Digitalization & Industrie 4.0
Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning: The digital transformation has long since arrived in mechanical engineering. However, the associated dynamics repeatedly present every company with the challenge of recognizing and successfully exploiting existing digitization potential.

Themenfeldgrafik Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0

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Hannover Messe 2024 - Joint stand software and digitalization

HANNOVER MESSE is the most important international platform for all technologies related to industrial transformation.

25 years of VDMA software and digitalization

In 1999, 55 forward-looking companies founded the Software and Digitization Association. For 25 years now, the association has been the network and voice of the software industry within the VDMA.

General recommendations for the use of generative AI

The VDMA expert group "Machine Learning / AI" has drawn up a checklist for the use of generative AI, which is intended to provide initial assistance for the application in the company.

Artificial intelligence - Current activities

AI is playing an increasingly important role for companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. VDMA Software and Digitalization is therefore once again offering an interesting range of formats on the topic for all VDMA members.

Collect, use and protect data

The digital transformation of industry needs a complete Digital Ecosystem. Data collection, processing, business models and data protection are the key challenges. Find out more at VDMA at Hannover Fair 2023, in Hall 15, Booth F28 .

NIS2: Mandatory cybersecurity requirements

The new version of the NIS directive will in future oblige manufacturers of "critical products" such as machines or control components to implement cybersecurity in their own operating environment.

Enabler and pioneer: mechanical engineering is shaping the transformation

In the ProduktionNRW series of events, different areas of the transformation megatrend are highlighted and success factors are presented with practical examples from the mechanical engineering industry.

Cyber Resilience Act: New obligations for manufacturers - act now!

The European Union's Cyber Resilience Act affects many products and components in the mechanical engineering sector. Companies should quickly identify the extent to which they are affected and take measures to ensure compliance and product security.

Wireless Communications Guide

The Wireless Communications Guide (WCG) is an orientation aid from the VDMA Wireless Communications for Machines working group for mechanical and plant engineering companies.

VDMA members@Techtextil: Focus on automation and digitalization

Techtextil, which takes place in Frankfurt at the end of April, will feature a strong participation of VDMA member companies.

KoHMides - Assistance system for cooperative HMI development

The KoHMides project aims to develop an assistance system that can reduce development costs and the risk of operating errors and downtimes for human-machine interfaces (HMI) and enable faster troubleshooting.

Talk&Share | Autonomous mobile robots as a new trend on the market

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are a new category of robots that are expanding the range of applications for robotics and will also play a key role on the road to the fully networked factory ("smart factory").

Meet the Expert - Focus on digitalization

Meet the digitization experts at the VDMA Software and Digitization stand to exchange experiences.

Talk&Share | Explosion protection for wireless

In an era characterized by advanced wireless communication technologies, the mechanical engineering industry faces the challenge of integrating not only innovative solutions, but also safety in potentially explosive environments.

The biggest advantage is manufacturer independence

Industry interview with Jürgen Peters (Head of Software Development, ARBURG GmbH Co KG) and Jürgen Giesow (Vice President of Technology and After Sales Service, ARBURG Inc.) on the benefits of OPC UA for users

Experience surface technology - June 4 to 6, 2024, Stuttgart

The horizontal trade fair for surface technology, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY offers a wide-ranging program of supporting events, making it the ideal platform for knowledge transfer, networking and business development in the surface technology sector.

The end user needs to be convinced

Industry interview with Frank Petrolli (VP Strategic Market Development at Plasmatreat) on the benefits of OPC UA for users

VDMA founds Forum Manufacturing-X

With the establishment of the VDMA Forum Manufacturing-X, the VDMA is bundling and coordinating all activities on this topic for its member companies and stakeholders.

Info Event "Digitalization - Interoperability" in Mining

Some 60 participants (mining and automation companies as well as mining equipment and software manufacturers) shared their experiences on this wide-ranging topic at the information event organized by VDMA Mining.

BeverGreen: Green digital twin for breweries

At the RIF in Dortmund, a green digital twin is being developed together with breweries and IT partners as the basis for a sustainable transformation of the beverage and brewing industry.

PLASTICS and the VDMA must work together on OPC UA

Industry interview on OPC UA with Glenn Anderson, Chief Operating Officer at the Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) and Thorsten Kühmann, Managing Director of the VDMA Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association

Legislative resolution of the EU Parliament on the AI Regulation

On 13.03.2024, the European Parliament gave the green light for the so-called AI Regulation. It is intended to ensure safety and respect for fundamental rights in the context of artificial intelligence and promote innovation.

Security.txt - mandatory exercise for supply chain security

A text file on the website for better cyber security? Manufacturers can achieve this with security.txt. A simple and essential step towards addressing vulnerabilities.

Vote on the Cyber Resilience Act in the plenary of the EU Parliament

The draft version of the Cyber Resilience Act, which was voted on in the plenary of the European Parliament on 12.03.2024, is available for download.

"Manufacturing-X" - the big opportunity for digital business models

Industry 4.0 has given German and European industry a leading role in automation. Now it's all about the world of digital business models and secure data exchange. The concept is called "Manufacturing-X".

Extended protection against side channel attacks

The new safe lock standard offers enhanced protection against new attack methods.

Embedded Vision: the impact of AI and Generative AI

On April 10, 2024, a top-class panel discussion on embedded vision will take place at embedded world in Nuremberg.

Wireless communication in mechanical and plant engineering

Under the motto "Talk&Share", AG WCM offers an interactive format for the exchange of knowledge and experience on wireless communication in mechanical engineering.

Manuals are translated, software must be localized

The VDMA interviewed two of our member companies to find out why software localization involves much more than the purely linguistic translation of user interfaces.

Generative AI also in focus in industry

As part of the online event "Generative AI - exploiting opportunities, minimizing risks", a survey was conducted among the participants on 6 February 24 to obtain a current picture of the mood.

Strict liability standard for data protection compliance in companies

The Berlin Court of Appeal has ruled in a case that companies are liable per se in the area of GDPR violations. An administrative order imposing a fine does not have to specify the natural person who may have been responsible for a breach of duty.

VDMA: Shaping the agricultural technology of tomorrow - AKT met in Frankfurt

The VDMA called and the industry came: More than 130 experts from industry, science, politics and associations gathered at the VDMA House in Frankfurt on February 21 and 22 for the traditional conference of the Technology Working Group (AKT).

VDMA Valves on Predicitive Maintenance Innovation Tour

From 17 to 18.01.2024, members of the Valves Association met in Dresden to immerse themselves in the predictive maintenance cosmos.

Supply Chain Requirement Specification: Component Manufacturer

VDMA Informatik publishes the requirements specification for component manufacturers

Software release: FVA-Workbench 9 redefines gearbox design

The new release is more powerful than ever, with innovative functions for flexible load spectra and improvements in the area of FEM components and shaft-hub connections.

VDMA feedback on the EU Commission's consultation

In February 2024, VDMA submitted its feedback to a public consultation of the EU Commission on a report on the General Data Protection Regulation.

BMWK research project Fluid 4.0 launched

The Fluid 4.0 project focuses on system and efficiency aspects across the entire product life cycle and aims to support the industry in the digitalization of its products, systems and services.

"Digitalization and future skills" project

This project identifies the digital skills of the future.

ECJ: Erroneous disclosure of personal data / no damage

In its ruling of 25.01.2024, the ECJ decided that an erroneous disclosure of personal data does not per se lead to compensation for "non-material damage". Art. 82 para. 1 GDPR serves the purpose of compensation, not punishment.

Complex but profitable: business opportunities with conversions

Conversions of machines and systems - complex and profitable projects for mechanical engineering and an opportunity or necessity for the operator?

Remote employment helps industrial SMEs

Well-trained specialists are in short supply. Opportunities to work with qualified personnel abroad are in demand. - especially in the IT sector. A new VDMA service is set to facilitate access to IT specialists from Ghana in the future.

"EU Bubble talks - 30 minutes insights from Brussels": Web seminar series launched

Attention Europe enthusiasts! With our new web seminar series "EU Bubble talks - 30 minutes insights from Brussels" we take a look behind the scenes of European politics and take you with us.

VDMA FAQ on the EU Data Regulation (third edition) available

The EU Data Regulation came into force on January 11, 2024. A VDMA FAQ document has been compiled and updated to provide non-binding guidance.

Publication of the Cyber Resilience Act

The provisional text of the Cyber Resilience Act is available for download.

Future dialog with industry wants a strong innovation location

The Future Industry Dialogue of the state of NRW is committed to a strong industrial location. The meeting on December 20, 2023 was all about innovation and promoting innovation.

Targeted prevention of attacks - overcoming financial resistance

VDMA Ost has set up an information technology working group. The kick-off event focused on IT security in day-to-day business. Experts raised awareness and gave tips on prevention and what to do in an emergency.

VDMA: Customer service managers explore service scenarios

As complex as it may be to forecast future developments in a rapidly changing world, the open dialog about plausible trends and viable options for action is just as instructive.

Mechanical and plant engineering sector awaits turnaround

The global economic downturn is leaving its mark on the mechanical engineering sector. Although the VDMA is raising its forecast for 2023, a real decline in production of 4 percent is expected for 2024. An industry-friendly location policy is imperative.

"Pragmatism is now more important than perfection"

The EU law on artificial intelligence must not be allowed to fail in the final stages. That is why the negotiations must now be concluded swiftly and more time provided for implementation in the form of practicable transition periods.

Agreement reached in the trilogue on the Cyber Resilience Act

At the trilogue on November 30, 2023, an agreement was reached between the Council, the European Parliament and the EU Commission on the Cyber Resilience Act. The VDMA welcomes the agreement, which helps to meet the current challenges.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
Industry 4.0 needs easily available, secure and consistent data networking. Manufacturing-X is designed to make this possible. The goal is to establish a data ecosystem that enables trustworthy data exchange between companies based on open standards and offers companies digital sovereignty.
Artificial Intelligence
Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning. At VDMA, there are already many organizational units that are examining the topic more closely. Here, you can gain some insight into all the activities that the VDMA is conducting on the topic of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
When it comes to security at the VDMA, everything revolves around protecting machines and systems in production, manufacturing or intralogistics from attacks and disruptions. The aim of these organizational and technical protective measures is to develop cyber-resilient machines and systems and trustworthy services while reliably maintaining their permanent operation.
Platform economy
The mechanical engineering industry is successfully advancing the digital transformation. So far, this has primarily concerned manufacturing, but in the future it will also involve new business models. Digital platforms and the associated platform economy are going to play an ever more prominent role, and value creation in the mechanical engineering industry is increasingly taking place via digital services.
As an open interface standard, OPC UA is a central prerequisite for the successful introduction of Industrie 4.0 in production. OPC UA ensures the interoperability of machines and systems, which can be linked and redesigned as required via Plug & Work - platform-independent and cross-manufacturer.
Wireless Communications
Reliable, robust and secure data transmission is at the heart of digital transformation in industry. With increasing digitization, data transmission is becoming more and more the central nervous system in industrial application areas where wired infrastructure is sometimes reaching its limits.
The audio blog for trend topics from mechanical and plant engineering
Interoperability is a key pillar of efficient digital transformation and the long-term positioning of every company in the global market, as information can only be shared and utilised easily, securely and at scale through interoperably designed value chains and data ecosystems.
AGV Mesh-Up
The AGV Mesh-Up is a live test event for the VDA 5050 communication interface. Companies can test the interface suitability of their vehicles and master control systems in front of an audience.
Global production language
For us humans, language is a central means of communicating with each other. Language connects and enables understanding. And what about the machines in increasingly networked production? 
Intelligent Production
Industry 4.0 necessitates changes at all corporate levels and throughout the entire value chain. Industry 4.0 is associated with a new way of thinking about the organization of processes. Ultimately, what counts for companies is creating added value.
Technological Sovereignty
Technological sovereignty as a goal is gaining importance regarding the changed geopolitical situation. International division of labor and global trade are our drivers of prosperity and are existential, especially for the mechanical engineering sector.

Level 1 Themenwolke


To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Digitalization

Prof. Claus Oetter

"We don't need long-running major projects like 20 years ago that cost a lot of time and money when, for example, the use of artificial intelligence leads much faster and more cost-effectively to the desired goals."

Prof. Claus Oetter
Prof. Claus Oetter, Managing Director VDMA Software and Digitalization

Auf den Punkt Zahl Digitalization


Percentage of machine builders

expect AI-based products and services to have a medium to very strong impact on their current business model.

Source: VDMA mechanical engineering in numbers and images, 2020

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Digitalisierung

Whitepaper "Platform Economy": Achieving greater sales success with the monetisation canvas
The monetisation canvas
  • supports the process of market evaluation and pricing for digital service offerings
  • assists companies in analysing and evaluating internal factors associated with a digital business model and requiring corresponding process maturity



Mon. 22.04.24 Fri. 26.04.24

  • Digitalization & Industrie 4.0

Experience the technologies that our industry is using to drive the digital transformation and decarbonization at Hannover Messe 2024! Over 4,000 companies will present pioneering solutions from mechanical and plant engineering, the electrical and digital industries and the energy sector. Numerous dialog formats with representatives from politics, industry, science, media and society will present and discuss challenges and solutions for the intelligent and carbon-neutral production of tomorrow.

Places available

Tue. 13.08.24 Tue. 13.08.24

  • Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and Interoperability are two key technologies that are set to shape the future of digitalization and automation of the mechanical engineering industry. In this Connect2Discover@VDMA event, we would like to show the "connection" between these two topics and report on other VDMA services in this area.

Places available

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Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
Publication overview Software and Digitalization
Our publications deal with various aspects of digitalization in mechanical engineering companies as well as cybersecurity and information security and serve as recommendations for action.
Consultation offer Digitization and Industry 4.0
The competence overview for mechanical and plant engineering regarding the range of consulting offered by software manufacturers. This enables companies to pinpoint appropriate first steps in addressing the respective issues within their value chain, and to utilize this expertise in finding their own individual path toward digitalization and Industry 4.0.
Database OPC UA Companion Specifications
In our database you can find all Companion Specifications created by VDMA working groups. The entries can be browsed, filtered by output period and downloaded as an Excel file.
Online Library Digitalization & Industrie 4.0
The VDMA accompanies and supports its members on the way to Industrie 4.0. Here you will find an overview of the current publications on the topic.
Working Groups Software and Digitalization and Information technology
Our working groups deal with various aspects of digitalization in mechanical engineering companies, standardization aspects and serve the intensive exchange of experience among members.
Expert Group Machine Learning
Among other things, the VDMA committee develops Use Cases on the topic of Machine Learning.
40 OPC UA working groups
The VDMA coordinates the activities of around 40 working groups that are defining a common, cross-industry language between machines and plants in the form of "OPC UA Companion Specifications".



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VDMA partners

Plattform Industrie 4.0
Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg
Labs Network Industrie 4.0

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Largest industry network in Europe

3,600 primarily medium-sized member companies in the capital goods industry make the VDMA the largest industrial association in Europe and the most important network organization in the industry.

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The VDMA is the most important voice of the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

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More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.