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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Machinery and plant manufacturers on the way to networked production

Digitization is a decisive key in mechanical and plant engineering to ensure the competitiveness of European industry and thus also prosperity in Europe.

Cybersecure procurement of machinery and equipment

The VDMA Supply Chain Security specification gives purchasers a standard-compliant aid to minimum requirements in accordance with IEC 62443, simplifying the process for both sides without sacrificing security.

Manufacturing-X: Data room for Industry 4.0

Discover the future of Industry 4.0 with Manufacturing-X! Secure data exchange, digital sovereignty and innovations in focus. Discuss live at the 14th German Mechanical Engineering Summit in Berlin.

Manufacturing-X: On the road to digital sovereignty

In order to remain at the technological forefront and enable climate protection, the world of production must change. It needs more knowledge about all processes and materials in the value network, and it needs more cooperation toward a sovereign production location in Europe. The "Manufacturing-X" initiative is intended to make this possible.

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.

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.

Digital Service Automation

The digital transformation in German mechanical and plant engineering does not stop at service. Modern ticket systems significantly optimize the transparency and systematic processing of service requests and increase efficiency in the service department.

Use ChatGPT sensibly

With exciting discussions about ChatGPT as well as an intensive exchange of experiences about protocol management and CRM systems, this meeting offered a wealth of insights and networking opportunities.

Pharmaceutical and cosmetic machines: new challenges in the future

In pharmaceutical companies, the need for fast, lean processes is increasing. In this context, digitization can help shorten market entry times, while maintaining and even improving product quality. However, players must also arm themselves against threats.

VDMA emphasizes strategic importance of Manufacturing-X

Sharing data is crucial for the success of digitalization. Manufacturing-X provides the perspective for a federative data ecosystem for Industry 4.0.

VDMA FAQ on the EU Data Act (new edition) available

The EU Data Act was adopted by the European Parliament on 9.11.2023. It is expected to come into force at the beginning of 2024. A VDMA FAQ document has been prepared and updated to provide non-binding guidance.

Data networking with Manufacturing-X

On the occasion of the Mechanical Engineering Summit 2023, Produktion magazine asked Hartmut Rauen about Manufacturing-X. In the interview, the Deputy Managing Director of the VDMA explains what it is all about.

Building resilience in a connected world

CECE Summit highlights cyber security as priority topic.

European Parliament adopts EU data law

This regulation also places data traffic between companies on a new footing. Companies are well advised to analyze their data streams and flows in order to be able to implement the requirements of the EU Data Act in good time.

Future Food Factory OWL - where food meets IT for sustainability

On 26 October 2023, the focus day at the Future Food Factory OWL of the Ostwestfalen-Lippe University of Applied Sciences (TH OWL) revolved around the topic of sustainability through digitalization in food production.

A summit day full of highlights

From China to climate change and transformation through artificial intelligence: the first day of the Mechanical Engineering Summit featured one thematic highlight after another.

ECJ decision on access to vehicle data

The ECJ has ruled that access by independent economic operators to vehicle repair and maintenance information as well as to on-board diagnostic system information may only be subject to the conditions set out in the relevant regulation.

Industrial Metaverse - The future of digital networking

At the 14th German Mechanical Engineering Summit, discover the Industrial Metaverse: Future of Digital Networking. Experience opportunities and challenges, discuss potential for sustainable business and actively shape the future.

VDMA Machine Vision panel discussion at the SPS 2023

What added value does image processing provide to automation and system engineering companies? What role does it play in smart production? These questions will be addressed in the (German) panel discussion at the VDMA Forum in Hall 3 at SPS.

How the Industrial Metaverse is transforming industry

The Industrial Metaverse - what added value does it offer? Which use cases are already possible and which hurdles still need to be overcome? A conversation with Michael Schmitt (Capgemini) and Florian Klein (VDMA).

EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)/Frequently Asked Questions

The VDMA handout on the implementation of the DSGVO has been revised. It is now available in a second edition in German and English exclusively for VDMA members.

BVwG in Austria on merger and data protection

In its decision, the court clarifies that the merger of companies at issue does not involve the transfer of personal data to third parties under data protection law.

Presence-Erfa at Pöttinger Landtechnik on the future of service

On October 10, 2023, Pöttinger Landtechnik in Grieskirchen hosted an exchange of experience on the future of customer service in machine and plant engineering, which was fully booked with 46 participants.

Product Security: Strategically important

The VDMA Austria and the VDMA Competence Center Industrial Security invited to the presence-exchange of experience Product Security at the Technology Center Seestadt in Vienna on September 21, 2023.

Machinery and plant engineering on the way to networked production

Digitization is a decisive key to securing competitiveness in mechanical engineering. For a successful digital transformation, companies need a clear strategy with a focus on openness to technology and customer benefits.

Digitalization - innovation and trust at the same time

For HET Filter GmbH, the topic of digitalization is a matter of trust and has been an innovative tool not only since the pandemic. Christopher Muschiol told us why in a live interview at the VDMA Special Show at POWTECH.

EU Data Act: "Experiment on the aorta of the economy"

The EU Data Act aims to put data traffic on a new footing, including between companies. This could shift the center of power in the economy. For industrial SMEs, this law is both an opportunity and a risk.

Successfully developing products through digital networking

Data is the blood of the complex organism of product development. The results report "Digital Product Development" by the WZL of RWTH Aachen University and the VDMA (German Engineering Federation) compactly shows how the many pieces of information can be effectively linked.

Cyber alliances in industry

Together against cyber attacks

Using generative AI successfully without risk

Use opportunities, minimize risks! Companies can benefit from Generative AI, but should not put their data at risk in the process.

Everything as a Service in mechanical engineering

As part of the "X-Forge BW" project led by Fraunhofer IPA, a guideline for the use of machine data was created together with well-known companies. This is available for download free of charge.

DSK Application Note on the EU-US Data Privacy Framework

On the occasion of the new adequacy decision of the EU Commission for transfers of personal data from the EU to the US, the Data Protection Conference has published application notes on this.

"Setting new course for data-driven innovation"

The national data strategy makes a future-oriented data policy possible. The task now is to quickly put concrete measures in place. Companies need the freedom to consistently exploit the opportunities offered by information technology.

Next Step: Project Funding by the Ministry of Economics

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, which also includes a funding program.

Artificial Intelligence Day - World Café Workshops

The demand and the need for conversation among like-minded professionals was great. Hundred of minds discussed the future of AI in mechanical and plant engineering.





Now new: VDMA Cyber Awareness

How to turn your team into a human firewall!

Preparation for NIS2

These cybersecurity obligations are coming to mechanical engineering companies

VDMA focus RECHT brochure on whistleblower protection

We support the introduction of a whistleblower office.

EU digital laws on the final straight

The Von der Leyen Commission has launched a series of groundbreaking digital laws, some of which directly affect mechanical engineering. A snapshot on Data Act, Cyberresilience Act and AI Act.

"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.

Climate neutral? This is how it works

The Alliance Industry 4.0 Baden-Württemberg has set up a website on the topic of climate-neutral production. The collected low-threshold measures are intended to facilitate the changeover in the company.

Use of evidence despite data protection breach

Evidence from video surveillance that is inadmissible under data protection law can be taken into account by the labor court in unfair dismissal proceedings.

Business cycle indicators for important countries and country groups

The OECD leading economic indicators provide early and reliable signals on the economic turning points of individual countries and groups of countries.

VDMA and ZVEI present "Construction Plan Study: Manufacturing-X Data Space

What could a data space for Manufacturing-X look like in the future and what is important? The VDMA and ZVEI's blueprint study provides an impetus for this.

Supplier self-disclosure on cybersecurity

The VDMA Supplier Self-Assessment is a standardised questionnaire that companies can use with suppliers regardless of specific procurement purposes. Highly topical with the mapping of regulatory requirements from MVO and CRA.

Close the net: Tips for more digital security in NRW companies

The first steps toward greater digital security can be implemented quickly and easily. The "Close the door on the net" campaign provides tips.

Operational excellence in production - Digital & Lean

Digitalization and Industry 4.0 make many things seem easier and better, including improving processes in production. But this only becomes successful when viewed through the classic lens of lean management.

ECJ Confirms Federal Cartel Officer's Decision against Meta

The ECJ has ruled that the Federal Cartel Office may also base its decisions on infringements of data protection laws. This has far-reaching consequences - not only in the digital sector.

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
Networking in the value chain can only succeed if there are uniform norms and standards. OPC UA is the central building block for interoperability in production. Planning, construction, simulation, utilization and recycling are components of the life cycle and require cross-manufacturer interfaces.
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"
  • Examples from the mechanical and plant engineering sector show where and in what form the principles of the platform economy come into play.
  • Member companies here are no longer just machine or component manufacturers, but in some cases also take on the role of system integrators or supply software applications.

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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.


Working Group Research Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence
The "Research Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence" working group aims to initiate pre-competitive and cross-industry research projects in the field of Industry 4.0 and AI. VDMA members who are interested are very welcome to join.nical 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".



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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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