".
For 70 years, AZO GmbH + Co.KG has specialised in the handling of bulk goods. Its highly automated conveying, screening and dosing technology is in demand, particularly in the food, pharmaceutical, chemical and plastics industries. In an interview, Development Manager Frank Pahl explains the advantages of professional powder handling, the expectations of the Osterburken-based company in the young AM market and his ideas about AM process chains in 2030.
On May 8, 2020 an online lecture by D. Morar and K. Pfähler on the "Exploration of AM-based spare parts supply - concept of an information system for decision support" will take place.
AG AM plans new online concept.
MAN Energy Solutions SE and the Fraunhofer IGCV are exploring the potential of additive manufacturing in large engine construction. MAN Energy Solutions and Fraunhofer IGCV are members of the Additive Manufacturing working group within the VDMA.
Due to current developments, the Additive Manufacturing working group is cancelling the AM4I - Additive Manufacturing for Industry conference.
With its innovative, energy-efficient sand blasting system, BMF GmbH - Bernstein Mechanische Fertigung from Grüna has not only won innovation awards at state and federal level since its foundation in 2007, but has also convinced many customers. In an interview, Managing Director Ronny Bernstein explains the increasingly networked after-treatment technology, BMF's dual role in additive manufacturing and its claim to be a problem solver.
Machine communication and powder qualities as success factors for automation
Christina Fuchs and Christina Häußinger of the TU Munich, Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management report on exciting work from process chain design in hybrid manufacturing.
Andreas Kröbel, Enrico Hübner and Tobias Röhrich report on a cooperation between ArianeGroup, FIT AG and GEFERTEC GmbH.
The title of the lecture is "Additive manufactured equipment increases the degree of utilization of a machine tool".
In the main topic Materials and Processes Mr. Bliedtner presents a cooperation with the company Siceram especially Dr. A. Kerber with the title Optimization of the production of complex ceramic components using Fused Deposition Modeling.
Excellent series of lectures focusing on Additive Manufacturing for Industry, The Additive Process Chain, Materials and Processes and Future Technologies.
We cordially invite you to participate in the lecture program of our AM4I conference.
We cordially invite you to participate in the lecture program of our AM4I conference.
innoCast GmbH from Langenfeld has specialised for 15 years in the fine and sand casting of prototypes and small batches of steel and iron alloys, aluminium and other metals. The most important target industries are automotive and energy plant construction. In an interview, Managing Director Dr. Thomas Bettermann explains the importance of additive processes for his company, their advantages and added value, and the relevance of AM networks.
From manufactory to digital production
Member survey of the AG Additive Manufacturing in VDMA
Konstruieren für den 3D-Druck
For the 4th time already, the Additive Manufacturing Symposium organized by the Additive Manufacturing Association in cooperation with the fair in Hannover will take place at the Hannover Messe. Technology suppliers and users of the new manufacturing technologies will both have their say, all under the headline “Mechanical Engineering.”
A binder (glue) is selectively applied to a powder layer, unbund material is removed afterwards
Conventional manufacturing processes in combination with additive technologies
Dr. Dietrich Birk
Dr. Dietrich Birk
Managing director VDMA Baden-Württemberg, Corporate management, Personell management, Economic policy
0711 228 01 12
0711 228 01 24