Industry 4.0 > Realization of Industry 4.0 in sectors of machinery industry

Industry 4.0 - Quest study

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Market survey about realization of Industry 4.0

The degree of realization of Industry 4.0 in the sectors of the German machinery industry

Picture Industry 4.0 up to the ERP

With all the numerous technological solutions for Industry 4.0 that are presented at trade fairs and in trade journals, there is no systematic overview of the state of implementation of industry 4.0 in the machinery industry. Based on the market research from Quest TechnoMarketing in 2016 we publish the overview, to which degree Industry 4.0 is realized or will be realized in ten sectors of the German machinery industry.

December 7th, 2020 - From in-depth and detailed discussions with 150 machine builders with 100 and more employees in ten sectors

  • building, glass, ceramic machines, conveyer, food processing machines, machine tools, packaging machines, printing and paper-handling machines, robotics and automation, rubber and plastics machines, textile machines, wood processing machines

these ten sector profiles about the realization of Industry 4.0 (abbreviated to I4) could be identified. The interviews were conducted more than three years ago. Details may have changed, the structure of the realization of Industry 4.0 remains valid.

The degree of realization of Industry 4.0 in the sectors of the German machinery industry.

The stages of develoment of Industry 4.0 in the sectors

How may these sector profiles be read?  

"Development stages of machine-related changes" to I4 (=Industry 4.0): It’s rare that a brand-new Industry 4.0 machine is launched. Instead, I4 is implemented in five development stages.  

The examples refer to energy-efficient networked drives as one of eleven machine-related automation areas investigated:  

Changes in machine automation toward I4 but still no I4 quality. Example: "The power consumption of the drives is measured, but still no energy optimisation from the drives themselves." (Textile machines)  

Changes toward I4 but not yet implemented in 2016, the year of the market research, but later. Example: "We are working on monitoring for energy consumption. In the first step the energy consumption is to be recorded in order to be able to optimise the energy consumption (further if possible) in the second step.” (Robotics and automation)  

I4 quality sporadically realized. Example: "During production, the systems detect where power is required and automatically reduce the power in certain applications. Where I do not need high pressure, we save energy. Where a pump can run with reduced power, it does. We use smart load management, but there are still many possibilities for energy management”. (Textile machines)  

I4 quality realized as subranges. Example: "We provide interfaces to higher-level energy management and load management. This can be controlled and is integrated in both." (Food processing machines)  

I4 quality overall realized (=system). Example: "We use smart energy management to record the consumption of the entire system and which drives and processes can be shut down when limit values are exceeded. We have control algorithms for this purpose." (Conveyer)  

Industry 4.0 is determined as the use of a cyber-physical system, CPS, with three features: vertically and horizontally able to communicate, digital interface, a software section that is able to communicate with data in regard to life cycle. These three features may be related to individual components, subsystems or systems.

Finally the percentages in the table are related to those machine-builders that have already realized changes regarding Industry 4.0 or are plannung to do so. These are 94% of the interviewed machine-builders as the report about the acceptance of Industry 4.0 in the machinery industry highlights.

In the sectors a third of the Industry 4.0 approach is realized as system solution

The first line documents the industry average as a percentage of the changing machine-builders and assignment of the realization or changes in the five development stages to I4.

Over all ten sectors 32% of the machine-related changes indicate an overall I4 quality, 41% change or implement I4 quality in subranges, 21% sporadically, 2% of the changes will only be implemented after 2016 and 4% point towards I4 without having I4 quality.

The diagram illustrates that the machine-related changes in the sector robotics and automation provide the relatively highest degree at overall I4 quality with 67% (blue dotted bar), and 33% I4 quality in subranges. Further, lower development stages do not appear in robotics and automation. This result made the sector robotics and automation to the leading sector with a degree of realization of 75%.

In contrast, the machine-related changes with wood processing machines indicate a share of 10% regarding I4 overall quality, 40% regarding I4 quality in subranges and 50% a sporadically implemented I4 quality.

The eleven investigated areas of machine automation to Industry 4.0

These sector profiles have been developed from the concrete analysis of the changing automation technology in the direction of Industry 4.0. The sector is its own standard instead of external, artificial criteria. The sector profiles treat the realization of Industry 4.0 as a process instead of a one-off coup and thus providing a realistic, reliable and inspiring orientation for machine-builders and automation manufacturers.  


These eleven machine-related automation areas are the subject of the market research:

  1. Changing the operation of the machine, such as interactive or multi-mode operation, the use of apps and smartphones etc.
  2. Connecting the machine to MES, ERP, locally, nationally and internationally for process control
  3. Enabling a self-optimising production process with the end-user
  4. Realisation of a production platform with plug-and-produce capabilities 
  5. Energy-efficient, networked drives with intelligent energy and load management
  6. Mechatronic intralogistics by linear motors
  7. Condition monitoring
  8. Predictive maintenance
  9. Parts tracking by RFID
  10. Product tracking by RFID
  11. Making mechanics flexible by robots.

The ranking of the sectors doesn't mean an evaluation. Rather, it documents the efforts of machine builders to create customer benefits by a certain degree of the systematic nature of Industry 4.0.