Industry 4.0 – Does it also exist in Mühldorf?

Another article on the topic of digitalisation in industry?

Deep down, I sometimes want to duck away in the light of the flood of change. I ask myself more and more often whether the next innovation I see will make me face up to it, or whether tomorrow the next “buzzword” won’t dominate the media.

What actually is Industry 4.0?

Of course, the continuation of digitalisation, the acceleration of which continues unabated. And how did it start? In the 1980s, the PC made its way onto our desks – in the office and later at home. Due to increasing mobility, laptops and mobile phones were developed. That was the second phase.
Right now we are living in the third phase of digitalisation. Of course this is also a matter  in Mühldorf. We have not only become accustomed to smartphones, but also to the fact that people no longer talk to each other in restaurants. They rather stare into their phones.
Industry 4.0 can be nicely explained in its development with this graphic:

Source: Yokogawa

Digitalisation has already begun and is also unstoppable.

Just as we not only take our PC for granted, but can no longer do without it, we will also have to deal with the Internet of Things. In the private sphere, you can always decide whether you want your toaster or your fridge to be on the internet or not.

And what about in our region?

In the industrial sector, we are home to leading companies for which Industry 4.0 is already a normal and lived standard. Even various craft enterprises have already made the leap into digitalisation. But apart from that, the agricultural sector is particularly interesting for me in our region. It is striking that the applications have already become very widespread. Also the “third green revolution” has long been taking place.

“Smart farming” offers farmers support in making decisions to optimise processes. Which, above all, makes work easier. This can be systems for collecting and analysing data, as well as managing spatial and temporal variability. Take a look at the website of the Mühldorf-based company Fliegl, for instance. There you will find good examples, not only of innovative equipment, but also of hardware and apps that make smart farming possible in the first place.

In this way, economic efficiency can be increased and the workload of people reduced. The use of pesticides and fertilisers can be reduced by automatically optimising soil cultivation. GPS, aerial photos from drones, transmission of data on soil moisture, humus and nitrogen content and much more can help to improve economic efficiency while protecting the environment.

That can only be done with broadband, right?

The prerequisite for widespread use is the expansion to the 5G broadband network. But here too there are already solutions today that make farmers largely independent of broadband expansion.

According to a 2016 survey by the digital association bitcom, 53 % of farms already use digital applications. Also 30 % are planning or considering them. Only for 6 % of farms it remains a non-issue. And 66 % of those surveyed see digitalisation as an opportunity. Only 13 % see it as a risk.

My insight?

And for the rest of the world? The same applies as for the beginning of digitalisation in the 1980s. You can’t duck out of it! Because the ones that will survive are those that were there from the beginning. Not the ones that just start when there’s no other way. And that applies to all sectors, as shown above by way of example.
The most important insight for me, however, is that digital developments are successful when they are focused exclusively on the customer. Regardless of where they are and what they are planning. A clever app has to help him with this.

Amélie v. Schoenaich