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.

Themenfeldgrafik Digitalisierung und Industrie 4.0

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Aus unseren Inhalten
25 years of VDMA software and digitalization

In 1999, 55 forward-looking companies founded the Software and Digitization Association. For 25 years now, the association has been the network and voice of the software industry within the VDMA.

General recommendations for the use of generative AI

The VDMA expert group "Machine Learning / AI" has drawn up a checklist for the use of generative AI, which is intended to provide initial assistance for the application in the company.

Artificial intelligence - Current activities

AI is playing an increasingly important role for companies in the mechanical and plant engineering sector. VDMA Software and Digitalization is therefore once again offering an interesting range of formats on the topic for all VDMA members.

Collect, use and protect data

The digital transformation of industry needs a complete Digital Ecosystem. Data collection, processing, business models and data protection are the key challenges. Find out more at VDMA at Hannover Fair 2023, in Hall 15, Booth F28 .

NIS2: Mandatory cybersecurity requirements

The new version of the NIS directive will in future oblige manufacturers of "critical products" such as machines or control components to implement cybersecurity in their own operating environment.

Focus on applicant data and recruiting

Digitalization and the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) do not stop at application processes.

PA-DIM Working Group Releases Version 1.1 with Analyzer Device Support

The PA-DIM Working Group has released Version 1.1 of the standard, expanding to include support for analyzer device types and data modeling extensions. This enhancement improves interoperability for process applications in automation.

Current challenges in sales in 2024

Promoting and challenging players in sales, new AI tools, resource efficiency in volatile markets, online marketing, etc. - many aspects currently need to be considered in sales strategy and organization.

ESPR: Impact on mechanical and plant engineering

The new Ecodesign Regulation aims to regulate products sustainably throughout their entire life cycle - the mechanical and plant engineering sector will be directly affected by this.

Opportunities of the circular economy for mechanical and plant engineering

The circular economy is one of the key areas of transformation with opportunities as an enabler for mechanical and plant engineering. The kick-off event presented selected business models.

EIP-Agrar.NRW funding competition

Call for proposals for the European Innovation Partnership "Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability" in North Rhine-Westphalia.

OT-Risk Cookbook

The VDMA Industrial Security Working Group publishes the OT Risk Cookbook

BGH: GDPR right to information can include all correspondence from a person

The BGH clarifies that copies of documents of the data subject may also be covered by a request for information. In addition, it must be examined whether complete documents are required to contextualize the processed data.

NRW - Economy in Transition" competition launched: Apply now!

NRW is looking for committed companies that meet challenges such as digitalization or globalization with new solutions and actively shape the economic transformation process in NRW.

Technical documentation: an opportunity for business models?

What undiscovered opportunities are hidden behind technical documentation and how can valuable business models be created from it? An interview with Volker Granacher (tecteam GmbH) and Lars Kothes (kothes GmbH).

ECJ ruling deals with GDPR damages, among other things

The ECJ ruling of April 11, 2024 defines the framework for claims for damages in the event of GDPR violations and non-material damage.

Data protection in the commercial register: No right to data erasure

Munich Higher Regional Court confirms: No right to erasure of data in shareholder lists. General Data Protection Regulation provides no basis.

An educational initiative for OPC UA must be launched

Industry interview with Tony Marchelletta (National Sales Manager Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery N.A.) on the benefits of OPC UA for the user

Digital employer branding

Together with Christian Seifert from avenit, 26 experts discussed trends in digital employer branding on April 12, 2024. A workshop on "Employer Branding with Artificial Intelligence" gave the participants new impetus.

NPE presents OPC UA as the global language of production

At the NPE trade fair in Orlando, machinery manufacturers present OPC UA as the successful world production language

Artificial intelligence for machine production

Artificial intelligence (AI) is currently the dominant topic in the digital world. Thanks to the rapid development of large language models, the productive use of AI in companies has recently received a strong boost.

Digital requirements in the food and packaging industry

In February 2024, more than 50 machine manufacturers, suppliers and representatives of the food and packaging industry met for a groundbreaking workshop on digitalization. Advanced workshops. Erfa intro: Lecture language is German.

Low-code - opportunities, challenges and application examples

The new white paper from VDMA Software and Digitalization is intended to provide member companies with guidance on how to become more familiar with the topic.

The customer has a lot of choices

Industry interview with Alan Landers (Product Manager Blending at the Conair Group) on the benefits of OPC UA for users

Working draft of the cyber security standard for agricultural machinery available

ISO/TC 23/SC 19 - Agricultural Electronics is preparing a standard in view of the upcoming cybersecurity regulations of the EU Commission.

Supply Chain Security document series

The Industrial Security working group makes the complete Supply Chain Security document series freely available

The cost savings are enormous

Industry interview with Michael Werner (IIoT Business Manager and Senior Account Manager Injection Molding Machines at Shibaura Machine Co.) on the benefits of OPC UA for users.

"Innovations create a spirit of optimism"

At Hannover Messe 2024, the mechanical engineering industry sent a clear signal of its strength as a business location. Chancellor and Economics Minister want to strengthen free trade again - a positive sign.

umati presents the first data space for production data

Small companies should also participate in the rapid development of the data economy. The Manufacturing-X initiative is paving the way for this by anchoring the topic of data rooms in the industry.

Major control system manufacturers are now offering OPC UA solutions

Industry interview with Frank Wagenländer (Head of Automation & Electrical Engineering at KraussMaffei Extrusion GmbH) on the benefits of OPC UA for users

Protection against cyber attacks is becoming just as important as defense against plagiarism

Protection against cyber attacks is becoming increasingly important for companies, while combating product piracy remains just as important. Because in both cases, the industry suffers billions in damage every year.

VDMA FAQ on the AI Regulation available

The European Parliament gave the green light for the so-called AI Regulation on March 13, 2024. A VDMA FAQ document was prepared together with the law firm FPS to provide non-binding guidance.

Manufacturing-X - what does that actually mean?

What is behind the X in Manufacturing-X? A ground-breaking concept that goes far beyond the exchange of data between companies. It is the key to collaboration within and between industries.

Economic weakness is no reason for doomsday debates

Mechanical and plant engineering industry demands reforms for competitiveness. VDMA confirms 4 percent drop in production. Uncertainty inhibits investment. Manufacturing-X offers digital opportunities.

Industrial communication will change

Industry interview with Dana Ford (Auxiliary Controls Engineer for Material Handling/Auxiliary at Wittmann Inc.) on the benefits of OPC UA for the user

Manufacturing-X - what is it all about?

What is behind the X in Manufacturing-X? A ground-breaking concept that goes far beyond the exchange of data between companies. It is the key to collaboration within and between industries.

Enabler and pioneer: mechanical engineering is shaping the transformation

In the ProduktionNRW series of events, different areas of the transformation megatrend are highlighted and success factors are presented with practical examples from the mechanical engineering industry.

Cyber Resilience Act: New obligations for manufacturers - act now!

The European Union's Cyber Resilience Act affects many products and components in the mechanical engineering sector. Companies should quickly identify the extent to which they are affected and take measures to ensure compliance and product security.

Wireless Communications Guide

The Wireless Communications Guide (WCG) is an orientation aid from the VDMA Wireless Communications for Machines working group for mechanical and plant engineering companies.

VDMA members@Techtextil: Focus on automation and digitalization

Techtextil, which takes place in Frankfurt at the end of April, will feature a strong participation of VDMA member companies.

KoHMides - Assistance system for cooperative HMI development

The KoHMides project aims to develop an assistance system that can reduce development costs and the risk of operating errors and downtimes for human-machine interfaces (HMI) and enable faster troubleshooting.

Talk&Share | Autonomous mobile robots as a new trend on the market

Autonomous mobile robots (AMR) are a new category of robots that are expanding the range of applications for robotics and will also play a key role on the road to the fully networked factory ("smart factory").

Meet the Expert - Focus on digitalization

Meet the digitization experts at the VDMA Software and Digitization stand to exchange experiences.

Talk&Share | Explosion protection for wireless

In an era characterized by advanced wireless communication technologies, the mechanical engineering industry faces the challenge of integrating not only innovative solutions, but also safety in potentially explosive environments.

The biggest advantage is manufacturer independence

Industry interview with Jürgen Peters (Head of Software Development, ARBURG GmbH Co KG) and Jürgen Giesow (Vice President of Technology and After Sales Service, ARBURG Inc.) on the benefits of OPC UA for users

Experience surface technology - June 4 to 6, 2024, Stuttgart

The horizontal trade fair for surface technology, SurfaceTechnology GERMANY offers a wide-ranging program of supporting events, making it the ideal platform for knowledge transfer, networking and business development in the surface technology sector.

The end user needs to be convinced

Industry interview with Frank Petrolli (VP Strategic Market Development at Plasmatreat) on the benefits of OPC UA for users

VDMA founds Forum Manufacturing-X

With the establishment of the VDMA Forum Manufacturing-X, the VDMA is bundling and coordinating all activities on this topic for its member companies and stakeholders.

Info Event "Digitalization - Interoperability" in Mining

Some 60 participants (mining and automation companies as well as mining equipment and software manufacturers) shared their experiences on this wide-ranging topic at the information event organized by VDMA Mining.

BeverGreen: Green digital twin for breweries

At the RIF in Dortmund, a green digital twin is being developed together with breweries and IT partners as the basis for a sustainable transformation of the beverage and brewing industry.

VDMA Magazin Teaser Digitalisierung & Industrie 4.0

Manufacturing-X: A data ecosystem for everyone
Manufacturing-X is a joint initiative of business, politics and science. Companies should be able to use data confidently and jointly across the entire manufacturing and supply chain.

Our expert and focus topics

Our expert and focus topics
Industry 4.0 needs easily available, secure and consistent data networking. Manufacturing-X is designed to make this possible. The goal is to establish a data ecosystem that enables trustworthy data exchange between companies based on open standards and offers companies digital sovereignty.
Artificial Intelligence
Everyone is talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning. At VDMA, there are already many organizational units that are examining the topic more closely. Here, you can gain some insight into all the activities that the VDMA is conducting on the topic of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence.
When it comes to security at the VDMA, everything revolves around protecting machines and systems in production, manufacturing or intralogistics from attacks and disruptions. The aim of these organizational and technical protective measures is to develop cyber-resilient machines and systems and trustworthy services while reliably maintaining their permanent operation.
Platform economy
The mechanical engineering industry is successfully advancing the digital transformation. So far, this has primarily concerned manufacturing, but in the future it will also involve new business models. Digital platforms and the associated platform economy are going to play an ever more prominent role, and value creation in the mechanical engineering industry is increasingly taking place via digital services.
As an open interface standard, OPC UA is a central prerequisite for the successful introduction of Industrie 4.0 in production. OPC UA ensures the interoperability of machines and systems, which can be linked and redesigned as required via Plug & Work - platform-independent and cross-manufacturer.
Wireless Communications
Reliable, robust and secure data transmission is at the heart of digital transformation in industry. With increasing digitization, data transmission is becoming more and more the central nervous system in industrial application areas where wired infrastructure is sometimes reaching its limits.
The audio blog for trend topics from mechanical and plant engineering
Interoperability is a key pillar of efficient digital transformation and the long-term positioning of every company in the global market, as information can only be shared and utilised easily, securely and at scale through interoperably designed value chains and data ecosystems.
AGV Mesh-Up
The AGV Mesh-Up is a live test event for the VDA 5050 communication interface. Companies can test the interface suitability of their vehicles and master control systems in front of an audience.
Global production language
For us humans, language is a central means of communicating with each other. Language connects and enables understanding. And what about the machines in increasingly networked production? 
Intelligent Production
Industry 4.0 necessitates changes at all corporate levels and throughout the entire value chain. Industry 4.0 is associated with a new way of thinking about the organization of processes. Ultimately, what counts for companies is creating added value.
Technological Sovereignty
Technological sovereignty as a goal is gaining importance regarding the changed geopolitical situation. International division of labor and global trade are our drivers of prosperity and are existential, especially for the mechanical engineering sector.

Level 1 Themenwolke


To the point

To the point

Auf den Punkt Zitat Digitalization

"The linking of the physical and digital worlds and the relocation of criminal structures to cyberspace is clearly reflected in this year's findings of the "Industrial Security and Product Piracy 2024" study."

Steffen Zimmermann, Head of VDMA Competence Centre Industrial Security

Auf den Punkt Zahl Digitalization


Percentage of machine builders

expect AI-based products and services to have a medium to very strong impact on their current business model.

Source: VDMA mechanical engineering in numbers and images, 2020

Auf den Punkt Zusammenfassung Digitalisierung

Whitepaper "Platform Economy": Achieving greater sales success with the monetisation canvas
The monetisation canvas
  • supports the process of market evaluation and pricing for digital service offerings
  • assists companies in analysing and evaluating internal factors associated with a digital business model and requiring corresponding process maturity



Tue. 13.08.24 Tue. 13.08.24

  • Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence and Interoperability are two key technologies that are set to shape the future of digitalization and automation of the mechanical engineering industry. In this Connect2Discover@VDMA event, we would like to show the "connection" between these two topics and report on other VDMA services in this area.

Places available

Thu. 10.10.24 Fri. 11.10.24


  • Management

Every four years, the VDMA invites its member companies to the big general assembly – this year under the motto "Unique."

Every four years, the VDMA invites its member companies to the big general assembly – this year under the motto "Unique."

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Unsere Leistungen

Unsere Leistungen
Publication overview Software and Digitalization
Our publications deal with various aspects of digitalization in mechanical engineering companies as well as cybersecurity and information security and serve as recommendations for action.
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.
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.
Online Library Digitalization & Industrie 4.0
The VDMA accompanies and supports its members on the way to Industrie 4.0. Here you will find an overview of the current publications on the topic.
Working Groups Software and Digitalization and Information technology
Our working groups deal with various aspects of digitalization in mechanical engineering companies, standardization aspects and serve the intensive exchange of experience among members.
Expert Group Machine Learning
Among other things, the VDMA committee develops Use Cases on the topic of Machine Learning.
40 OPC UA working groups
The VDMA coordinates the activities of around 40 working groups that are defining a common, cross-industry language between machines and plants in the form of "OPC UA Companion Specifications".



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VDMA partners

Plattform Industrie 4.0
Allianz Industrie 4.0 Baden-Württemberg
Labs Network Industrie 4.0

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Benefits for you as a member

Largest industry network in Europe

3,600 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.

Strong representation of interests

The VDMA is the most important voice of the machinery and equipment manufacturing industry. It represents the common economic, technical and scientific interests of the industry in Germany and around the world.

A wide range of services

More than 500 VDMA employees worldwide support you with practical services to make the right decisions in your company - along the entire value chain.