Recently, the Symbio team participated in Europe’s biggest Electric Automation exhibition, SPS IPC Drives. The exhibit was on November 24th, and was held in Nuremberg, Germany. Our team had an exciting time during the event and shared their key findings and observations from Nuremberg around key topics addressed within the exhibit.
Industry 4.0 as a category changer
As already witnessed within Hannover Messe 2015 (http://www.symbio.com/what-we-learned-while-attending-the-largest-industrial-event-in-the-world-hannover-messe-2015/) last spring, Industry 4.0 will be the next big industry changer for electric automation. Connectivity related really matters with regards to Industry 4.0, and IoT and Industrial Internet were widely demonstrated and debated during the exhibit. Augmented Reality, Mobility & different wireless technologies also gained a lot of attention; however a clear understanding for the new business models and possibilities has yet to be clearly understood. Additionally, market leaders such as ABB and Rockwell Automation were already presenting their approaches via their new mobile offerings and solutions.
Big Data bringing insight to business processes
Different ways to utilize (big) data – meaning new ways to collect, harness and capture key insights from business processes via big data systems – were in limelight within the fair. Companies such as Siemens and Schneider Electric demonstrated ways to enhance and utilize processes using data in a more meaningful way. The end goal is to have the whole value chain digitalized in a way that supports all 3rd party applications. This will enable a production process’ simulation and thus product optimization.
Standardized ecosystems are emerging
Reference architectures & standardization were one of the key topics within the fair as well. Some of the large industry players are setting the new norm for the markets with their approaches for the digitalized ecosystems. Panel discussions were held around the topic and companies were promoting their approaches in regards to reference architectures & connectivity technologies (as part of their solutions for platforms like WiFi and Bluetooth) as a way forward.
Security within the industry a wide focus
Security and secure ways to enhance these new digitalized services and systems were imperative to all of the major companies presented at the fair. Compared to security issues addressed in Hannover Messe in April 2015, the security discussion within the industry had evolved and become much more concrete. Companies were presenting solutions for secure ways to handle and protect data such as user authentication, data encryption, and using trusted cloud platforms & compliant service provides.
New regulations are setting the pace
All in all governmental and commission level regulations around electric automation and energy utilization will push the whole industry level change. However, few companies are already acting as bellwethers with their offerings – by accelerating a new pace of change towards the future automation.