Technology for industry 4.0

Die digitalisierte Industrie braucht lernende und anpassungsfähige Technologien, um intelligente Lösungen entwickeln zu können (Foto: Shutterstock/PaO_Studio)

Great success for researchers at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences: The "Predictive Maintenance" research project from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology is funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation with a sum of 750,000 euros under the "Transfer" funding line. The project starts on 1 January 2019 and will last three years.


The research project under the direction of Prof. Dr. Matthias Haun, Professor of Cognitive Cybernetics and Philosophy of Cognitive Sciences, focuses on the development of an industry 4.0-compatible technology for the functional and process-related design of predictive and intelligent maintenance solutions.


"The digitized industry needs learning and adaptable technologies in order to develop intelligent solutions that can be integrated into existing and thus historically grown corporate landscapes. As part of the research project, we are developing solutions for foresighted and anticipating intervention systems in the production process," explains project manager Haun. In addition, they want to develop a suitable methodology that supports medium-sized companies in particular in planning, introducing and further developing the use of such predictive solutions. An "Institute for Digital Transformation" is being set up at Offenburg University of Applied Sciences to accompany the project. "In order to ensure the necessary practical relevance, we were able to win two companies from Ortenau as development partners. This ensures a high degree of practical relevance and implementation competence," says Haun.


"The University of Applied Sciences Offenburg can further expand its bridging function between research and concrete application in industry through the successful acquisition of funding," says university rector Prof. Dr.-Ing. Winfried Lieber with satisfaction: "This will enable us to develop even better tailor-made solutions for the concrete challenges of industry in the future. My sincere thanks also go to the two companies from the region who supported us in submitting the applications.


With its current funding activities, the Carl Zeiss Foundation is pursuing the declared goal of researching digitization in basic principles and applications. In addition to the Offenburg University of Applied Sciences, six other universities in Germany each receive funding of 75,000,000 euros from the Transfer funding line. With the Transfer funding line, the Carl Zeiss Foundation aims to promote the application of science in concrete projects.


"The new funding lines of the Carl Zeiss Foundation will give universities more autonomy in the use of funds," explains Theresia Bauer, Chairwoman of the Foundation Administration and Minister for Science, Research and the Arts in Baden-Württemberg. According to Bauer, research needs time and freedom to develop, and the Carl Zeiss Foundation wants to create this space.


The Offenburg project, which is funded by the Carl Zeiss Foundation, also focuses on the "sustainable transfer of competence and technology to companies and society," said Professor Haun: "The intelligent solutions that we develop should be able to be integrated into existing corporate landscapes in a minimally invasive way. They are characterised by the fact that they are constantly learning new things through the use of artificial intelligence techniques during their operation and can grow with the dynamic requirements of the companies through the use of modern software architectures". The technology transfer refers expressly also to the new professional image of the maintenance worker, which is still emerging in times of digitalization.


About the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg


What was founded in 1964 in Offenburg as the State School of Engineering is today a University of Applied Sciences at which more than 4200 young people from Germany and abroad study. The Offenburg and Gengenbach locations offer 31 Bachelor's and 23 Master's courses in technology, economics and media. Around 500 students from all over the world also study here each semester.


About the Carl Zeiss Foundation


The Carl Zeiss Foundation has set itself the goal of creating scope for scientific breakthroughs. As a partner of excellent science, it supports both basic research and application-oriented research and teaching in the MINT subject areas (mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology). Founded in 1889 by the physicist and mathematician Ernst Abbe, the Carl Zeiss Foundation is the oldest private science-funding foundation in Germany.