CPS Community: Challenging the interoperability of industrial systems

The internet is changing traditional production processes and disrupts the ways we manage critical infrastructures today. At EIT ICT Labs it is a goal to capitalize the value created by technological advancements in the area of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS). On Wednesday, 17th December 2014, the EIT ICT Labs CPS Community gathered at the Fraunhofer Headquarters in Munich, Germany to discuss how production processes can become more interconnected and more intelligent, an effort known as “Industrie 4.0”. It was further examined what it takes to enhance the intelligent monitoring of critical infrastructures and how large industrial players, research institutes and SME’s can collaborate in this setting.

Holger Pfeifer, Head of the EIT ICT Labs Innovation Area CPS, welcomed the community. In his opening speech he defined the key priorities of CPS in the fields of production systems and critical infrastructures: the development of CPS in production systems will lead to much higher flexibility in automated and efficient production and logistics as well as cheaper maintenance. Critical infrastructures can benefit from CPS in terms of operational reliability as well as an intelligent management of large-scale infrastructure systems. 

The keynote by Thomas Hahn, Siemens CT, focussed on the ‘Future of Manufacturing ‘ that lies in a faster time-to-market, increased flexibility and a reduced complexity. In order to achieve these goals Hahn concluded, organisations have to further train their employees, develop solid partnerships and strengthen research and development efforts. Denis Özdemir, Head of the Excellence Cluster at RWTH Aachen, stated that Industrie 4.0 technologies in products, processes and services have the potential to face the global competition and cost pressure. Further he specified that fast ramp-up and economic production of small batches of complex products require seamless engineering and intelligent automation solutions. The competitive advantage for high-wage countries lies in the technological mastering of new materials and process in production, e.g. light weight production.

A panel discussion with Kilian Moser, CDTM, displayed the relevance of leveraging entrepreneurship in the CPS eco-system. In the afternoon workshops and presentations gave further insights into the current CPS advancements in smart production and critical infrastructure.

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