Industrie 4.0 has been becoming one of the most challenging topic areas in industrial production engineering within the last decade. The increasing and comprehensive digitization of industrial production processes allows the introduction of innovative data-driven business models using cyber-physical systems (CPS) and Internet of Things (IoT). Efficient and flexible manufacturing of goods assumes that all involved production systems are capable of fulfilling all necessary machining operations in the desired quality. To ensure this, production systems must be able to communicate and interact with machines and humans in a distributed environment, to monitor the wear condition of functionally relevant components, and to self-adapt their behaviour to a given situation. This article gives an overview about the historical development of intelligent production systems in the context of value-adding business models. The focus is on condition monitoring and predictive maintenance in an availability oriented business model. Technical as well as organizational prerequisites for an implementation in the production industry are critically analysed and discussed on the basis of best practice examples. The paper concludes with a summary and an outlook on future research topics that should be addressed.
Regarding the commonly accepted first three industrial revolutions, characterized by mechanization, electrification and use of electronics and information technology, it can be stated that they were driven by the early adoption of emerging technologies for industrial production purposes. From the technological point of view, the term Industrie 4.0 denotes an evolutionary phases of the third industrial revolution due to the fact that the fundamental enabling information and communication technologies have been used in industry since the era of Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM). It describes a new phase of organization and control of the entire value chain over the life-cycle of products.