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These Are The Most Important Future Technology

These Are The Most Important Future Technologies

5G, blockchain, quantum computers - which technologies will shape the future of the manufacturing industry in Germany? The big overview.


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Many fields of technology are developing faster than ever before and new ones are constantly being added. Many of them have the potential to radically change German industry: they not only have an impact on the way things are produced, but also offer new business areas to produce for.

PRODUKTION introduces you to the current future technologies and bundles all information on the future topics most relevant to the German manufacturing industry in this overview.

Future technologies are about those technologies that will move the economy and generate growth in the coming decades. The goal of most future technologies: more efficiency and sustainability.

For Germany, the Fraunhofer Institute for Innovation and Systems Research (ISI) identified the most relevant technologies on behalf of KfW Research. The future technologies were identified on the basis of various studies and evaluated technologically and economically.

These are the most important future technologies for the manufacturing industry

In this overview, we would like to focus on the technologies and sectors that have not yet fully arrived in everyday production, as is already the case in many places with many automotive-related topics such as electromobility, robotics or 3D printing, but which still require a lot of research - and need development and where there is a lot to discover. (Of course, that does not mean that there is nothing to discover about the other topics. Of course, these are not neglected at PRODUKTION either, but have a permanent place in our technology reporting.)

This includes future technologies

  • Augmented & virtual reality
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Quantum computing / Quantum technology
  • 5G
  • Blockchain

At the same time, we give you an insight into entire fields of technology that will shape our future:

  • Mobility of The Future
  • Energy Generation of The Future
  • Space Engineering

Virtual & Augmented Reality

Virtual or augmented reality applications were initially more interesting for entertainment, but there are now many useful applications in industry.

Augmented reality is used, for example, to display assembly instructions in the employee's field of vision while he is carrying out the assembly. This augmented reality can also be helpful for remote services.

You can find more on the subject in this report: "How augmented reality becomes ready for everyday production".

Virtual reality, on the other hand, is used, for example, to plan systems or to simulate processes. But the technology can also bring advantages in training, as Audi demonstrates, for example: "This is how Audi uses virtual reality in training".

Internet of Things

Internet of Things (IoT) is a term that has been haunting the industry for a long time, especially in connection with Industry 4.0. Basically, it's about collecting data with the help of a wide variety of things (sensors on machines, controls and objects) and enriching it with further information using the Internet.

Artificial Intelligence

The field of artificial intelligence is extremely diverse. A lot revolves around intelligent algorithms, machine learning and prediction models. The article is about what artificial intelligence is, how it works or is programmed and how it is changing the world.

In industry, artificial intelligence can be used primarily for optimization. There are a variety of approaches for this. Among other things, quality defects in weld seams are categorized there using intelligent image recognition and process parameters are adjusted in such a way that they are avoided.

The AI not only optimizes processes, but also the work itself, for example in machining. There, AI solutions are primarily used as assistance systems designed to make work easier, more interesting and more varied. The people at the machine no longer have to worry about checking individual parameters, but can keep an eye on the overall process and use their skills there.

Quantum Technology

The research and development field of quantum technology has picked up speed in recent years. In Germany, quantum computers are gradually being put into operation, quantum sensors are being developed and many start-ups are dedicated to the development of quantum algorithms or other peripherals for quantum-based processes. The aim is to win the race with China and the USA, or at least to be able to keep up.

5G/6G

No, this is not about a faster network for your smartphone, but about what the 5G mobile communications standard can do for the manufacturing industry in the future. Because it is the first standard that makes possible a radio network that reacts almost in real time - exactly what is necessary for the networking of production lines and entire productions.

Experts such as Eckart Eberle, Siemens CEO Process Automation, almost agree that 5G will give Industry 4.0 a boost.

But why does it need 5G, what is different than the good old WLAN? The WLAN quickly reaches its performance limit and has difficulties with moving, mobile applications. In addition, companies can set up their own campus networks, which can then be operated independently and adapted to their own requirements.

Blockchain

Many associate blockchain primarily with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. But the term actually describes a principle for decentralizing databases, creating transparency in this way and making the information more secure against manipulation.

Data sets are stored in so-called blocks, which are then verified and stored by thousands, if not millions, of computers. The verified block is then appended to a chain of data sets in encrypted form – hence the name. In this way, many unique data sets with traceable histories are created. In this way, digital transactions can be documented in a traceable manner.

Mobility of The Future

We are in the middle of a change in mobility and this is accompanied by many new technologies. Electromobility is currently at the forefront. The effects this has on the industry and what solutions are available in the various sectors is therefore a frequent topic in our reporting.

Autonomous driving will also keep the automotive industry and suppliers busy. Our colleagues from Automotive IT have summarized the current situation in a practical overview.

Yes, a lot revolves around cars, but alternative means of transport such as air taxis, magnetic levitation trains or emission-free ships are also being tested and could play an important role in future mobility.

Energy Generation of The Future

Not only mobility is changing, energy generation also needs change in order to meet the challenges of today. The energy and climate policy goals of the EU and the Federal Republic of Germany require a comprehensive restructuring of the current energy system. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection (BMWK) is investigating what this should look like in the future in the research project "Long-term scenarios for the transformation of the energy system in Germany". From these scenarios, a strategy should then be developed up to climate neutrality in 2050.

In these long-term scenarios, wind energy and photovoltaics are the basis of future energy supply. But hydrogen will also play an important role, especially in areas that are otherwise very difficult to decarbonize. This also includes industry.

If the various research projects on this future technology are successful, nuclear fusion could also be a real alternative for energy production. So far, however, there is no fusion reactor that supplies more electricity than is initially put into it, only one has so far created the energy balance.

Space Engineering

Space offers a number of opportunities, especially for research, but the foundations for the development of new technologies can also be laid there. Therefore, space travel and other space technologies are becoming increasingly important.

Technologies for aerospace and outer space hold some opportunities and new business areas for German industry. This is also emphasized by ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher: “One must not forget that one euro invested in space generates four to ten euros in the economy. That means it is a multiplier, business and research are closely linked and that is a very good symbiosis.”

Some companies have already recognized this opportunity: For example, Porsche SE is investing in the Bavarian rocket start-up Isar Aerospace. This is based on the company's conviction "that inexpensive and flexible access to space will ensure innovations in many industrial sectors". Another example: The American aviation group Boeing and the Augsburg technology group MT Aerospace are cooperating to jointly build Mars rockets in the future.

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