Industry 4.0 – Challenges in Automation Technology
Augsburg University, Nördlingen Technology Transfer Center and local companies beneficial for County Donauries
The production industry goes through a fundamental change towards „Industry 4.0“. Industrial facilities are complex technical systems digitization ever stronger merges to networks.
But how should a safe industrial plant look like in 2020? How to guarantee data security during acquisition, handling and transmission? Which chances and risks produce mobile robotics and the required man-machine cooperation?
These and many more key issues relating to Industry 4.0 are meanwhile research priorities for the Augsburg University and the Nördlingen Technology Transfer Center (TTZ), the latter benefiting from the “Aufbruch Bayern” (Bavaria on the Move) initiative launched by the Free State of Bavaria.
The findings from numerous master theses within the research project allowed to erect a demonstrator with four production modules and emulating a mini-factory at the Nördlingen TCW premises.
„Flexible automation solutions for future production processes, collaborative robotics and IT security are the topics of the future that we want to promote together with regional companies“, explains Prof. Dr. Florian Kerber, Professor at the Augsburg University and at the Donauries University Center in Nördlingen.
Augsburg University and Grenzebach enhance cooperation in TCW
To this end the university also uses two Grenzebach developed L1200S automated guided vehicles, so-called AGVs. The high-tech company, one of the TCW donors, supports bachelor and master theses and is also involved in the „Digital and Regional“ study course.
Roland Jenning, Head of Grenzebach Innovation, follows up the project with interest and high commitment. With County Commissioner Stefan Rößle he came to Nördlingen to learn more about the TTZ potentials. „We at Grenzebach support the organization here in Nördlingen from the early start“, he says and continues: „Navigation and autonomous driving are important topics for the future. Mobile robotics will be our future companion just like today's cell phones and smart phones. Here in Nördlingen students can already tackle near and more distant future challenges.“
Pioneering joint project in summer term 2017
Professor Dr. Michael Krupp of the Augsburg University presented a joint project of University, TCW and Grenzebach. „50 international students benefit from this cooperation to explore automation technology in logistic processes. The AGVs deployed at the TCW combine automation to utmost flexibility. The project students can benefit from Grenzebach experience“, explains Krupp. The University, TCW and Grenzebach schedule to develop the details in the next weeks so that students can start off in March.
TCW offers chances to companies, researchers, students and the region
„We created a higher education center in Nördlingen with much potential for the future. This reflects how politics, university and industry cooperate with success“, explains County Commissioner Stefan Rößle.
At the TCW locations in Nördlingen regional companies can test automation applications for warehousing and production. The students obtain relevant practical knowledge and can network with local industries.
„It is important to offer young people high qualification training opportunities in their region to minimize specialist migration towards bigger cities. Together with the endowed professors Ehinger and Kerber and the other Augsburg University professors students can now work on highly complex Industry 4.0 future topics, digitization and mobile robotics, they can do fundamental research on safety and control tasks. And all this here in Nördlingen."
In his closing words Lord Mayor Faul invited all attendees to return to Nördlingen on December 8 to participate in the Robot Innovations technology forum. Top-class speakers from industry and research institutions then lecture on "Mobile Robotics" and "AGV".
Prof. Dr. Florian Kerber (left) in the TCW Nördlingen industry demonstrator explaining the new opportunities the two Grenzebach AGVs offer to his students (from left Prof. Dr. Kerber, Lord Mayor Faul, Prof. Dr. Krupp, District Council president Schiele, County Commissioner Rößle, R. Jenning, Michael Wolf/Grenzebach, Josef Wolf/TCW)