Innovative Factory Systems

The Innovative Factory Systems (IFS) research department at DFKI, headed by Prof. Dr. Martin Ruskowski, deals with issues surrounding Industrie 4.0 and the factory of the future. We develop scientific approaches and new concepts in research and industry projects before moving on to practical testing in an industrial environment.

In many cases, the research results are transferred for implementation by SmartFactoryKL and its members from industry. The close collaboration between DFKI and SmartFactoryKL is a major key to our success.

Our topic areas:

  • Smart Automation
    How are the units, modules, and control terminals automated and networked in an Industrie 4.0 environment?
    • Modularization concepts for units, infrastructures, and software (plug and produce)
    • Integration of Industrie 4.0 solutions in existing environments (retrofitting)
    • Multidisciplinary engineering of cyberphysical production systems
    • Edge architectures for service-oriented plant structures
  • Smart Integration
    How does the right information get to the right systems in a way that enables the work units to interact productively? We focus on the following topics:
    • Digital networking of IT systems and work units
    • Vertical and horizontal integration
    • Combination of digitalization and lean production to “lean automation”
    • Simulation and process optimization based on a digital twin
  • Smart Human-Machine Interfaces
    How can humans and machines work efficiently together in a smart production setting? We are further developing these topics:
    • Knowledge management and workflow management in a production setting
    • Context sensitive human-machine interfaces
    • Assistance systems and intention recognition (smart worker)
    • Combining innovative technologies and equipment in a production setting

The Technologie-Initiative SmartFactory KL e.V., founded in 2005 as a non-profit association, is an Industrie 4.0 network of industrial and research partners who jointly carry out projects regarding the factory of the future. SmartFactoryKL is a manufacturer-independent demonstration and research platform which is unique in the world. Here, innovative information and communications technologies and their application are tested and developed in a realistic, industrial production environment. The technology initiative, supported by the active participation of its members, has already established pragmatic solutions, first products and common standards. SmartFactoryKL intensively cooperates with the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) in Kaiserslautern.

Both were appointed Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Kaiserslautern (SME 4.0 Competence Center) by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy in 2016.



Isabel Rheinheimer
Phone: +49 631 20575 3401
Fax: +49 631 20575 3402

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz GmbH (DFKI)
Research Department Innovative Factory Systems
Trippstadter Str. 122
67663 Kaiserslautern

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German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence
Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz