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.

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Investments in Industry 4.0

With the model-based online tool "Investment Calculator 4.0" and the accompanying guide, the VDMA is setting new standards in the economic evaluation of digitization projects.

Artificial Intelligence

Here you will get an insight into all VDMA activities on the topic of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. You will also find publications, guides, information on events and working groups as well as other useful tips for your company.

Digital platforms determine value creation

Digital platforms and the associated platform economy will play an increasingly important role. Value creation in the mechanical engineering industry is increasingly being driven by digital services.

Always up to date

Are you interested in news, events and trend topics relating to digitization in mechanical and plant engineering? Stay up to date with our app "VDMA Software & Digitalization".

A common language for all machines

In the digital production world, machines from different manufacturers must be able to communicate with each other. This requires uniform standards, in the development of which the VDMA is playing a major role: the OPC UA Companion Specifications.

Intelligent helpers

Technical product documentation is not only a service for the operator, but also offers protection against liability cases, provided it is created correctly. Editing systems help with this.

Minimize risks

The guide "Data Protection & Industry 4.0" provides an introduction to the topic of data protection in Industry 4.0 and shows approaches and further information options for minimizing risks.


With this expert page we offer an overview of the different aspects, tasks and requirements of Cybersecurity and Industrial Security. We refer to VDMA recommendations and positions as well as to concrete support from our members and partners.

Companies need digital sovereignty

Companies must be able to make independent decisions about their data and business models. Sufficient IT security is a cornerstone for this; an open European data infrastructure is being sought.

Usability and User Experience

In our podcast, we explore the question of what effects good and bad usability have in mechanical and plant engineering. Clemens Lutsch from Centigrade and Nils Clark-Bernhard from macio give answers.

Remote Service

Kompetente Hilfe aus der Ferne

Big Data

If used appropriately, it is possible to shorten throughput times and optimize material flow, production and service processes with Big Data.


Networking in the value chain can only succeed with uniform norms and standards. OPC UA is the central building block for interoperability in production.

New thinking creates added value

Industry 4.0 requires changes at all company levels and across the entire value chain. In this context, the question of economic efficiency is increasingly coming into focus. Ambitious innovation projects must become competitive solutions for the global market.

To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Digitalization

"Overall, digitalization in mechanical engineering is an important building block for establishing resilience against crises."

Prof. Claus Oetter, Deputy Chairman VDMA Software and Digitalization

Auf den Punkt Zahl Digitalization


Percent of mechanical engineers

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

Source: Maschinenbau in Zahl und Bild, 2020

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Digitalisierung

Success strategies for digital services:
  • Integral product improvement: embedding additional functionalities in the primary product
  • Complementary service: creating added value through supplementary digital services
  • Digital mediator: providing additional functionality that can also be utilized with products from other manufacturers
  • Digital innovation: Developing new, non-product-specific performance

VDMA Focus-Topic

VDMA Focus-Topic


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Global production language

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Other VDMA Services
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.
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.
Industry 4.0 Guide
Our guide is a practice-oriented tool that offers you specific entry points for identifying and introducing business models for Industry 4.0.
Guide on Marketing Digital Services
The guide "Successfully marketing digital offerings" assists you in identifying types of digital services and provides practical recommendations for successful marketing.
Industrie 4.0 Readiness Study
The "Industry 4.0 Readiness" study reveals companies' maturity levels across the individual 4.0-dimensions and defines the critical steps needed in each case to reach the next level.
Self-learning production processes guide
Our "Self-learning production processes" guide demonstrates how to use reinforcement learning in order to optimize your products and processes.
Working Group Research AI & Industry 40
Through its " I40 & AI Research" working group, the VDMA Industry 4.0 Forum links companies in the mechanical engineering sector with the innovation centers of German research institutes.
Expert Group Machine Learning
Among other things, the VDMA committee develops Use Cases on the topic of Machine Learning.
30 OPC UA working groups
The VDMA coordinates the activities of around 30 working groups that are defining a common, cross-industry language between machines and plants in the form of "OPC UA Companion Specifications".
VDMA Advisory Board Interoperability
The spokespersons of the VDMA Interoperability Advisory Board represent industry expertise on the subject of Industry 4.0.
Working Group Industrial Security
The VDMA working group "Industrial Security" is a VDMA committee dedicated to Security in industrial production environments and industrial products that has been in existence since 2012.
Expert Group Platform Economy
Since 2018, this working group has provided participating member companies with an opportunity to share experiences and Best Practices and to expand their expertise.
IT committee
The IT Committee's task is, in particular, coordinating the work of the VDMA IT Department and managing it in terms of content.
Chief Digital Officer Working Group
The topic of digitalizing business processes, products and services is currently occupying the minds of companies. With this working group, the VDMA aims to provide lasting support in this area.


Digitalization & Industrie 4.0 Committee
Ausschuss Informatik
The task of the Informatics Committee is in particular to coordinate the work of the VDMA Informatics Department and to manage its content.


Ulrich Schumacher



Oetter, Claus Prof.

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Partner of the VDMA

Nutzerorganisation „Industrial Digital Twin Association“
Plattform Industrie 4.0
Allianz Industrie 4.0
Labs Network Industrie 4.0

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

Around 3,300 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.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the mechanical and plant engineering industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

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