Pilot Factory (finalized)

Pilot factory – where you can learn, test and develop Industry 4.0

After the opening of the first pilot factory  in Vienna Aspern, the bmvit planned the tender for three further pilot factories.

A pilot factory is a realistic model of a factory – a laboratory situation with real machines and logistics systems. A true and neutral testing and research environment is created here, in which Industry 4.0 technologies can be developed and tested without disrupting ongoing production, open to partner and non-partner companies.

A pilot factory serves equally for the joint development of new products (prototypes) and processes; as a test facility for complex, modern manufacturing systems; for interdisciplinary research (e.g. mechanical engineering, mechatronics, electrical engineering, computer science, industrial sciences); as a training and further education centre and industry-oriented learning environment as well as a classic research infrastructure.

In the working group, thematic priorities for the new pilot factories were developed on the basis of focused research fields.

Together with bmvit (Feder Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology) and FFG (Austrian Research Promotion Agency), the working group Pilot Factories had the task of carrying out a consultation process with companies regarding the thematic focus of the call for tenders for three pilot factories – with the aim of focusing on Austrian fields of strength. The topics should be in the field of Industry 4.0, production and ICT or key technologies for Industry 4.0, furthermore they should be complementary to the existing pilot factory in Vienna Aspern and to each other. Cooperation within and between the regions is to be strengthened and all pilot factories are to be networked at a later date, thereby covering parts of or entire value chains.

The working group identified three complementary topics that represent key technologies for Industry 4.0: Smart Electronic Based Systems, manufacturing of discrete goods and process engineering.

The results achieved will now be incorporated by bmvit and FFG into the call for proposals starting in September 2016. The last meeting of the working group took place at the invitation of BRP Rotax in Gunskirchen. With this meeting, the activities of the working group have now been successfully completed. Further topics and regular experiences from the pilot factories are being discussed in the working group Research, Development & Innovation.