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12/10/2014

Experts discuss Industry 4.0

Successful start of the Schmersal Theme Nights at the SPS IPC Drives 2014

Under the title "Safety 4.0 - Intelligent Safety Systems for the Production of Tomorrow", five experts at the trade fair SPS IPC Drives on November 25, 2014 in Nuremberg discussed the consequences of the transformation to „smart factory“ and „intelligent production“ not only for the industry but also for the employees and the company. The Schmersal group invited the personal consulting service Mercuri Urval GmbH also to the Theme Night. The event was moderated by Dr. Andreas Hunscher, manager of the Schmersal plant in Wettenberg.

As a keynote speaker, Prof. Dr. -Ing. Dr. -Ing. E. h. Dr. h.c. Dieter Spath, Chief Executive Officer of Wittenstein, and long-time head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO), examples from the working world. The employees at the Wittenstein plant in Fellbach communicate with their machines via iPad.

The main thesis of Prof. Spath: "Flexibility is the man topic of the Industry 4.0. Because the speed of production will increase; 40% of what we now plan on a weekly schedule, will have to be planned on a daily basis in the future."

Philip Schmersal , Managing Director of the Schmersal Group, emphasized the importance of the topics "Safety and Security" in modern production networks: "In the factory of the future people will work much closer with machines, such as in cooperative human-robot workstations - this poses the safety technology with completely new tasks which we, as a company are intensively preparing for."

Dr. Albert Nußbaum, Managing Director of the Mercuri Urval GmbH, stressed the importance of the employee when changing the production and pointed out that the requirement profiles of the workers would be greatly altered.
Gregor Grandl, Division Manager and partner of Porsche Consulting GmbH, reported on how companies are preparing for the Industry 4.0 and the ever-increasing demands on flexibility and responsiveness. 

The 80 participant subsequent took advantage of the get-together to exchange ideas and to network.
Conclusion: A successful event - and an interesting new "Format" for a trade fair evening at the Schmersal stand. Doing this again with another topic is definitely going to happen, said Philip Schmersal.

Context Column

Discussing “Safety 4.0.” (l.-r.): Philip Schmersal , Managing Director of the Schmersal Group, Dr. Albert Nußbaum, Managing Director of the Mercuri Urval GmbH, Gregor Grandl, Division Manager and partner of Porsche Consulting GmbH, Dr.-Ing. Andreas Hunscher, manager of the Schmersal plant in Wettenberg.