Knowing what types of sensors to use and what data to collect can drive connectivity and process efficiency. Sensor technology is the prerequisite for implementing Industry 4.0. Sensors collect data on process and machine statuses, making it available for process-relevant information services and workflows. However, sensor costs and the variety of possible applications often make it difficult for users to appreciate the economic benefit. The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association (VDMA), in cooperation with the Wbk Institute of Production Science of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) compiled the Sensors for Industry 4.0 guideline to highlight various tools and methods for lowering sensor costs. “Sensors are the links between the digital and the real world and therefore one of the most important factors in the implementation of Industry 4.0. All higher-level data interpretation systems are blind without the right sensors,” says professor Jürgen Fleischer, one of the guide’s main contributors. Fleischer says KIT projects show how information can be usefully captured and processed using sensors. “Data can be captured in the drive components of machine tools to monito...