- SmartFactoryKL launches workshops with member companies
- Business impulses to drive implementation of Production Level 4
The production of tomorrow continues to take on ever more concrete forms in Kaiserslautern. Demonstrators at three locations work together in a shared production environment. The systems rest on a foundation of skill-based modules, industrial edge cloud concepts, artificial intelligence methods, and digital platforms. In the future, machines and software will be available for rent or lease, i.e., “Companies as a Service.” Technology is constantly providing new answers, but one question usually remains open: What do the appropriate business concepts look like?
The vision of Production Level 4 (PL4), the major update of Industrie 4.0, assumes that companies in the future will build customized production lines to enable the profitable manufacture of even small batch sizes. On the foreseeable horizon, central tasks will be performed by so-called production bots (software agents). For example, the bots will search digital platforms to put together the necessary processing steps and select the appropriate means of production (hardware or software). While doing this, they can consider various criteria like energy efficiency, production schedules, and transport routes. “Technically, that is all possible, but how does it ultimately make money?” asked Prof. Martin Ruskowski, Chairman of the Executive Board of SmartFactoryKL (SF-KL). Currently, SF-KL is working with partners to develop AI solutions that will be available to SMEs as a service. “To date, no concrete method exists for a company to offer a service or for another company to use it,” said Ruskowski. Transactions could be processed through an annual subscription or invoiced on a case-by-case basis. But so far, these ideas are only proposals. SmartFactoryKL is determined to fill this void.