© IndustryFusion Foundation

Implementation of Industry 4.0 in SMEs

Open Source Summit: Concrete implementation of Industry 4.0 in SMEs

Taking action together, joining forces and start implementation: that was the credo of the “Open Source Summit 2024” at the IndustryFusion Foundation's new DemoLab in Bad Wörishofen, Bavaria. The event focused on the practical implementation of IndustryFusion-X, the unique solution for cross-manufacturer networking of systems in industrial production. At the summit meeting of Industry 4.0 pragmatists in the field of industrial digitalization, high-ranking representatives from business and science focused on the latest developments relating to the digitalization of small and medium-sized enterprises – associations and SMEs also presented current challenges and new technologies.

The IndustryFusion Foundation's Open Source Summit 2024 was held under the motto “Joining forces and working together to implement” and focused on the challenges and opportunities of digitalizing the production of small and medium-sized enterprises. Around 100 guests from politics, industry, business and science took the opportunity to exchange ideas at this summit and gain the latest insights into how SMEs can master the leap into digital manufacturing. “It is important that we join forces in order to work together on implementation. Together with our partners, we are implementing Industry 4.0 in a very pragmatic way,” emphasized Igor Mikulina, President of the IndustryFusion Foundation's Board of Trustees, at the opening of the event. Bernhard Pohl, Member of the Bavarian State Parliament, made the same point in his welcoming address. SMEs – the “engine of the economy” - must network, he said: “In order to maintain prosperity, it is necessary to significantly increase productivity in order to remain internationally competitive.”

IndustryFusion-X: The networking solution for small and medium-sized companies in particular

The digitalization of companies plays a central role in increasing competitiveness. However, practical implementations of Industry 4.0, especially in small and medium-sized companies, are still rare - even in larger production companies, implementations are currently characterized by isolated solutions that have been tailored to the respective application. In order to jointly leverage the potential of digitalization in production, an association of medium-sized companies from the metalworking industry started to launch the standardized and manufacturer-independent open source networking solution IndustryFusion-X in 2020: On its basis, factory operators can network their production, machines and plant manufacturers can digitize their products and providers of digital services can offer their services via a standardized platform. Simple implementation is a central component of the solution: only then will companies of all sizes – explicitly including small and medium-sized enterprises – be able to intelligently digitize production and products and reap the benefits of networking the store floor. At this year's Open Source Summit, the IndustryFusion Foundation and its partners, such as Dell and Monitor ERP, presented how this can be implemented in practice.

© IndustryFusion Foundation
How can SMEs make the leap into digitalization? What hurdles, but also what specific opportunities and benefits arise from this? These and other questions were answered by the speakers at the Open Source Summit 2024 in Bad Wörishofen. From left to right: André Ehrhard (Monitor ERP System), Fabio Oettl (IndustryFusion Foundation), Christian Scharrer (Dell) and Rainer Sträter (IONOS). © IndustryFusion Foundation
Strong IT partners are committed to concrete implementation

“The system with integrated IF Process Data Twin already provides the most important foundations for the market launch of the first IndustryFusion Enterprise versions. And we are working on this on many levels,” explained Fabio Oettl, CEO of the IndustryFusion Foundation. At the Open Source Summit, the foundation's strong IT partners, such as Intel, IONOS, SUSE and Dell, presented the decisive contribution they are making to the creation of the cross-vendor IF-X data space. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schilp, Fraunhofer IGCV, and Dr. Marcel Wagner, Intel Germany, demonstrated how the solution can be easily implemented in industrial production with the help of the IndustryFusion Process Data Twin. The solution allows companies of all sizes to intelligently digitalize production and products. “We have decided that we don't want large mega-corporations in Europe, we want to retain medium-sized companies. For this to work, we need to agree on common values in Europe that apply to all SMEs,“ said Rainer Sträter, IONOS. To this end, he explained how digital innovations are aligned with existing data protection rules with Gaia-X. Jens Gero-Boehm, SUSE, presented pioneering solutions for the secure processing of workloads in data centers, the cloud and at the edge. Thanks to production data and CO2 tracking, optimization potential can be quickly identified, as André Ehrhard, Monitor ERP System, reported. Christian Scharrer, Dell, emphasized: “Not every medium-sized company has expertise in IT security. We support companies to simplify their infrastructure and make it secure”.

Experience added value live in the IndustryFusion Foundation's new 4.0 DemoLab

In addition to the IT partners, machine manufacturers, software developers and banking partners such as Sopra Steria also showed how new business models and concrete added value scenarios are already being developed on this basis. Event participants were also able to experience the benefits of the latest release of the networking solution for cross-manufacturer networked production live in the IndustryFusion Foundation's new Industry 4.0 DemoLab. The concluding panel discussion “Stronger together – shaping digitalization across initiatives” discussed, among other things, how the IndustryFusion Foundation differentiates itself from other organizations and what challenges in the field of digitalization will continue to follow in the future. These future challenges, opportunities and solutions will be the topic of the IndustryFusion Foundation's Open Source Summit 2025, which will take place on May 14 and 15, 2025.

(Source: IndustryFusion Foundation Press Release)


DigitalisationIFFIndustry 4.0SME

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