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The interest shown by Chinese converters in Industry 4.0 technologies remains undiminished. In hosting the 2nd Industry 4.0 Conference at CHINAPLAS 2017, the trade fair's organizer Adsale Exhibition Services Ltd. is therefore once again creating a platform for technology providers and users.

As was the case with the 2016 conference, the event is being organized jointly with VDMA.

The 2nd Industry 4.0 Conference will take place over half a day on each of the first three days of the trade fair, and has a sector-specific structure: Day 1 – Automotive Industry; Day 2 – Electronics and Electrical Appliances; Day 3 – Packaging Industry.

Key dimensions of Industry 4.0 were presented by VDMA and its member firms at K 2016. The focus now is on transferring the added value of digital technologies to foreign markets.

Five of the firms due to give a presentation at the conference will show short films illustrating the benefits that Industry 4.0 can bring to their Chinese customers. The films can be viewed by the links below:

Arburg: http://www.vdma.org/video-item-display/-/videodetail/16446149
ENGEL: http://www.vdma.org/video-item-display/-/videodetail/16444972
KraussMaffei: http://www.vdma.org/video-item-display/-/videodetail/16445040
Reifenhäuser: http://www.vdma.org/video-item-display/-/videodetail/16445085
Wittmann Battenfeld: http://www.vdma.org/video-item-display/-/videodetail/16445987

The automotive industry in China is growing. In 2016, sales of passenger cars stood at 24.4 million units, which represents an increase of 15.5%. Growth in the market for electric vehicles is particularly strong. China produced 517,000 electric vehicles in 2016, 53% more than in the previous year. By 2020, the market share of electric vehicles will have grown to 5% (Source: GTAI).

In order to be able to achieve these increases in production, manufacturing needs to be both flexible and efficient. Wage costs in China have risen sharply, as have the quality demands placed on plastic products in the automotive sector.

As a result, Chinese converters have relied more and more heavily on automation and digitalization in an effort to make their production more efficient. Exactly how smart technologies can help them to optimize individual steps in the production process and thereby achieve better manufacturing results will be demonstrated by KraussMaffei, ENGEL and KUKA on the first day of the conference.

Standardized digital interfaces are crucial to the implementation of Industry 4.0. Uniform information models will make the networking of machines more straightforward, and components from a number of different manufacturers can be combined more easily into systems.

Following the series of presentations on the first day of the conference, representatives of KraussMaffei, KUKA and Motan will use the panel of experts debate to highlight the practical experience they have gained in this respect.

In its introduction on each day of the conference, VDMA will also examine the current status of the work in terms of the EUROMAP standardization of digital interfaces.

China is the world's biggest producer of electronic goods. The domestic market for refrigerators or even PCs/laptops, for instance, is now virtually saturated and the pressure on costs is high. On the second day of the conference, dedicated to Electronics & Electrical Appliances, Arburg and Wittmann Battenfeld will show how mass-produced goods can be manufactured efficiently.

Products need to be smarter if market opportunities that go beyond providing a basic level of supply are to be developed. On the second day of the conference, the injection molding machinery manufacturer Arburg and the Chinese electrical appliances manufacturer Haier will discuss efficient ways in which mass-produced consumer goods can be individualized.

The food sector in China is booming. During the first 11 months of 2016, food production recorded year-on-year growth of almost 14%. For Chinese food and beverage companies, annual growth up to 2020 is forecast to be around 8.8% (Source: GTAI).

In addition, a change in consumer habits means that more food packaging is required. At the same time, the hygienic and safe packing of food products is valued very highly by Chinese consumers.

On the third day of the conference, Reifenhäuser and Brückner will show how Industry 4.0 can help to improve production efficiency for packaging manufacturers and to ensure that rising demands, for example with regard to food safety, are met.

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