In 2011, the term Industry 4.0 was first introduced by a German working group at Hannover Messe to promote its government-backed project of enhancing connectivity, computerization, and machine intelligence in manufacturing. In 2013, the Working Group on Industry 4.0 returned to Hannover Messe and presented official recommendations on implementing Industry 4.0 that it had prepared for the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Companies around the world continue to follow these recommendations as they create and implement Industry 4.0 technologies.
Pepperl+Fuchs sees Industry 4.0 as the future of fully networked production systems that is characterized by data exchange, within production processes and via the cloud, with higher-level information systems beyond company boundaries. Compared to the classic hierarchical communication strategies (horizontal, vertical), modern networked approaches allow communication to take place at any time between every participant and every hierarchical level.
This replacement of hierarchical machine communication by networked structures brings a valuable benefit: application data from field devices like sensors and actuators can be transferred directly to corporate IT systems without media discontinuity. Access to information about the performance and technical status of the machine and plant allows early intervention before failures or unwanted plant downtimes occur. The communication capability of the sensors required for this is a main feature of Sensorik4.0®—innovative sensor solutions from Pepperl+Fuchs for use in Industry 4.0 scenarios.