Pioneers and visionaries of the factories of tomorrow
The SmartFactoryKL technology initiative was established as a non-profit organization in 2005, bringing together for the first time industrial and research partners in a network to implement joint Industry 4.0 projects for the factories of the future.
The Technology Initiative now boasts about 50 members. The Technology Initiative has already developed products and solutions as well as universal Industry 4.0 standards thanks to the active participation of its members.
Giant steps from concepts to applications
2005 Thanks to the initiative of Prof. Dr. Detlef Zühlke, the Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e. V. is founded by 7 partners from research and industry on June 10, 2005. The partners elect Prof. Zühlke Chairman of the Board.
DFKI, BASF, KSB, Pepperl+Fuchs, ProMinent, Siemens, TU Kaiserslautern
1st Demonstrator: Soap plant
2007 The first demonstration plant goes into operation. The so-called soap plant, which fills customized soap into bottles, gives a first taste of what an intelligent factory can look like in practice on a small scale.
In 2012, the demonstrator of SmartFactoryKL is presented as the central exhibition piece at the Industrial IT Forum at Hannover Messe.
2009 SmartFactoryKL holds the 1st Innovation Day “Industry meet Academia”, which takes place annually from then on. The event sparks great interest among guests from the fields of politics, business, science, research and the media.
2010 Within the scope of the Top Cluster Competition of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, SmartFactoryKL is named one of three living labs at the center of the development and evaluation of emerging software for the process and manufacturing industry.
2 demonstrator: Key finder plant
2013 For the first time, SmartFactoryKL presents a demonstrator with a connected CPS control. The completely modular key finder production line, which showcases many relevant elements of the fourth industrial revolution, is presented at Hannover Messe.
3rd demonstrator: Industrie 4.0 plant
2014 SmartFactoryKL and 10 industrial partners present the world’s first manufacturer-independet Industrie 4.0 production plant at Hannover Messe.
4th demonstrator: SkalA
2015 Individually configured products that are cost-effective and readily available. This calls for a flexible and efficient approach to manufacturing. One way to meet these challenges is provided by “SkalA,” a demonstration unit that offers a scalable automation process. Foundation is the fully decentralized controlled manufacturing process, made possible by cyber-physical systems (CPS).
SME 4.0 Competence Center Kaiserslautern
2016 SmartFactoryKL was named consortium manager for the Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Kaiserslautern (SME 4.0 Competence Center Kaiserslautern). The Center is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy (BMWi) and supports small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the German federal states of Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland in the areas of digitalization and Industrie 4.0.
Approx. 50 Partner
2018 By now, about 50 partner cooperate to advance the SmartFactoryKL project – right in sync with the motto „Progess within the Network“.
Prof. Zühlke wins the „Manufacturing Leader of the Year 2017“ Award of the Manufacturing Leadership Council (USA).
Executive Management Board
Experts from research and business communities
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr. h.c. Detlef Zühlke (2nd on the right),
Initiator and Chairman of the Board of Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. (since 2005)
Dr. Thomas Bürger (left),
Member of the Board of Management of Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. (since 2015) and Vice President Engineering Automation Systems at Bosch Rexroth
Andreas Huhmann (right),
Member of the Board of Management of Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. (since 2011) and Strategy Consultant Connectivity and Networks at Harting
Klaus Stark (2nd on the left),
Member of the Board of Management of Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V. (since 2017) and Senior Manager Innovation Management at Pilz)