industry 4.0 work of future

Industry 4.0:

Work of the Future



own colleague employee
rapid wayside employer
trend embrace automation
adapt key (2) application (2)
effect enable complexity
hire desire meaningful
unite abroad remote (2)
broad issue (3) advantage
vast platform opportunity
steer so-called component
hall expect integrate
array pioneer


Video: Industry 4.0



This is the town of Remshalden in southwestern Germany. The biggest employer here is the family-owned company, Schnaithmann.

Karl-Heinz Hauch has been working here for the past eighteen years, programming robots. Along with his colleagues, he has to learn a new programming language every two to three years.

Developments in automation have been rapid. Embracing new technology is key to avoid being left by the wayside.

Karl-Heinz Hauch, Robot Programmer: “We’ve adapted to modern technology. We use applications like this one to get the desired effects.

So for us, fear isn’t an issue.”

The trend towards digitalization has not led to any job losses here. Instead, owner Karl Schnaithmann has actually been able to hire more people.

Karl Schnaithmann: “I don’t believe in halls empty of people. We need to find a way to unite workers with machines.

When it comes down to it, who’s actually in control of the machine? For me, it’s people. And it will stay that way over the next few decades.”

Schnaithmann has embraced so-called Industry 4.0. For customers abroad, the company’s ability to work on projects remotely is a huge advantage. The internet has enabled employees to manage a greater level of complexity.

Volker Sieber, Schnaithmann Head of Development: “Our focus has always been on integrating systems. The internet has opened up new opportunities, which must be used to serve customers in a meaningful way.”

Schnaithmann’s training program includes a digital component. This year 32 students are completing the course. They practice steering machines remotely.

Lukas Fleischer is training to be an automation electrician. He’s surprised at how broad an education he’s getting.

Lukas Fleischer, Trainee: “Industry 4.0 is about bringing together a vast array of wireless connections. But I didn’t expect the training to focus so much on it, and that I would be working with so many different platforms.”

Schnaithmann says it’s helping pioneer the future of work, at least for those with the skills and drive to adapt to Industry 4.0.

*     *     *     *     *     *     *


1. The Schnaithmann company is located in the industrial park of a large city. True or false?

2. Does software engineering change constantly? What happens if people and companies do not keep up with technological advances?

3. According to Karl Schnaithmann, have employees at Schnaithmann been made redundant as a result of automation? What does he want in terms of employment?

4. Key features of Industry 4.0 are robots, integration and connectivity through the internet. Is this right or wrong?

5. Can products and services be tailored (customized) to suit clients’ needs and wants?

6. New recruits at Schnaithmann can start working directly after graduating from school or university. Is this correct or incorrect? Do they learn only specialized skills or tasks?

7. “Schnaithmann says it’s helping pioneer the future of work, at least for those with the skills and drive to adapt to Industry 4.0.” What does this mean or imply?


A. Does your company have robotics or computerization? How have things changed over the years?

B. My colleagues and I always have to upgrade and learn new programs or other skills. Yes or no?

C. What will happen in the future?

D. Is everyone excited about Industry 4.0? Are there any possible downsides (disadvantages) to it?

E. What should employees and students do?


Comments are closed.