What is Industry 4.0?

Industry 4.0 is defined as the digitalization and integration of the entire value chain and follows the mechanization, electrification and automation as the fourth industrial revolution. The change is taking place at all stages of the production process (value chain). Industry 4.0 refers to both upstream and downstream integration such as suppliers or logistics company as well as internal corporate processes such as procurement, production, sales and maintenance. Therefore, Industry 4.0 leads to higher productivity and flexibility, more innovation and resource preservation.

Industry 4.0 triggers far-reaching processes of change in production, services, labor and consumption:

  • Improving the organization and control of production processes
  • Deeper integration of upstream and downstream activities (internal and external)
  • Increasingly multidisciplinary and overall acceleration of research and development
  • Individualized new services and business models
  • Change of  qualification and competence requirements of employees
  • Increased importance of education and training
  • New opportunities and challenges for occupational safety, health and aging-appropriate work
  • Higher complexity regarding data protection and data security
  • New forms of work organization


Factsheet Association Industry 4.0 Austria


Vision: Smart Factory

The increasing use of new information, communication  and manufactoring technologies  triggers extensive change in the producing industry. Industry 4.0 is more than just the application of technology - it is a conceptual model of completely new developments based on available and future technologies. Companies need to integrate this model in their strategies to remain competitive.

The smart factory within a value network is a central element in the vision of Industry 4.0. What is smart production?

  • Product development and manufacturing processes are physical and digital integrated. Also the integration in global value networks (horizontal integration) is accelerated.
  • Products and production processes can be improved by virtualizing different factors (for example: customer requirements, time, cost, resources, energy).
  • Flexible and innovative production processes enable customized products (batch size 1) at mass production costs.
  • Products and production systems are self optimizing and intelligent.
  • There are increased and changing opportunitiesin the human-machine interaction.

News on Industry 4.0