Setting trends in Industry 4.0 – Electronics & electrical engineering in Bavaria

From 21st to 24th June, the biannual Automatica trade fair will take place in Munich and thus once again transform the city into the centre for all developments and innovations in electrical engineering. The trade fair is the leading event for all aspects of automation and mechatronics. Whether the focus is on the further optimisation of production processes, reducing costs or improving the quality of production: Automatica is the showcase for a flourishing Bavarian business segment.

Visitors to the trade fair will be welcomed by the world's largest offering of robotics, state-of-the-art assembly and handling technology. And once again, this year's trade fair will highlight the trend of service robotics with its own separate exhibition area. Its broad portfolio turns Automatica into a mirror of this excellently positioned business segment in Bavaria. For example, companies active in the State generated more then EUR 25 billion in sales in 2014. This equals nearly 40 per cent of the entire industry turnover achieved in Germany, and there is no end in sight. Companies from a very diverse range of sectors are relentless when it comes to driving innovations in the electrical engineering and electronics sectors, whether they are global players such as Infineon Technologies in semiconductor technology or Bosch, Continental and Liebherr in vehicle electronics. Even local companies demonstrate how the trend towards networking and the growing interest in efficient resource utilisation can result in success stories; for example by printed circuit board manufacturer Rogers Germany (formerly curamik electronics) in Eschenbach (Upper Palatinate). In northern Bavaria, companies and institutions active in automation technology joined forces in 2004 with the goal of accelerating developments in humane, safe and environmentally compatible automation solutions. Find out more in our blog entry on the Automation Valley Nordbayern.

Close collaboration between business and science

The success enjoyed by Bavarian companies is not based solely on their innovative strength, but also largely on the conditions the state has created for the electronics industry. Thus, a total of five Bavarian universities and 14 universities of applied science have dedicated themselves to training talented young professionals in fields where there is considerable demand by various enterprises. But there's more: Bavarian universities also make considerable contributions to research and development to this end and therefore work closely with local business. This is complemented by various providers who offer a broad range of further training, which adds additional impetus to the ingenuity of the entire sector. This for example includes the Ostbayerische Technologie-Transfer-Institut (OTTI) or Bayern Innovativ.

In addition, the sector networks via various Bavarian clusters such as performance electronics, mechatronics and automation, sensor technology as well as microsystem technology. The clusters have dedicated themselves to networking business and science for the mutual benefit of all involved and in supporting Bavarian companies in their efforts to tap new markets. This means that established companies are not the only ones to benefit from valuable support, entrepreneurs can also take advantage of various funding and promotion opportunities – be it through contacts to major corporations and investors, or infusions of capital to implement their ideas.

Opportunity for start-ups

An additional option for entrepreneurs in advancing their ideas is offered by this year's electronica trade fair, taking place from 8th to 11th November in Munich. At the world's leading trade show for electronic components, systems and applications, start-ups will have the opportunity to present their products or services on separate exhibition space. In addition, the winner of the electronica Fast Forward Start-up Award, will be awarded a marketing campaign and its own stand at the next electronica in two years. The application deadline is 15th July 2016.

The entire sector benefits from the advances in digitization while playing a significant role in the progress achieved in Industry 4.0. If you want to find out more, we recommend Part 2 of our #bytevaria talks with Dr. Carlos Härtel from GE, or our infographic on the subject.