The digitization of the production offers numerous advantages for the user companies, the study states. More than three out of four interviewees said that concepts like Industrie 4.0 optimise the processes and operations in their factories. Industrie 4.0 is a German-born manufacturing-oriented phenotype of the Internet of Things.
For the study, Bitkom and the Fraunhofer institute for labour science (IAO) interviewed managers of 400 enterprises with at least 100 employees active in Germany’s four core industries – automotive, chemicals, machine building and electrical industry. With a penetration of 53%, the automotive industry has the highest share of companies already using Industrie 4.0 schemes. In the electrical industry this figure is 48%, in the chemical industry 42%. In machine building the percentage was the lowest with 41%.
Digitization and interconnection of the production helps enterprises to optimise the production processes, said 76 % of the interviewees. During his presentation, Bitkom board member Winfried Holz quantified these effects: In the time frame from 2013 through 2025, the experts expect synergies worth 78 billion euros in Germany alone. 72 % of the interviewees said they expect that the digitization will help them to lower production cost. Likewise, a high percentage of the industrial experts expect to improve the utilisation of their production lines. However there are also concerns. The high investment costs are regarded as an obstacle to networked production by a strong majority of 72%.