WZL publishes Study „Industry 4.0: Implement it!“


Guide to Successful Implementation of Industry 4.0 Solutions 



Christoph Kelzenberg, M.Sc. RWTH

Chief Engineer


+49 241 80 27567



In contrast to the previous ones, the fourth industrial revolution did not arise from the further development and mechanization of manufacturing companies, since it was proclaimed by the German Government as a strategic project for the future. After a hesitant occupation of the enterprises with this topic in the first years, meanwhile it became well-known in the broad mass of the production. In Germany, 80% of all manufacturing companies consider Industry 4.0 to be strategically relevant and 89% of companies expect its strategic importance to increase further in the future.

Despite this, only 45% of companies use 4.0 industry solutions in isolated cases, while a further 20% plan to introduce such solutions. The fourth industrial revolution has therefore begun, but has not yet been completed. A major reason for this is the lack of organizational structures and specifications as well as high investment and development costs.

The study, conceived by the Department of Business Development, presents the guideline "Industry 4.0: Implement it!" which provides impulses and recommendations for action in this area. These recommendations are made in the form of a concept for the overall implementation of Industry 4.0. Concrete organizational structures, processes and instruments are presented for successful implementation. In order to convey the contents as practically as possible, two use cases will also be examined throughout the study, using the presented contents as examples.

With this study, the Department of Business Development works against missing implementation concepts of the producing companies, so that Industry 4.0 can be introduced into their entire organization and established sustainably. The guideline also serves the cross-sector implementation of Industry 4.0 solutions. The study draws a comparison to the development and implementation of the lean management concept at the end of the 1990s. This concept also quickly attracted broad interest in the manufacturing industry. However, it took several years until suitable organizational elements and structures such as production management systems, lean management departments and lean managers were installed in order to implement the concept holistically in the companies. This development, which has been going on for years, is to be significantly accelerated and thus shortened with the help of the guideline in the area of Industry 4.0