GERMANY - Firms in traditional industries must computerize their entire operations if they want to stay ahead of the game, according to Guenther Klopsch, head of Siemens Industry Sector.
Industry 4.0, the integration of software and hardware into the entire manufacturing process ― from design to planning, engineering and execution of production and services ― will become the key to innovation, Klopsch said.
"There are several challenges we are facing at the moment: the steady growth of population, energy insecurity that shifts the balance of power in the industrial nations, the aging society and so many others," Klopsch said in his interview with The Korea Herald on Tuesday.
And for the sake of saving energy, labour and other costs, a paradigm shift guaranteeing a reduction in the time it takes to bring products to the market has become extremely important for businesses, he stressed.
This is why Siemens has launched its Future of Manufacturing brand, a solution that effectively trims that time by roughly 30 per cent.
"Hyundai and Kia have requested information about Future of Manufacturing, and so have BMW in Germany as well as Samsung Electronics," Klopsch said.
"I believe that Industry 4.0 could be adapted to the shipbuilding, windmills and so many other (industries)," he added.
With market competitors such as GE, Mitsubishi, Rockwell Automation and LSIS fighting tooth and nail in the global market, Siemens has aggressively invested in software for designing and planning since 2007.
Even in the face of ongoing economic hardships that have made businesses cautious about additional spending, Klopsch and his company remained upbeat about future prospects.
"It has always been the case that those who invest during the downturn become the most aggressive once the economy sees a positive curve because they are enjoying the outcome of their investment," he said.
The German businessman also believes that Industry 4.0 is in sync with the creative economy initiative promoted by the Park Geun-hye administration.
In essence, Klopsch predicted that Industry 4.0 would help create new jobs and contribute to the creative economy.
"We will not have so many people working manually. But more will be involved in the planning, checking, analysing procedures. Even people in the most modern world will need people to work."