The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

The magazine of Friedhelm Loh Group

Digitalisation enabler

Data needs space

The industrial foundations of Europe’s economy have rarely been hit by so many changes at the same time. Industry is in upheaval – and not just in terms of technology. How can it handle the pressure to become more efficient and productive, while at the same time mastering the energy transition? How can it get to grips with the skills shortage and at the same time – or even because of that – implement digital transformation?

Text Ulrich Sendler, Steffen Maltzan, Dr. Carola Hilbrand ––– Photography

The energy transition, digital transformation and data exchange – how industry data spaces can help meet these challenges.

Investing in automation and digitalisation is crucial if a business wants to stay competitive. That much is clear. But does investing also solve the problems? Markus Asch, CEO of Rittal International and Rittal Software Systems, doesn’t think so. “Technologies are the tools we need. However, the really important potential lies in optimising and industrialising entire value chains. That is the only way we can act faster with the resources available. Despite the skills shortage, there’s no time to lose when it comes to expanding the infrastructure for energy networks and smart factories.”

So how do you go about doing that? “We need to create data spaces for the relevant processes and link them together for overarching collaboration,” says Asch. “Energy supplies that are costeffective and dependable over the long term, digital transformation in factories, and smaller product carbon footprints in industry – none of these can be achieved in isolation. We need transparency across entire value chains.”

“This is where the strengths of open data spaces as ecosystems really come to the fore,” explains Sebastian Seitz, CEO of Eplan and Cideon. “Enabling crosssector collaboration requires more than just technical means. Equally important are definitions that generate consensus about relevant issues of data sovereignty, and software that safeguards this on a technical level.”

What does that actually mean and what role do data spaces play? And why is the energy transition not just a challenge, but also a driving force? Find out more in our interview with Sebastian Seitz, which includes practical examples of smart production at Rittal (shown above) and offers insights into the benefits of the Catena- automotive ecosystem.

back Part 2: Interview - Industry as a driving force  

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