VDW, organiser of Metav 2018, has invited journalist to an international press conference hosted by Phoenix Contact. Main topics of this event were digital process chains, additive manufacturing, and Industry 4.0.
According to VDW, the German Machine Tool Builders’ Association, the meeting was arranged to illustrate the links between classical metalworking and innovative developments, both of which are to be shown at Metav 2018.
Phoenix Contact, a company leading in electrical engineering, opened its halls to journalists and took the opportunity to show its expertise in fields like additive manufacturing with its subsidiary Protiq, or automation.
Roland Bent, Corporate Technology Officer at Phoenix Contact, said: “Automation has significantly accelerated developments in the industrial sector. But this will in future be far exceeded by the speed at which the industrial world is now going to be transformed in the era of digitalisation.” Roland Bent sees the industrial sector as entering a phase, “in which we are learning with and from each other”. But each company is basically faced with the decision “either to simply wait passively for the digital transformation to happen or proactively join in shaping it”.
Industry 4.0 at Metav 2018
Irrespective of the technical preconditions for Industry 4.0, which were mapped out by Phoenix Contact at the Metav Press Forum, the challenges of the future lie in developing new business models from the technical options available. In this context, enormous importance is attached to mutual feedback with other players and shared research projects involving academic institutions as well. Phoenix Contact is at the same time researching the effects on the workplace entailed by digitalisation. In conjunction with the OWL University of Applied Sciences, the company has designed the “Combicon Workshop of the Future”, in which the changes in remits and qualifications are explored.
With the industrial “internet of things”, meaning interlinkage of machinery and sensor data with the virtual world, classical factory and process automation can be expected to gather significant momentum. In Düsseldorf, the “Industry 4.0 Theme Park” attracting many visitors at Metav two years ago, will pick up on this topic and provide insights into digital manufacturing, VDW announced. Here, too, the question will be answered of how small and mid-tier companies can benefit from digital manufacturing. On the joint stand, the company and research institutions will be showcasing solutions already implemented. The associated experts’ forum is tasked with presenting examples of best practice and providing further topics for discussion. The exhibitors’ stands will offer sufficient opportunities for mutual feedback, fully in line with the motto: communication is the key – for both innovations and further digital development.