Is the fourth industrial revolution (aka Industry 4.0) just around the corner? And if so, what sorts of changes and adjustments will it require on the part of manufacturers? If you're asking yourself these sorts of questions, you'll find the answers you're looking for - and much more - at MDA (Motion, Drive & Automation) 2015. Around 1,100 world-leading manufacturers of power transmission and control components and systems will be there. They will be presenting a wide range of market ready ideas and building blocks for next-generation production systems.
Power transmission and control technology is integral to next-generation production systems because combining drives, actuators, sensors and control units into integrated systems is the key to realizing manufacturing plants and machines that can do things like share information, monitor themselves, detect when tools are wearing out, and even self-optimize on the fly. The other part of the Industry 4.0 equation involves integrating machine components, tools and even the products they produce into overarching communication networks to create the Internet of Things.
In terms of Industry 4.0, there is still uncertainty - and a great deal of debate - as to the exact form that the anticipated digital transformation might take and the effects that it might have on production, products and the overall product development process. But whatever happens, power transmission and control will have a major role in it. That's according to the German Engineering Federation (VDMA), an organization that is undoubtedly at the forefront of the Industry 4.0 trend in Germany. Hartmut Rauen, a member of the VDMA Executive Directorate, explains: "As enablers of smart, efficient production processes, power transmission control technologies have an integral part to play in Industry 4.0. The power transmission and control industry is also a user of Industry 4.0. Its intelligent components are important sources of the big data that will be mined and analyzed in the connected world of Industry 4.0."