Pilot factories are simulations of a real factory; a lab situation with real machines and logistics systems. They provide an authentic and neutral test and research environment for companies to conduct in near-real conditions and perform analyses without interrupting the production process. Together with the Federal Ministry (bmvit) and the Austrian research promotion agency (FFG) , 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 or entire value chains.
The following Industry 4.0 key technologies were identified:
- smart electronic based systems
- discrete manufacturing
- process engineering
After having established the first pilot factory in Aspern-Vienna, the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology financed a second appeal for three further
pilot factories in Austria in 2017/2018.
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.