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Initiative to digitalize supply chains in the industry

The stakeholders of Plattform Industrie 4.0 have a major goal: to implement the DataSpace Industrie 4.0 and the transformation to a digitally networked industry across the board. Business, politics and academia have started the joint initiative Manufacturing-X. Companies will become able to autonomously and jointly use data across the entire production and supply chain. This makes digital innovations possible for more resilience, sustainability and competitiveness. The initiative must be developed on a European and global level right from the start – just like our value creation networks are organized.

Industry creates prosperity and jobs. Germany is the world leader in Industrie 4.0. However, changing geopolitical conditions, climate change and global crises pose major challenges for companies. For example, industry must be able to react to disruptions in supply chains or in energy supply. It must consistently use the possibilities of a data-based economy. The digital and sustainable transformation of the entire German industry is more important than ever. The basic requirement for this transformation is transparency about processes and resources used in the entire value chain. Digital ecosystems and the sharing of data create the necessary foundations for this.

Digital ecosystems in industry create resilience, sustainability and competitiveness

The cross-sectoral initiative Manufacturing-X implements the DataSpace Industrie 4.0. The prerequisites for a functioning DataSpace are: easily available and consistent data networking and the willingness to share data multilaterally. Manufacturing-X creates trustworthy data ecosystems based on open standards. Concrete applications are to be shown and scaled. Manufacturing-X will allow:

  • to create new business models for a sustainable economy. Examples are a closed circular economy, transparency about the carbon footprint and higher efficiency (sustainability);

  • to reorganize value networks and to react quickly to disruptions (resilience);

  • to secure and expand the global leadership position of German industry with digital innovations (competitiveness).

Partner network works together across industries

To meet this requirement, all stakeholders involved in value creation need to work together. Leading companies in the Industrie 4.0 community have set out with their associations and networks to implement Manufacturing-X. On this way, medium-sized companies should be taken along. This is a success factor. Transfer is more important than ever for the development of digital ecosystems – solutions must be easy and inexpensive to use.

Strong foundations enable rapid implementation

The Industrie 4.0 community has laid the foundation with the support of politicians. The Asset Administration Shell standard (digital twin) for Industrie 4.0, the European initiative GAIA-X or the flagship project Catena-X for the digitalization of supply chains in the automotive industry are fundamental building blocks for the DataSpace Industrie 4.0.

However, individual companies or trade associations cannot implement Manufacturing-X alone. Manufacturing-X is more than the sum of many individual projects. The initiative creates a broad alliance of companies, associations, academia and politics. As a public-private innovation partnership, they actively shape digital data ecosystems across industries.

Plattform Industrie 4.0 is the hub of the Industrie 4.0 community, in order to specify and implement Manufacturing-X. It offers the space to think innovatively and strengthens the development of a Manufacturing-X community. The established processes of Plattform Industrie 4.0, as a network of networks and think tank, make it possible to conduct a cross-domain dialogue on Manufacturing-X. In this way, the platform can prepare the development of organizational and stakeholder structures. It can consolidate technical, legal or business administration issues in a tried and tested pre-competitive way. In addition, Plattform Industrie 4.0 will use its broad partner network in Europe and beyond to make Manufacturing-X a globally used standard for the data-driven industry.

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