Technological skills for the Industry 4.0 principle are also valuable for the automotive segment. Future vehicles will have several "4.0" capabilities – among them the ability of the car to control itself.
If you want to be efficient, you have to communicate. If the blacksmith doesn’t tell his assistant how he is supposed to twist the iron in order to shape it, he can hardly expect the work to turn out well. The same applies to industrial production: success in manufacturing depends heavily on how the various suppliers, departments and decision-makers convey their thoughts to one another. If there is proper communication, production runs smoothly and on time. If it is not optimal, disruptions can occur.
The digital age opens up whole new possibilities in this regard. Extremely sophisticated components send and receive countless data within seconds. This form of comprehensive communication is referred to as “Industry 4.0”, or the fourth industrial revolution — a project promoted by the German government which aims for the computerization of traditional industries. An intelligent network connecting developers, products, logistics personnel and clients creates added value through innovative process design.
Creating (added) value in the automotive industry
The automotive sector in particular, with its approximately 15 per cent share of the German manufacturing industry’s gross value added (GVA), is able to profit from this. Within the next decade, Industry 4.0 principles can lead to a cumulative productivity increase of no less than 20 per cent — and therefore to a gross value added of up to almost EUR 15 billion.
This is based on the assumption that the core requirements of 4.0 Vision are implemented: controlling and coordinating a large number of processes in real time over vast distances, corresponding standardisation and modularisation of individual procedural steps, continual exchange of data and the resulting procedural adjustments constitute only a small number of the essential elements here.
Central sites for the networking and communication of humans and machines are represented by so-called Human Machine Interfaces (HMI). But machines also communicate with other machines — referred to in short as “M2M”.
In a smart factory, for example, a telematics module receives an online production order with all the required CAD data. The material needed for this is then ordered by the machine without human assistance from the corresponding departments in such a way that all the required supplies end up in exactly the right amount at the right time and at the right place — fully automated and with minimal fault tolerance.
Touch screens act as an interface between man and machine. Telematics modules also allow people to communicate with mechanical systems, while its cameras and sensors monitor inventories and the status of systems and products. The company’s electronic control and sensor systems are based on its extremely robust circuit boards and, ideally, sealed and encased using Kyocera casting resin.
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