Insider knowledge: These are the biggest trends in international industry

Do you know IOTA and Fog Infrastructures? Digitization is changing our industry so fast. The major industry fairs show how dynamically the sector is evolving with new technologies. From April 23 to 27, 2018, the Hanover Trade Fair Industry will host the world’s largest industrial fair. We asked our Industry 4.0 evangelist & Fujitsu Distinguished Engineer Walter Graf about the most exciting trends at HMI 2018.

Walter, soon the world’s largest industrial fair will start with the Hannover Messe Industrie 2018. What are currently the most important topics for the international industry?


Not for nothing is Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate the main theme of this year’s fair. So it’s about enlarging the existing digital oases and connecting them effectively and systematically irrigating the desert areas in between.

For the manufacturing industry in the context of Industry 4.0, this concerns more than ever not only manufacturing in the factory itself but also networking with other areas such as suppliers. Most important, however, is networking with customers. Because a significant value-added expectation of Industry 4.0 is in the area of ​​the end customer experience, for example in the sense of maximally individualized production up to lot size one.

The enrichment with services and digital information during the life cycle, for example in the field of predictive maintenance, is becoming increasingly important.

What are the most interesting innovations in the field of Industry 4.0 for you?

However, that is a question that can not really be fully answered given the variety of topics. But if we take another look at the main topic of the fair, ie Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate and look at it against the background of strong or disruptive changes, IOTA seems to be among the most interesting innovations with the greatest potential for change , At our Fujitsu booth at the Hannover Messe Industrie, we will also be showing a live demo of the IOTA technology.

What is IOTA anyway?

At IOTA, the forgery-proof documentation of transactions is in the foreground, as we demonstrate in our trade showcase using a combined audit trail of two companies.

At its core, IOTA is a distributed ledger technology, ie a distributed business book in which transactions are documented forgery-proof. For many, this immediately conjures up associations with topics such as blockchain or cryptocurrencies, which should, however, be very cautious here. For one thing, a cryptocurrency is just one use case for many, and I would like to reiterate at this point that we are showing something different with our Audit Trail Showcase at the trade fair. On the other hand, IOTA is a technological alternative to Blockchain, which has been specially optimized for use in IoT scenarios.

It should also be emphasized that in the showcase we show a distributed audit trail of two companies in which IOTA can show its particular strengths over a classic database implementation. Unlike a database, counterfeit security is already part of IOTA, and the distributed business book is no longer tied to an institution and can excellently serve long lifecycles of data. Compared to a blockchain implementation, in particular the scalability and real-time capability without transaction costs is noticeable.

That makes us curious about the fair! Fujitsu has a 285 m² booth at the Hannover Messe Industrie. Which highlights do visitors expect there in the area of ​​Industry 4.0 and Digital Manufacturing?

The central highlight of our presentation on the subject of Industry 4.0 is the concrete implementation of the Integrated Industry – Connect & Collaborate theme and consists of two independent production lines that represent the production of two companies.

In this example, we show concretely how data from machine environments are extracted, prepared, visualized and channeled for further use in an analysis platform. In addition, we show how to perform more complex tasks directly in the vicinity of the production lines. Among other things, a Fujitsu Foginfrastruktur and the Intelligent Dashboard from the COLMINA Framework are used.

In addition to these already production-ready applications, we also venture on new topics, such as IOTA. As an example, we have integrated a trusted audit trail in our showcases, which covers two companies and uses IOTA technology live and demonstrates its strength.

Let’s go back to the features in the Industry 4.0 Showcase. What is a fog infrastructure in this context?

Because of near-real-time and security requirements, data must be read and processed through an IT layer that is in close proximity to the machines. The same applies to certain control scenarios. Interestingly enough, we’re using architectural elements we use today in cloud implementations. This creates the association of a fog, or cloud, which is a cloud. In our showcase, we implemented a fog infrastructure on our edge appliance INTELLIEDGE. There we show how one can perceive more complex tasks beyond the pure data collection in direct proximity to the production. This involves topics such as data preparation, ie filtering, compressing and anonymizing, but also on-site analyzes, ie the implementation of AI algorithms and alerting. Of course, the implementation of security concepts also plays an important role.

You mentioned the term COLMINA in your showcase. What is COLMINA?

COLMINA is the name of a framework for the manufacturing industry. A first element of this is the so-called Intelligent Dashboard, with which we are able to represent all manufacturing plants of a company worldwide in a hierarchical model. The presentation starts with the high-level manager view from the top of the entire company worldwide and allows to dive down to the level of individual manufacturing stations of a company and to observe their condition and to act accordingly.

What highlights are there besides the central Industry 4.0 Showcase at the Fujitsu booth?

For example, we show how to use artificial intelligence in materials testing – via non-destructive testing. As another example, visitors can see how they can assist an employee in their work with a head mounted display (HMD).

In addition, in a so-called Over The Air reprogramming showcase, we will show how to remotely install new features in devices that operate in non-IT environments. This goes beyond manufacturing, but that’s important because with Industry 4.0, as a result of all your efforts, you want to improve the customer experience first and foremost.

Last but not least, I would like to draw your attention to a non-Industry 4.0 topic: We also apply our AI technologies in the Smart Transportation and Smart City environment. There, we can use KI to analyze moving pictures, which is also useful in the manufacturing industry. For example, in the manufacturing industry, streaming analytics is of interest in monitoring and quality control of products along production lines.

What are you looking forward to most about the HMI?

Constructive discussions, because if I have learned one in the meantime, then that Industry 4.0 is also the swan song to the idea that you can handle all the essential issues alone. It is precisely the combination of hitherto rather isolated and decades-old domains from manufacturing and IT that can only succeed through cooperation within and, above all, outside the companies with partners, suppliers and customers.

Thanks for the interview, Walter!

Insiderwissen: Das sind die größten Trends in der internationalen Industrie was originally published on It was translated by the IOTA-News Community. The Community curates, examines, and summarizes news from external services while producing its own original material. Copyrights from external sources will be credited as they pertain to their corresponding owners.´s purpose is to make use of partial 3rd party content or pictures as either allusion or promotional endorsement of mentioned sites.

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