More and more smart connected products pop up around us and more technology is available on the market to make smart internet-of-things (IoT) solutions. Many companies that build physical products wonder whether and when to take which steps. They are faced with numerous challenges such as creating added value and devising an attractive value proposal.

In Industry 4.0, design and manufacturing are closely linked. This is the starting point for the merger of the Prototyping Xpo and MNE trade fairs into a single fair for the entire value chain, from innovative design in small volumes to the production and marketing of series. Prototyping-MNE, in which Sirris also participates, will take place on 5 and 6 February in Kortrijk.

The digital economy is driven by hyperscale and microcare. It is absolutely essential that we offer scalable online services which take over tasks from consumers and/or business users, while also being user-friendly. We wanted to know the opinion of decision-makers about this and spoke with Nadja Desmet, founder of Socialemediaburo.be and Someflex and elected 'West-Flemish promising SME of the year'.

Humans use words, diagrams, images, context, sounds, facial expressions or body language to be understood. Machines use data and information models as well as algorithms to manipulate information, and human concepts need to be translated for machine use. A recent white paper offers an assessment of current and future challenges involving semantic interoperability in industrial domains and related industry-based standards.

The rise of additive manufacturing requires digital support for the entire production chain in order to be able to monitor and guarantee product quality. In order to make this possible, Sirris is working on an eID or digital passport for products in its 4.0 Made Real Pilot Factory.

Hyperscale and Microcare are the most important drivers of the digital economy. The focus is on scalable online services that fill in the job-to-be-done of consumers or business users in a customer-focused way. How do decision-makers look at this? We asked Stijn Vanorbeek, successful Belgian entrepreneur, now in the US.

In order to be able to help companies in their transition to an Industry 4.0 production, Sirris decided to set up its own pilot environment of an Industry 4.0 factory: the 4.0 Made Real Pilot Factory. Various innovative technologies will be implemented here and the production can be followed digitally from order to delivery. This thanks to connected machines and IoT.

Hyperscale and Microcare are the most important drivers for a digital economy. The focus is on digital services which are scalable while also filling in the job-to-be-done of consumers or business users in a customer-focused way. How do decision-makers look at this? Sirris spoke with Bart Steukers, Context Director at Agoria, a man with a heart for people and technology.

The digital economy is driven by hyperscale and microcare. It is essential to offer scalable online services that take over tasks from consumers and/or business users, while also being user-friendly. We wondered how decision-makers looked at this. This is Anneleen Vens, Head of Digital Transformation at Renson speaking.

An important aspect of the demonstrator in the Smart & Digital Factory Application Lab in Kortrijk is data integration. Connecting the different elements of production systems is one of the six skills of a smart, agile factory.