It hasn’t been so long since the Hannover fair took place, and the hype and trends that we all saw will be staying with us throughout the year. Our team visited the fair and explored the #Industry4.0 solutions and here are our INCsights from the Hannover experience.
Based on the interests and requirements of our customers, one of the key interest areas for us was sustainability. Sustainable production requires more than just mere monitoring of energy and resource consumption. Although most of the solutions we saw were in this direction, we were also delighted to see that some exhibitors have truly gone beyond existing solutions like an efficient use of production resources using AI, and displayed promising solutions that analyzed the business and process data to realize optimization of production plans and process settings for further energy and resource savings. The benefits that can be unlocked by the availability of the right quality and quantity of data and the possibility to analyze it over cross-processes can bring new opportunities.
Therefore, we at INC, always preach about the potential of having a single source of truth. And we went to the fair with excitement and hope of seeing advancements in commercial software solutions. What solutions exist today and were displayed at the Hannover fair showed that we are moving from data silos towards partially integrated process functions and data sets. But the full integration is still a challenge without the proper data architecture. Honestly, we believe, the change from island solutions to integrated software networks will still need a lot of attention and work in the form of proper data platforms and governance.
Another thing that is always interesting for us and our customers is the topic of the digital twin. And what caught our eye was the example of digital production twin at the Hannover fair. It had everything that would make it a digital twin – a connection of the physical line and virtual model in real time with a feedback loop for adjusting the process settings. We were impressed that it was not just a digital model or a digital shadow under the name of the digital twin.
Transparency and sustainability in the supply chain are a buzz in the industry these days and so was it at the Hannover Trade Fair. While talking to solution providers, we saw quite a few technologically mature solutions. Supply chain platforms now enable mutual collaboration thus increasing transparency on the whereabouts of materials and shipments. Also, these platforms allow for cross-processing information exchange by easily integrating into the existing IT systems. When thinking about the implementation of these solutions, the predominant questions remain: Are my partners willing to share the information that I need, and how can I ethically share the information so that my position is not compromised or used as leverage against me? Federations like GaiaX have a promising framework for solving the concerns related to data sharing and sovereignty.