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Industry 4.0 research advisory board presents engineering roadmap

With its engineering roadmap and the thematic blocks it contains, the Industry 4.0 Research Advisory Council is presenting a framework for concrete research priorities for the next ten years. These focus topics are due to be addressed within the specified period: optimisation of existing factory systems, dynamic adaptability and autonomy. The aim is to achieve competitive, transparent, flexible and value-adding production. A crucial aspect is the best possible integration of people into Industry 4.0. The Industry 4.0 Research Advisory Council, which is coordinated by acatech, advises the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Industry 4.0 Platform in particular.

The engineering roadmap was developed by members of the research advisory board together with a strategy commission that was specifically established for this project in 2023. Further roadmaps on the topics of "business models" and "the future of work" as well as an overarching strategy paper are still to come.

In order to achieve the necessary skills in the field of engineering in the coming years, suitable methods and techniques must be available. The engineering roadmap focuses on the four main topics: "Product and production system development / planning", "Goal achievement / quality assurance", "Information acquisition and utilisation" and "People, machines and organisation". This thematic structure, together with the time structure, forms a framework for organising concrete thematic blocks that address important research questions.

"The fourth industrial revolution will – like all previous industrial revolutions – cause major changes," explains Peter Liggesmeyer (Fraunhofer IESE), spokesperson for science on the Industry 4.0 Research Advisory Board. "This affects, among other things, value propositions, business models, the way people are involved, but also technical aspects. Engineering must be adapted to the changed requirements. This requires appropriate research, for which the engineering roadmap now available is intended to provide orientation."

"Highly networked, increasingly automated or even autonomous technical systems of Industry 4.0 require a wide range of new development capabilities to enable and ensure functionally safe and sustainable operation," adds Rainer Stark (TU Berlin), member of the Industry 4.0 Research Advisory Board. "The Engineering Roadmap of the Industry 4.0 Research Advisory Board provides the necessary thematic and temporal impetus and orientation for the next ten years."

"The engineering roadmap provides important guidance on the topics that need to be addressed in research over the next ten years," emphasises Harald Schöning (Software AG), industry spokesperson on the Industry 4.0 research advisory board. "It also gives industry an idea of the areas in which progress can be expected and where it can get involved at an early stage."