Digitally networked production: Industry 4.0 at the newPark

The newPark is designed as a location for Industry 4.0: A large-scale network for digitised, networked production is being created by companies that are part of an innovation and value creation network. With this concept, which is unique in Germany, the newPark will be able to establish itself as a centre of European standing for innovative manufacturing processes – according to the target concept developed by the experts PROGNOS, GPS. Planfabrik GmbH and UNITY together with other experts from research and industry. (Download PROGNOS 2013)

A consortium location as an innovative ecosystem

In the globalised and highly specialised economy of the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly difficult for companies to organise industrial production processes on their own. The newPark offers companies sufficient space on an area of 156 hectares to settle with their network of suppliers, research and development facilities and service providers – a network that creates new value chains through vertical and horizontal integration. One example of a successful consortium location in the region is the Chemiepark Marl on which more than 30 companies with 10,000 employees are working.

At the newPark Datteln, up to 9,000 jobs have been created in a new type of network: In high-growth target markets such as GreenTech in the north of the Ruhr Conurbation from large industrial companies and SMEs an innovative “ecosystem is to be created in which these companies will positively influence and complement each other,” the experts conclude (UNITY 2017).

The latest amendment to the NRW state development plan has expressly confirmed this approach: The decisive criterion for settlements in the newPark is project networks of multiple companies that are functionally linked with each other in such a way that “in their entirety they have a land requirement of at least 50 hectares in the final expansion stage,” according to the current version of the state development plan from May 2018.

Future-oriented concept for the industry of tomorrow

The experts see the key to the newPark’s success in a future-oriented infrastructure with innovative industrial services and an open digital, “sovereign” infrastructure: The newPark will be able to occupy a “pole position among European industrial parks if the future needs of industry for a modern and efficient infrastructure are met” (PROGNOS Future Atlas 2013 – Germany’s Regions in Competition for the Future).

Unity AG has developed a detailed implementation concept for this. The aim is to create ideal conditions for the first large Industry 4.0 network in Germany through an innovative production and service environment. Unity points to a number of elementary services that are to be realised in the first step:

Contract Manufacturing 4.0: will enable companies to outsource orders and make their own production more flexible.

Additive manufacturing: will manufacture components, tools and customised products in the smallest batch sizes using 3D printing.

The newPark cloud: will offer companies a comprehensive IT infrastructure without them having to provide expertise and IT resources themselves.

The newPark energy grid: will meet the high requirements of the GreenTech Profile for climate protection and ensure intelligent energy use, distribution and generation in the newPark.

The newPark Innovation Lab: will bring together companies, start-ups and R&D institutions to bring new products and services to market.

Keyword Industry 4.0

Infographic for the Industry 4.0

The linking of regional value chains, the development of new business models and the design of digital ecosystems are the subject of the current focus on Industry 4.0 by BMWi as opportunities for future development.

  • Industry 4.0 networks all participants in business processes in the manufacturing and process industry.
  • Information from suppliers, customers and within the company itself is networked.
  • In the Internet of Things (IoT), workpieces and machines independently control production – flexibly, efficiently and in a resource-saving manner.
  • The network can include a range of companies and industries.

Rigid and firmly defined value chains are being replaced by flexible, highly dynamic and globally networked value creation networks with new forms of collaboration. Data-driven business models are putting customer benefits and solution orientation in the foreground and replacing product-centricity as the dominant paradigm of industrial value creation.

Industry 4.0 enables the closure of material cycles over the entire life cycle of a product through new design and process approaches. Service-oriented business models are promising, in which products remain permanently in the care and maintenance of the manufacturer, who can thus implement sustainable approaches as early as the design phase. Industry 4.0 is therefore seen as an important enabler for the circular economy and environmental and climate protection as a whole.

What impact will Industry 4.0 have on the world of work?
Digitised, networked production also opens up valuable opportunities for implementing New Work concepts.

Source: Platform Industry 4.0, 2021

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