Open Industry 4.0 Alliance continues to grow in 2021

Number of members in largest corporate alliance for Industry 4.0 increases by double digits ++ OI4 board spokesman Nils Herzberg comments: “Inclusion of big names such as Microsoft, Siemens and Trumpf, underlines the trust of the industry” ++ Implementation award is presented for the first time

Reinach, Switzerland / SPS Nuremberg, December 13, 2021 – The largest corporate alliance for Industry 4.0 in Germany, the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance (OI4), continued to grow in 2021, despite the ongoing pandemic, setting important milestones and now numbering 92 member companies. At the virtual Annual General Meeting, Nils Herzberg, Spokesman for the Executive Board of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance and Global Head of Strategic Partnerships for Digital Supply Chain and Industry 4.0 at SAP, expressed his satisfaction with what has been achieved: "Despite the difficult circumstances, the alliance was once again able to achieve solid double-digit growth in membership numbers. In particular, the inclusion of big names such as Microsoft, Siemens and Trumpf underlines the industry's confidence in our work. With a total of 17 working groups, predominantly based in the industrial and technology sectors, we are thought leaders and drivers for industrial digitization."

Ricardo Dunkel, Technical Director der Open Industry 4.0 Alliance
Alliance management team further strengthened

The alliance management team will be further strengthened in terms of personnel in the year ahead. As of February 2022, Ricardo Dunkel will take over the newly created position of Technical Director. He will be responsible in particular for the further technical development of the OI4 reference architecture. Previously, Ricardo spent several years as a senior software architect for B2B and B2C web and commerce platforms at e-commerce service provider diva-e.

Implementation award presented for the first time

The Implementation Award, presented by OI4 for the first time ever, is intended to honor the wealth of ideas and practical orientation of member companies. Seven implementation projects made it into the final selection. The final winner was the 'OI4 Demonstrator Project' submitted by member companies UReason, Samson, M&M and Pepperl+Fuchs, with the participation of other alliance members as technology and hardware suppliers. The project was implemented at the 'Duurzaamheidsfabriek' (sustainability factory) in Dordrecht, South Holland, and involved interoperability in the process industry between factory operators, OEMs and users. The OI4 reference architecture ensured usability of hardware, software and data flows. The project was able to convince the jury in particular by the fact that numerous partners (both OI4 members and non-members) were able to develop a joint solution that can be used directly by end customers and is not a mere showcase and quickly forgotten.


Versuchsaufbau der Universität Aalborg
Aalborg University successfully trials open architecture of OI4

The OI4 sees itself as an implementation alliance that uses existing standards and combines them in practice. An example from Denmark shows that the OI4 solutions have proven themselves in real-world applications. Researchers at Aalborg University tested the open architecture of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance with regard to its applicability and practicality and finally used it in a practical way to demonstrate simple networking from the store floor to the cloud. In its proof of concept, the research team connected a KUKA robot to the Microsoft Azure cloud of a leading Danish toy manufacturer via an edge interface from Munich-based IoT specialist Device Insight, as an example. The OI4 architecture exceeded all expectations and is recommended without hesitation.

Outlook for 2022

Strategically, the alliance will focus on further compatible solutions within the reference architecture in 2022: "The foundations for new implementation projects have been laid," explains Ekrem Yigitdoel, Managing Director of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance. "We want to be the pacesetter for the digital networking of industry and move forward with further working groups and use cases. The transformation of traditional industries is happening all over the world. This involves billions of machines for the products and markets of tomorrow. You will hear a lot more about the alliance and our diverse projects in the coming year."

On January 26 and 27, 2022, the alliance will hold an online in-house exhibition on current use cases for journalists and interested parties. If you want to find out more, please send an informal email to our press contacts.


  • Ricardo Dunkel, Technical Director of the Open Industry 4.0 Alliance Source: Ricardo Dunkel
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  • Aalborg University experimental setup Source: Casper Schou
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