How far has German Industry 4.0 developed?
Germany does not follow the path of the US Internet, but based on its own advantages in the field of manufacturing and research and development, it strives to achieve overtaking in corners. This is probably something that Chinese companies should pay special attention to when learning Industry 4.0. The following three videos intuitively tell us how far Germany's Industry 4.0 has developed! Imagine a day when you suddenly want a car. You take out your mobile phone, click on the APP, enter your customization requirements, and just wait for the factory to arrange production, assembly and distribution. Such customized intelligent production may not be far away. In the era of Industry 4.0, every consumer can control production according to his own will. But this is far from the whole picture, when the existence of the Internet of Things will further transform the human way of life. For example, the refrigerator in your home can automatically sense the lack of milk and automatically send milk delivery information to the factory. The factory can customize the production of milk according to your taste, and even mark it with your name. The milk will then be delivered to your home in time. The above-mentioned sci-fi 'Internet of Everything' scenario is the Industry 4.0 that the German government and business community are trying to achieve. Why did Germany propose Industry 4.0, and what is the driving force behind it? Can Chinese companies really learn? The reporter recently visited Germany, the main 'source1. Germany's ambitions The first presentation of the Industry 4.0 strategy was at the 2013 Hannover Messe in Germany. Since then, the concept of Industry 4.0 has gradually attracted attention. The reason why it is called Industry 4.0 is mainly relative to the first three industrial revolutions: Industry 1.0 refers to the first industrial revolution that began in the 18th century, realizing mechanical production instead of manual labor; the second industrial revolution began in the 20th century. At the beginning, mass production was realized by relying on production lines; Industry 3.0 is familiar to modern people, referring to the automation of production by relying on electronic systems and information technology after the 1970s. In the past 20 years, the Internet revolution led by the United States has profoundly changed the way of life of human beings, and other countries have followed suit. Some analysts believe that in order to compete with the United States, the forerunner of the Industry 3.0 era, Germany is eager to prevent the domination of information technology in the manufacturing industry, thus leading a new round of industrial revolution and becoming the maker of new rules of the game. Germany has a different competitive advantage than the United States: manufacturing. Whether it is quality or technology, Made in Germany is synonymous with excellence all over the world. About 70% of German manufacturing products are exported around the world. It is precisely because of this that the German economy has been able to maintain strong stability during the economic crisis in recent years, in sharp contrast to the United States and other countries in Europe. In this context, combined with traditional manufacturing advantages, Germany finally launched an Industry 4.0 strategy at the national level, which was endorsed by Chancellor Angela Merkel. Henning Kagermann, the proponent of the concept of Industry 4.0 and President of the German Academy of Engineering, said that Industry 4.0 provides an opportunity for Germany to further consolidate its position as a manufacturing base, production equipment supplier and IT business solution provider. In a sense, Industry 4.0 is Germany's transcendence plan for its own characteristics. They do not follow the path of the American Internet, but try to achieve overtaking in corners based on their own advantages in the field of manufacturing research and development. This is probably something that Chinese companies should pay special attention to when learning Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 with strong German characteristics is actually a huge project. According to the introduction of the German industrial giant Siemens, the core of Industry 4.0 is intelligent manufacturing. Through embedded processors, memories, sensors and communication modules, equipment, products, raw materials, and software are linked together, making products and different production equipment. Able to interconnect and exchange commands. In other words, the factory of the future will be able to optimize and control the production process itself. According to the further vision of the industry, in addition to the interconnection of products and machines, Industry 4.0 will also realize the interconnection of factories, consumers, products, information and data in the future, and finally realize the interconnection of everything, thereby reconstructing the production methods of the entire society. From the perspective of Germany's manufacturing base, many conditions are already met, but what is lacking is how to realize intelligent connection. Two and three hidden dangers Within two years, the sudden popularity of the concept of Industry 4.0 has also aroused certain concerns in the German industry. Considering that this concept is still more in the ideal stage, no one can predict the potential risks. But in the eyes of the industry, there are at least three points worth paying attention to, including data security, lack of standardization, and the enthusiasm of small and medium-sized enterprises. The first is the concern over the control of big data behind smart manufacturing, including the fact that the data people obtain must be trusted, and the data must be protected from hackers and spies. On the other hand, the lack of standardization of the connection system is a major difficulty in the implementation of Industry 4.0, because it will hinder the connection between different devices and systems, thereby hindering the realization of interconnection. Merkel believes that Germany can become a promoter of Industry 4.0 standards and implement them globally. However, as of now, there is still a lack of public information on the details of these standards. The United States, Japan and other countries are also exploring similar standards.