VDMA plans for industry digitisation

German construction equipment and plant engineering trade association the VDMA has staged its annual BuB Construction Day which this year highlighted industry progress in digitisation, automation and machine communication.
October 7, 2020
By Liam McLoughlin
 The VDMA says its working groups are achieving milestones on the road to autonomous machines
The VDMA says its working groups are achieving milestones on the road to autonomous machines

In the VDMA's machines in construction (MiC) 4.0 working group, manufacturers and operators have jointly developed an identical interpretation of data content to enable construction machinery to "communicate" with a uniform understanding in future, regardless of the manufacturer.

"The aim is to push ahead with digitisation - at full speed," said MiC 4.0 MD Darius Sossdorf. At the VDMA BuB Technology Day on 21 September it was stated that the MiC 4.0 working group has developed into a competence centre.

The VDMA says its working groups are achieving milestones on the long road to autonomous mobile machines. These include a definition of machine status data that is manufacturer-spanning, and process data being broken down into individual construction methods (special deep drilling equipment).

In addition the first attachment plugfest is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks. A computer will document in a data transmission protocol whether the data will be transmitted and received in the same way by a carrier device and an attachment, regardless of the combination.

The VDMA says the MiC 4.0 working group is open to all who wish to participate in this process. It adds that companies and associations need to cooperate more intensively due to complicated national, EU and international regulations and requirements including standardisation, machinery directives, machine safety, cybersecurity and environmental legislation.

Construction machinery providers will have to meet the requirements with which building contractors are confronted, according to Ralf Lüddemann, head of the technology department at Leonhard Weiss and Dirk Siewert from HDB, the German housebuilding trade group. These include legal regulations, occupational safety, health, and environmental protection. They added that intensive cooperation between OEMs and construction companies - as is currently taking place in the MiC 4.0 working group - is essential.

There were 152 participants in this year's BuB (Baumaschinen und Baustoffanlagen - building machinery and building materials plants) Construction Day. The next BuB Construction Day is scheduled for September 2022.

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