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Acatech study confirms great need for smart engineering


In November, the acatech German Academy of Engineering Sciences published a study "Engineering in the Environment of Industry 4.0". It shows, on the one hand, the extent to which the industry already deals with the subject. On the other hand, it makes clear that the digital transformation cannot succeed without an "Engineering 4.0".

Within acatech, which played an important role in establishing the initiative Industrie 4.0, an interdisciplinary working group was formed in 2014. The name: "Industry 4.0 - Engineering of Smart Products and Services". An analysis of current publications, implementation recommendations and activities showed that they mainly focused on the intelligent factory. In the preface of the study, it is now stated that the workgroup saw "the highest economic potential of industry 4.0 in new, 'intelligent' products and services (smart products and services)".

67 expert interviews and a full-day workshop involving representatives from industry and science were the basis for the present study, which in turn is the foundation for a further and more detailed study. In the one, now published, there are some results that are clearly different to those of many other studies in recent years.

Well known potentialGraphics: acatech study, © Herbert Utz Verlag 2016

On the one hand, the experts were asked how strongly the companies had already dealt with the analysis and implementation of the potentials of Industry 4.0. And in total, 84% confirmed this for their companies.

priorities seen for smart engineeringEven more interesting is, however, which priorities the experts put on the subjects in which they see an urgent need for action when the step from the pure product to the intelligent product with integrated services is to succeed. The fact that increasing networking is the top priority at 66% is clear. However, the development of new business models (63%) and the introduction of methods and tools for systems and smart engineering (61%) are almost equal.

Prof. Michael Abramovici from the Ruhr-University Bochum and Prof. Otthein Herzog from Jacobs University and the University of Bremen took the lead in the work group and study. You can be curious about the following study to come in the middle of 2017.

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