International Affairs

Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 as a model of socio-technical transformation of production systems

On 18 and 19 June 2018, several KIT institutes organized a workshop together with colleagues from Tongji University on Industry 4.0 / Made in China 2025.

The discussion centered on the phenomenon of digitization of industry and the actual and expected effects on production systems, work and fields of activity - topics that are also being debated within the framework of the BMBF Science Year 2018 "Future of Work". The aim of the workshop, which was attended by about 20 scientists from KIT and Tongji University, was to understand, compare and jointly discuss the mission statements Industry 4.0 and Made in China 2025 as visions in their respective contexts of national strategies and structures Impact on industries, human-machine interaction and employment structures.

One result of the workshop was that both models contain implicit and explicit values, which are the basis of further design of production systems. The task of human and social science work and participation in the design of these systems can be to explicate these values ​​and to examine their normativity and future development potential. Similarly, the issue of dealing emotionally with uncertainties through new technologies is a societal challenge. Here, too, differences between Germany ("digitization as a threat") and China ("digitization as an opportunity") were found. This also implies a variety of user cultures that require adapted education systems.

The following topics were identified for further joint research: How is the operational implementation of the mission statements developing, where are the obstacles and barriers? How do companies prepare for the challenges of digitization and AI through personnel development? What conflicts of value result from different perceptions of company changes due to different social positions and how can these be resolved? Which form of data culture, data protection must be developed?

These topics will become relevant for research in future joint events and projects.

The event was jointly organized by the KIT Institutes Institute of Technology Futures (ITZ), Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS), Institute for Information Management in Engineering (IMI), Institute for Production Engineering (WBK), Institute for Product Development (IPEK) and Institute for Product Development Information Processing Technology (ITIV) and carried out with the corresponding Chinese partners of Tongji University Shanghai.