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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From our Articles
Industry leader "Added value through software" 2021

The new VDMA Software and Digitalization publication "Added Value through Software" is available since April 2021.

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.

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".

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.

Consultation of the EU-Commission on the Data Act

The EU-Commission has launched a consultation on the Data Act. This law, which is to be passed this year, aims among other things to facilitate access to company data.

VDMA R+A and "GO2automation" agree on strategic partnership

New network of industrial excellence - AI supports solution-oriented access to automation - Strengthening the competitiveness of SMEs

Opportunities of digitalization and automation

International study on digitalisation and automation in manufacturing companies, Fraunhofer IML/TU Dortmund

First projects of the VDMA working group 'Wireless Communication' started

The VDMA working group Wireless Communication for Machines (WCM), founded in March, started its technical work on June 1.

Report on OPC UA and review of the event

State Association Day: OPC UA - Tackling and Implementing

New composition – demands formulated for politics

At the beginning of June 2021, the board members of the VDMA East drew up an issues paper with concrete demands for the VDMA and politicians. And: One comrade-in-arms has left the board.

VDMA East places urgent issues at the top of the agenda

Climate, free trade and digital transformation are three major topics for the VDMA. But eastern German companies are still struggling with completely different problems, as the conversation with the VDMA President showed.

"Conduct ethics debate around AI in a differentiated way"

Mechanical engineering sees the EU expert group's guidelines for the use of AI as a fundamentally important contribution to the public debate, but warns against drawing red lines prematurely.

Industry 4.0 - What you always wanted to know

Big Data, Smart Factory, Communication, Individualization, Remote Technologies, Virtualization, Industrial Security, Smart Service - Here we explain what you always wanted to know about the Internet of Things.

Customer training online: Interaction leads to success

Digital customer training will be in demand for a long time. Companies must therefore address new requirements for trainers and training materials as well as willingness to pay.

Innovative manufacturing strategies in tool, model and mould making

Information for your manufacturing from the machine to tool clamping and machining tools to manufacturing strategies for the future.

Working groups: Everything you need to know at a glance

The VDMA East working groups provide important impulses for your daily work. They show best practice examples, provide valuable suggestions and promote contacts among members - currently also in web meetings.

Draft VDMA 40550-1:2021-08

OPC UA for Woodworking Machines – Part 1: Vertical Interface

Future-oriented topics firmly in view

Interview with Dr Thomas Schräder and Dr Hugo Blaum


Presentations and workshops at the virtual trade fair Achema Pulse, June 15 and 16, 2021

SMEs foot the bill for EU digital regulation

The EU telecommunications ministers are discussing the digital future of the European Union. The EU's ambitious plans for platforms, artificial intelligence and data are good in principle. However, they must not be at the expense of small and medium-sized enterprises.

VDMA 40082-3:2021-08

OPC UA interfaces for plastics and rubber machinery – Peripheral devices – Part 3: LSR Dosing Systems

VDMA 40082-2:2021-08

OPC UA interfaces for plastics and rubber machinery – Peripheral devices – Part 2: Hot runner devices

New parts of OPC 40082 published

Standardized data exchange for hot runner equipment and liquid silicone dispensing

VDMA 40083:2021-08

OPC UA for Plastics and Rubber Machinery – General Type Definitions

Your OPC UA contact persons at VDMA

Here will you find an overview of the VDMA contact persons for OPC UA.

The structure of the WCM working group

Overview of the structure and the units of the Working Group Wireless Communications for Machines

Draft VDMA 40451-1:2021-08

OPC UA for Tightening Systems - Part 1: Asset Management, Results and Basic Events

Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the indoor area

Legal and technical introduction to the use of drones in indoor areas

Digitalization in production

The virtual event of the series "Startup Solutions for Mechanical Engineering" on March 23, 2021 was dedicated to the topic "Digitalization in Production".

New Work: Arbeit 4.0

Changes in the world of work as a result of digitalization are summarized under the buzzword "New Work". Associated with this is the topic of "agility".

AI in networked production: fields of application and potentials

Artificial intelligence is on everyone's lips - also in production. In addition to networking, the decisive success factor in such projects is also the structured processing of data. However, innovative technologies such as AI also require modern methods in development and implementation.

VDMA Computer Science Committee elects new chairman

Members of the committee elect Christian Niederhagemann as new chairman.

Focus: Anti-Counterfeiting And Brand Protection

On May 20, 2021, the Industrial Printing Working Group met virtually to discuss "Anti-Counterfeiting, Brand Protection - Solutions for Packaging and Label Printing".

Associations call for more legal certainty

The VDMA and other associations are urging the German government and the European Commission to quickly ensure legal certainty and find long-term political solutions.

Leveraging the strengths of Citizen Developers - the use of low code in business departments

In today's very fast-paced world, individual departments or entire companies are increasingly under pressure to move. In order to remain competitive accordingly, no company should hide from digitalization. The topic around Low Coding is about the approach to design programs and applications based on visual elements and model-based development methods. The intended goal is to speed up application development by reducing the amount of code that needs to be written, and to make this option available to people without programming skills of their own.

The Commission proposal for harmonised AI rules

The EU Commission has published a proposal for a regulation to regulate artificial intelligence (AI). AI in machines may also be affected as "high risk AI", for example when it comes to safety components.

Digital sovereignty vs. overregulation: European digital policy in the area of tension

EU Bubble Talks 03 June 8:30 to 9:00am

VDMA: Guide IEC 62443 for mechanical and plant engineering published

New guideline supports mechanical and plant engineering in security in operating processes and resilience of products against cyber attacks and other IT-induced damage in the company.

Recording warehouse stock with the help of drones

Digitalization is also advancing rapidly in warehousing. Drones make it possible to record inventory in the warehouse even in hard-to-reach places with relatively little effort.

Open source entry into the VDA 5050

The VDA 5050 communication interface has a special role to play in the "Flow-Pro" research project: as part of a transaction platform, it is intended to help the ground- and air-bound transport units of the logistics network organize themselves.

Digital policy needs more weight in parliament and government

Cooperation within Europe on digital policy must improve. The industry needs efficient political structures and competent contacts. And it needs a common, interoperable cloud and data infrastructure.

"Industry 4.0 sample contract (platforms)"

The Industrie 4.0 Platform provides members of the VDMA with a "Sample contract Industrie 4.0 platforms"

Digital operating instructions are getting closer!

For many years, VDMA and other associations have been campaigning for the legal acceptance of digital operating instructions in the EU.

Ways to a crisis-proof industry

WGP develops assistance for more resilient production. The term resilience has been on everyone's lips since the pandemic at the latest - especially with regard to the future design of industry.

Worker assistance systems

The goal is the continuous support of production processes in order to assist workers with detailed instructions and to increase quality and productivity.

Hydrogen map is in the making

In order to be able to exploit the enormous possibilities offered by hydrogen, the Federal Government has developed the national hydrogen strategy. It is flanked by research projects supported by for example the Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Michael Sterner of the East Bavarian Technical University Regensburg, the Hydrogen Atlas of Germany is being developed in cooperation with the VDMA.

OPC UA Tackle & Implement

The regional associations of the VDMA offer information events on OPC UA in June.

Seminar - Practical Workshop 5G: Basics and Use Cases

The Mechanical Engineering Institute of the VDMA offers a seminar on 5G technology, use cases and basic information on requirements, performance indicators and system aspects on 8 June 2021.

16th MiningForum: new Date 2022

Join us and present your expertise on 19 and 20 May 2022 in Berlin.

World language of production is an important building block for the intelligent production of the future

Experts discussed the intelligent production of the future at the Hannover Messe Digital Edition.

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.


Christian Niederhagemann

GEA Group AG


Oetter, Claus Prof.

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Partners of the VDMA

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

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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.

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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.

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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.