Project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs 4JUL

Project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs

The production sites of the Swiss steel distributor stürmsfs ag from Goldach on Lake Constance (CH) represent very well the nature of innovative European manufacturing. Machines and systems from a wide variety of manufacturers, with a wide variety of control systems - both old and new - work toward each other in a coordinated manner in several shifts. The awareness that the manufacturing industry will be radically transformed by digitalization and that the step towards the smart factory must be taken now if the company is to remain at the forefront is something that unites the management of stürmsfs ag with that of many European SMEs.

But it is precisely this heterogeneous machine landscape that makes networking such a challenge for many companies.

Those who have recognized the acute need for digitization usually take the path of the customized, proprietary smart factory from the system integrator, which is planned and implemented precisely for the respective company. The goal is often achieved - but the question arises as to the costs and the openness to other ecosystems. In short, is this the right horse to back in this strategic decision?

This is exactly where the Smart Factory @ stürmsfs project of the Industry Business Network 4.0 differs - there, together with around 30 innovative machine manufacturers & software partners, a prime example of an open, manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 ecosystem is being created. A network that is free for the integration of all machine manufacturers, software companies, platforms and infrastructures. Built on the latest open source technology, it is a robust, scalable platform that provides all the foundations for new digital business models and for the easy implementation of future technologies such as 5G, AI, machine learning and blockchain for M2M transactions. In other words, an open, high-performance networking solution that can be used to network any system.


The goal of the project is to transform the production of the company stürmsfs ag into an intelligent smart factory, in which all machines & plants (assets) are networked across production sites and can communicate with each other on a standardized basis.

In addition to the basic production data acquisition and visualization of the information, the acquired database will offer the possibility to set up targeted software applications as well as existing software infrastructures such as ERP, MES, e-commerce in a standardized way. At the same time, the project participants aim to upgrade their products and components for Industry 4.0, to develop new use cases pragmatically and cooperatively, and to transform these accordingly into business models in order to incorporate the results reproducibly into their product portfolio.

This unique digitization project, and with it the innovative strength of the individual project participants, is to be effectively promoted in the media on an ongoing basis.

"As an innovative company in the field of metalworking, adherence to delivery dates, quality and customer satisfaction have top priority. Through the intelligent networking of our production facilities, we expect not only complete transparency but also an additional boost to these three quality features. In addition, I am convinced that this will give us the platform we need to offer our customers new digital services related to steel cutting."

Marcel Meier - Business Development & Member of the Executive Board stürmsfs AG

Our approach

In order to achieve the goals of the roadmap, the project is divided into two parallel strands of action - on the one hand, the preparation of the systems by the machine manufacturers with regard to semantics and interoperability. In addition to the preparation of machines and plants on the hardware side, the underlying networking solution offers a user-friendly semantics management system on the software side, with which real interoperability can be created in a standardized and completely manufacturer-independent manner.

In parallel to the hardware, the software development team is already working on building the first executable system. This is to be rolled out as the first pre-alpha at stürmsfs towards the end of 2019 and will already represent the first digital image of the stürmsfs Smart Factory.

Further features based on the roadmap will be integrated into the project continuously and iteratively. Another important milestone is the publication of SDKs and APIs as quickly as possible to give software developers and machine manufacturers the opportunity to fill the ecosystem with applications, digital services and ultimately with life right from the start. The goal is, of course, to standardize and reproduce what has been developed and transfer it to the product portfolios of the project participants.

Do you find this approach exciting and would like to participate?
Sign up at

The open source technology behind networking

IndustryFusion is an initiative of the Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V. - whose goal is to provide a full-fledged Industry 4.0 networking solution that can be used to network and manage every asset in every manufacturing facility.

By connecting assets at the semantic level, IndustryFusion creates true cross-vendor interoperability - regardless of their communication protocols. The deployment options are deliberately kept flexible, allowing IndustryFusion to be operated on an edge server, any cloud or in a hybrid environment. In addition to the flexible deployment, IndustryFusion also serves the highest industrial standards of IT security & robustness.

For Fab Operator

  • Connects and manages any number of assets from a wide range of manufacturers
  • Connects assets on the store floor level also with existing IT infrastructure (ERP, MES, CRM)
  • Provides a secure and robust smart factory platform to generate valuable insight and revenue from acquired data

For machine manufacturers

  • Manages and maintains the entire fleet of assets in the field
  • Connects assets in the field also to existing IT infrastructure (ERP, MES, CRM)
  • Provides a secure and robust smart product platform for building new digital business models for virtually any industrial asset


  • Creates true cross-vendor interoperability between assets
  • IndustryFusion is arbitrarily scalable and offers highest flexibility in deployment
  • IndustryFusion is suitable for both greenfield and brownfield applications
  • Tailor-made IT security according to the requirements of Industry 4.0

The 3 IndustryFusion software stacks

Asset level

Collects data directly from the asset. The asset level contains all components and services that take place at the machine level (data preprocessing, semantic translation, communication to the factory stack, heartbeat check).

Factory Level

Forms the central hub that accumulates the data and information of all networked assets in manufacturing. The factory stack includes all fab-side components and services (data processing and storage, reporting, events, messages, APIs, and interfaces to clouds and platforms).

Cloud platform

Flexibly manages the distribution of parts of the smart factory between edge and cloud. The Cloud Platform Stack allows to interconnect multiple production sites, host cloud-based applications, connect to any Industry 4.0 ecosystem to leverage their offerings (marketplace, app stores, industrial services, etc.). For this purpose, the Cloud Platform Stack offers some supporting services such as the Semantic Manager to quickly and easily create asset communication drivers.

"The task of smart networking for SMEs is a challenge of such complexity that it can no longer be achieved through a proprietary monopolistic approach - if we want to successfully manage this step, we can only do so through targeted cooperation and networking between manufacturers, ecosystems and users."

Dr.-Ing. Konstantin Kernschmidt - Project Manager Industry Business Network 4.0

The democratization of Industry 4.0

IndustryFusion is the first multi-vendor, open-source networking solution for smart factories that creates an interoperable link between machine, factory and cloud platform. The simplicity of implementation is a central component of the solution and thus empowers SMEs in particular to reap the benefits of a broad Industrie 4.0 ecosystem.

So join in now and use IndustryFusion for your digitization strategy, too!

Development roadmap


Industry Fusion Development Roadmap

  1. Deployment of a first pre-alpha of IndustryFusion with digital image of production and basic features.
  2. Visualization of operating data
    1. Plant efficiency according to SEMI E10 (OEE)
    2. Maintenance data
    3. Energy data
  3. Provision of APIs and SDKs
  4. Implementation of safety & security features
  5. Implementation of an event-based notification system
  6. Data analysis and reporting of accumulated data
  7. Integration of first ecosystem applications & services
  8. Deployment of an industry-ready beta version
  9. Integration of future technologies like:
    1. Blockchain for M2M transaction
    2. 5G radio standard for wireless asset connectivity
    3. AI for e.g. machine learning applications & complex data analysis

Important milestones

  • Pre-Alpha & Digital Image of Manufacturing (Q4 - 2019)
  • Presentation Interim Status at Community Event (Q4 - 2019)
  • Presentation Interim Status at HMI 2020 (Q2 - 2020)
  • Project completion & presentation at EuroBLECH 2020 (Q4 - 2020)

"We live in a time in which almost all challenges are technologically solvable. On one side we have the European Machinery & Plant Engineering industry, which sets global standards with its high-tech products, and on the other side the world of IT, which provides us with a variety of high-performance, field-tested open source software frameworks. Let's now bring both worlds together and pave the way to the digital future of SMEs."

Matt Mikulina - Team IndustryFusion


After the conceptual part, we are now officially starting the second phase - the pragmatic implementation of an interoperable, open Smart Factory in a real manufacturing environment. What was prototyped as the first prototype and presented at the EuroBLECH 2018 trade fair will now be implemented in the productive operation of the innovative Swiss company as part of the Smart Factory @ stürmsfs ag project on running plants and real use cases. Based on the latest open source technology, we are creating an open and manufacturer-independent Industry 4.0 ecosystem, which in the future can form a truly pragmatically implementable, cost-efficient solution for the networking of European SMEs.

So let's get started together, continue to develop in practice and adopt the results in our series products. Let's start the digital future of medium-sized businesses together now!

For more info & opportunities to participate in other development projects, feel free to contact us at:

And we are also happy to welcome you as a new member of the Industry Business Network 4.0.


Igor Mikulina

Chairman of the Board Industry Business Network 4.0 and Managing Director MicroStep Europe


Prof. Dr.-Ing. Johannes Schilp

Member of the Board, Industry Business Network 4.0. Head of Chair of Production Informatics, University of Augsburg. Head of the Processing Technology Department, Fraunhofer IGCV.