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Added value for customers in focus

Published 19.07.2017

Define functionalities, name data, generate added value for customers: This was the task of the working groups for labour and resource management, energy efficiency and maintenance, which have now been set up within Industry Business Network 4.0. The starting signal was given by a meeting at the association headquarters in Bad Wörishofen, Bavaria. Under the direction of TÜV Süd, the University of Augsburg and Fraunhofer IGCV, the first results were developed in a kickoff workshop. The association chairman Igor Mikulina sees the project as being "on a very good path".


The producers' association of innovative medium-scaled enterprises - Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V. continues to push ahead with its ambitious goals. In the context of a kickoff workshop, the working groups have now been set up for the specific value-added areas of labour and resource management, energy efficiency and maintenance. Among others, these included: Producers of cutting systems, plasma sources, filter systems, straightening machines, deburring systems and companies in the fields of lifting, vacuum, gas and welding technology. Further participants came from the fields of automation technology, software development, technology consulting as well as science and research.


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schilp, holder of the chair for production informatics at the University of Augsburg and project leader at Fraunhofer IGCV, moderated the various working groups.

Kickoff workshop: added value for customers to start with  
Under the direction of science and research representatives of the members of the association defined functionalities with a view to added value for customers.


Dr.-Ing. Detlev Richter, Vice President of the TÜV Süd Product Service GmbH, was a leader throughout the day: "It is a tremendous challenge we face. We will develop step by step together. What we as TÜV have learned and why we are here as well is that: We need small and fast partners who are creative, who have ideas and who create ideas," says Richter.


Konstantin Kernschmidt, Project Manager Industry 4.0, with the host and founding member MicroStep Europa GmbH, summarized the objectives of the growing association: ''We want to network all systems on the basis of a common standard and thus achieve the result that they can work together in an interoperable and safe manner in the long term," he said, convinced that a common standard is the basic precondition for raising the great potential of Industry 4.0 in the user's interest.


"This is a prototype. We're launching a missile that's got what it takes."

Einzigartiges Projekt mit ModellcharakterTogether with Alexander Funk, Head of Marketing & Communication at MicroStep Europa, he prepared the results and developments of the project teams of the past months: ''Our association is the only one that is concretely embarking on the topic of networking in this context across all producers. If we can do this, it will be a prototype. What we're doing here is not rocket science, but we're launching a missile - and it's got what it takes!"


The aim of the working groups is to jointly define application solutions and the data required for them within the next few weeks and months at eye-to-eye level. The first functionalities of the system have now been defined for the areas of work and resource management, energy efficiency and maintenance with a view to specific added value for customers. At the same time, the construction of cross-producer reference facilities is being pushed ahead at several locations. ''Experience Industry 4.0 systems live, that's the goal we want to achieve with the reference systems. That's how we'll prove that: There is an application here that is robust, works and can be presented to the customer accordingly," said Kernschmidt.


With the strengths of medium-scaled businesses: Creativity and speed


Dr.-Ing. Michael Schnick, Managing Director of Oscar PLT GmbH, introduced the topic Industry 4.0 in his keynote speech and explained the latest findings of the market. "In this circle in which we have met today - that's the future," explained the engineer, who is responsible for development at plasma technology producer Kjellberg Finsterwalde. Open exchange of ideas, innovative solutions and specific implementations: In addition to creativity and speed, these are the strengths of medium-scaled businesses."


Igor Mikulina drew a positive conclusion at the end of the working group meeting: ''Today, we have seen that we are able to make a great deal of progress in this broad range of activities," said the CEO of Industry Business Network 4.0 and Managing Director of MicroStep Europa. ''Together we will develop new business models for our customers and ourselves - and that will give us a lot of pleasure.''