Going It Alone with Industry 4.0?


Dr. Steffen Haack, a leader at Rexroth AG, wrote recently that he keeps meeting people who plan to “go it alone” with Industry 4.0, the Industrial Internet of Things.

That’s not going to happen, says Dr. Haack. “Industry 4.0 will not only trigger innovations in production technologies,” he says, but “the automation industry itself will also undergo fundamental changes.”

One of those changes will have to be an end to the idea that a motion control company can plan and develop an exciting new technology, unveil it, and then see all its competitors fall to their knees in admiring anguish.

The whole concept of Industry 4.0 requires intelligent integration. All the machinery, humans, and IT will have to work together, or it won’t work.

Rexroth’s plan is to make small changes and innovations, working closely with many partners, and to incorporate the new developments into new technologies and products going forward.

“For Industry 4.0,” Haack says, “Bosch Rexroth offers a comprehensive portfolio of intelligent and open solutions, from intelligent drive technology and highly functional and high-performance control technology, all the way to a wide software portfolio for engineering.”

But it’s not all about developing a suite of solutions that work together. It’s essential to make everything work together, or the solution won’t provide the seamlessly connected experience that is Industry 4.0.

In many cases, the plan is to “link existing knowledge with available solutions based on open IT standards.”

Because Industry 4.0 is about connections, not solitude. It’s about collaboration, not rugged individualism. And it’s not going to work if you’re determined to go it alone.

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