New book on Industrie 4.0

07/06/2016

I published my first book on Industrie 4.0 2013 as proceedings of the Industrial Summit Feldafing. Three years later, there is a second: "Industrie 4.0 unleashed" is currently being produced at Springer and the German version is expected to hit the market in autumn. It is not simply a remake. The preface states: "It is to some extent a political book on the industry of the future and dares some looks back at the history of the industrial revolution (s) because the knowledge of where we come from, we do best understand where the path may lead us."

Overall, the German initiative Industrie 4.0 is now five years old. Worldwide it has encouraged and driven the discussion about the next stage of industrialization. Also newspapers and magazines who took technology and industry until recently as a very last topic, now also talk about how the digitalization and the Internet embrace the industry and what that means for all of us. Because it is getting clear: Our wealth depends from the prosperity of the industry; the future depends on the way in which the industry deals with the resources of nature and human beings; and science and technology will not only help companies to more effectiveness and sales, they can also help the people to shape the future.

It is good that the discussion is global. It's good to have many initiatives now around the globe. It promotes competition. But this is also clear: It is still by no means certain whether Germany will be the world market leader again for the next level of industrialization. The Internet has turned upside down the economy from the United States. The start-up mentality and the courage to create new business models are the large capital of the US economy in the competition for the Internet of Things. Chinese industry in many parts lags far behind, but the country - the government and its citizens - is determined to become the global industry nation # 1 up to the middle of this century. It is not the question of whether Germany has taken the right direction with Industrie 4.0. The question is how Germany is asserting itself against the global competition and which role it plays in international development.

The new book addresses these issues in detail. From my perspective, but again from the perspective of industrial companies and researchers who deal with these topics in the forefront. And - what is probably unique - with a chapter of the CEO of Xinhuanet from Beijing, that stes "Made in China 2025" in reference to Industrie 4.0 and explains the role of the cooperation between Germany and China from the Chinese perspective.

The first book has addressed a comparatively large readership in Germany. In China, however, it has become a bestseller. Without any promotion. The new book is also planned in English. Perhaps it can contribute some thoughts and facts so that the international debate on the digitalization is not bogged down in doubts about the new and the fear of the future, but also not stuck in the technical debate of what is possible.

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