Industry 4.0 > Acceptance of Industry 4.0 in machinery industry

Industry 4.0 - Quest study

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Market survey about realization of Industry 4.0 in German machinery industry

To which extent machine-builders acknowledge the relevance of Industry 4.0 in practice

Which relevance in practice Industry 4.0 provides for them exposed 150 machine-builders in detailed interviews. Quest TechnoMarketing systematized this information to a study of over 200 pages. The study offers a global process image how machine automation is changing toward Industry 4.0. And it derives the structures, in which Industry 4.0 will develop in the machinery industry in the future.

June 13th, 2016 - The machine-builders reported concretely how machine automation is to change toward Industry 4.0 or already partly modified, how engineering is to change, which aspects of benefit from these changes are expected, which future business models are aimed at and, of course, also how automation manufacturers should support these processes better than so far.  

The Quest Trend Magazine will present some results. However, since Industry 4.0 is a systemic project, whose future prospects is also investigated in a also systemic manner by the study, we offer workshops on-site for focusing on a successful conversion of Industry 4.0 for machine-builders and automation manufacturers.

Industry 4.0 has arrived in the German machinery industry

We are going to start with the extent to which machine-builders acknowledge the relevance in practice of Industry 4.0.

The acceptance of Industry 4.0 in German machinery industry.
Source: "The current process of the realization of Industry 4.0 in machine automation and its prospect in German machinery industry" from Quest TechnoMarketing, May 2016.

66% of the investigated machine-builders are practically on the way toward Industry 4.0, be it that they already implemented Industry 4.0 to a certain extent or that they want to change machine automation toward Industry 4.0 this year. These machine-builders produce 80% of the investigated machines.

28% of the machine-builders consider changes toward Industry 4.0 after 2016; 20% of the machinery potential is allotted to these machine-builders.

Finally 6% of the machine-builders do not want to make changes toward Industry 4.0. These machine-builders produce 2% of the machines. The refusal reasons refer mainly to the fact that the end-user does not want or does not require Industry 4.0.

This acceptance profile confirms: Industry 4.0 has arrived in the German machinery industry.

What should be the meaning of Industry 4.0?

„Industry 4.0 is a diffuse topic“ criticizes a packaging machine manufacturer. „Industry 4.0 is a word, which uses everybody but it is difficult to provide a statement without a proper definition“ completes a manufacturer of food processing machines. And a manufacturer of building/glass/ceramic machines states: „The industry is only in the initial phase regarding Industry 4.0 and nobody can say exactly, what is actually Industry 4.0.“  

This correctly stated indeterminations could be eliminated by the study as a result of all the discussions with the machine-builders. In this context it does not concern a definition out of the text book or for the text book. Rather it concerns to determine the present main chain link for the realization of Industry 4.0 in machine automation.

The cyber-physical system is the present main chain link for the realization of Industry 4.0 in automation

In the present stage of the realization of Industry 4.0 this main chain link lays with the cyber physical the system, abbreviated CPS. Such a CPS may be realized for components, subsystems or systems.1) The CPS does not exhaust Industry 4.0 technologically but Industry 4.0 does not take place without CPS. In later stages of realization quite different features of Industry 4.0 may be in the foreground.

Of course, this remains still abstract. So what are the concrete aspects?  

The concretization comes from the machine-builders themselves. They reported about their changes in eleven areas of machine automation and in five areas of the engineering. The study classifies each of these changes into five development stages. Thus a technologically determined process image arise show the various areas of machine automation will change 2016 and later toward Industry 4.0. Development stages as Industry 4.0 does present a systemic process and not a component that can be completely implemented.

The study generalizes these development stages to a view on the future realization of Industry 4.0 in the machinery industry, reveals its structure and projects the changes in market relations in the machinery industry and regarding automation manufacturers.  

As a concrete application a next report will deal with networking toward Industry 4.0 and its five development stages.


Every interview started with a determination of the Industry 4.0-capable component providing three features: 1. It is able to communicate vertically and horizontally. 2. It provides a digital interface. 3. It provides a software area that is able to communicate with data regarding life cycle and others. This software area may be delegated to a superordinate component. We may apply these three features to single components, subsystems or systems.