Industry 4.0 in the sense of what is called the fourth industrial revolution can be summarised as the transformation of the industrial world by digitalisation and networking. And although digitalisation in the strict sense of the term arrived in the machine tool production process back in the 1960s with the introduction of CNC control systems, machine tools are particularly affected: they constitute the core of every industrial production process.
The improvement of machines and enhancement of efficiency through horizontal and vertical networking entail new requirements and challenges. However, the solutional approaches of the individual manufacturers are so disparate here as the products and processes involved. Because in contrast to the consumer-goods category, in which proactive market influencing through new features can trigger a want-to-have-it feeling that leads to the premature replacement of a fully functional technology (example: smartphones), in the industrial world decisions on capital investment have to stand up to a cost-benefit analysis. An additional price can be justified only by an added value for the customer.
The VDW is actively involved in shaping a fit-for-the-future environment, which requires the standardisation of interfaces or the clarification of salient legal aspects, for example. Here, too, the VDW offers its members a platform for exchanging information and empirical feedback.