German Centres – A Platform for Industry 4.0

Robots communicating with customers, intelligent forklift trucks bringing products to warehouses and sorting them independently, printers ordering their own cartridges – human-machine interfaces are becoming more and more advanced. German technology is highly valued in other countries and Industry 4.0 is a key success factor for German companies abroad. The German Centres offer a platform that firms can use to showcase and discuss their products and solutions, and to network with other experts as well as customers.

Industry 4.0 Days at the German Centre Sin­ga­pore

Anyone who is involved in Industry 4.0 on a global level and aims to excel in terms of quality, reliability and innovation has to catch people’s attention and make connections worldwide. This is precisely what certain tenants at the German Centre in Sin­ga­pore aspire to: “As German businesses in Sin­ga­pore, we want to raise our profile and position ourselves more effectively for Industry 4.0”.

So this year, the German Centre Sin­ga­pore joined forces with the Fraunhofer Institute, the German Technical Inspection Authority (TÜV Süd), the Jurong Town Corporation (JTC), and the local German Embassy and Chamber of Commerce to launch the Industry 4.0 Days. Their main objective: to present German products in a context of practical relevance.

The 13 exhibitors, from sectors including electrical engineering, automation, mechanical engineering, automotive, production, logistics, and measurement and control technology, read like a Who's Who of the German Smart Factory: Beckhoff Automation, Robert Bosch, Festo, Fraunhofer, Harting, ifm, Murr Elektronik, Pilz, Sick, Turck Banner, Werma Signaltechnik, Witron and Würth. Most have a long-standing presence in Sin­ga­pore and South East Asia.

In a wide range of workshops and presentations, speakers shared their experiences and lessons learnt with an audience of around 150 specialists. Discussions included the role of smart sensors in Industry 4.0, and examples of advanced manu­fac­tur­ing such as how smart devices can be connected to control units and how cloud-based services are making seamless connectivity a reality. At the end-of-conference party, Trumpf put its industrial laser at the disposal of the 200 guests and printed personalized luggage labels for them. “We've had such positive feedback from both the German and Singaporean communities that the businesses and partners involved are keen to repeat the experience next year”, says German Centre’s Managing Director Katharina Ravens.

Global networking

Tenants from the German Centre Beijing took part in a major Industry 4.0 event hosted by the VDMA (the German Engineering Federation) in Shanghai. “We see ourselves as a platform for German companies with an Industry 4.0 agenda in China. We want to foster discussion with local companies”, says Managing Director of German Centre Beijing Ruth Schimanowski. Many of the companies involved in Industry 4.0 in Sin­ga­pore also came to Shanghai. Some 90 high-profile Chinese companies including many producers came to network with the 30 German firms – a clear indication of China's keen interest in German technology.

Meanwhile, experts and insti­tutions were discussing Industry 4.0 from an entirely different perspective at the German Centre Mexico in Mexico City: its impact on the working world. Speakers from firms such as Bosch, Boege & Business, Siemens, VW, T-Systems and a variety of German and Mexican insti­tutions shared their ideas and fielded questions from the 90 delegates. The future of HR and develop­ments in job structure, hierarchies and working methods in the context of Industry 4.0 was a hot topic. “The younger generation is faced with the challenge of preparing itself for new, unforeseen ways of working”, says expert Rosemarie Fleischmann, Managing Partner at recruitment agency Boege & Business and a tenant at the German Centre Mexico, who has decades of experience in the Mexican employment market.

Other topics included intelligent platforms and workflow optimization, the future of teaching and dual education and training systems, smart cities and smart mobility. Speakers had ten minutes to make their pitch, leaving plenty of time for discussion. The event was jointly staged by Alumniportal Deutschland and the German Centre Mexico in cooperation with the German Embassy, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the German-Mexican Chamber of Commerce (CAMEXA).
Industry 4.0 is a critical success factor for German companies in their international markets. The German Centres are on a mission to build on that, to create a space for it and to be a global, personal and digital platform where it can flourish.

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