Neckarsulm/Karlsruhe, 29 September 2014 – In co-operation with the Lifecycle Engineering Solutions Center (LESC) and Research Center for Information Technology at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology (KIT), Bechtle IT System House Karlsruhe and SolidLine AG, a mem-ber of the Bechtle Group, have founded Industry 4.0 Collaboration Lab. With the theme, “business meets research”, a test environment to experiment with future technologies and processes is being offered at the facilities of the LESC.
The objective of Industry 4.0 Collaboration Lab is to merge physical products, machines and manufacturing plants with virtual worlds consisting of enormous data volumes. Seamless online integration and communication enable new business opportunities that are still difficult to exploit for small and medium-sized enterprises. “Typically, SMEs are interested in taking their existing infrastructures and improving them step by step by automating processes, increasing capacities, improving energy efficiency and lowering costs. Businesses are looking for a clear answer to the question: ‘How can we develop solutions and reap real benefits for our business with Industry 4.0 technology?’” explains Prof Dr Dr.-Ing. Dr h.c. Jivka Ovtcharova, Director of the Institute for Information Management in Engineering (IMI) and of the Lifecycle Engineering Solutions Center (LESC), and Research Center for Information at KIT.
New Platform for Collaboration.
The Industry 4.0 Collaboration Lab, inaugurated on 24 September, promises to provide concrete answers. LESC offers custom-made 3D development and test environments that businesses can experiment with using their own data to test future products and services. The test center gives business the opportunity to see firsthand the latest technology in action without investing a fortune. Also, in addition to the flexible use of an integrated IT infrastructure, businesses can use the Industry 4.0 Collaboration Lab to train their employees.
“One primary function of the Lab is to train the engineers of tomorrow: each of our approximately 4,000 mechanical engineering students has access to a SOLIDWORKS CAD licence right from the very first semester. Not only that, mechanical engineering students and master students from other related dis-ciplines such as electrical engineering, computer science and mechatronics profit from an extended spectrum of SOLIDWORKS applications,” stresses Prof Jivka Ovtcharova. Already during their period of study, the engineers of tomorrow can gain experience using the latest product development software and attain certified knowledge working with product lifecycle management (PLM) software. “SOLIDWORKS is the perfect foundation for hands-on training and cooperation between our customers and the Research Center,” emphasises Michael Grethler, head of PDM/PLM at SolidLine AG. “We’re very pleased to be able to setup a place where today’s businesses can experiment with the technology of tomorrow. I’m confident that both sides will win and new trends will be set when research and business come together,” explains Richard Einstmann, managing director Bechtle IT System House Karlsruhe.