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MORE THAN 200 ATTENDEES at MicroTEC Südwest Cluster Conference in Freiburg

On 5-6 May 2014 more than 200 participants

found their way to Freiburg, Germany, to attend the 4th MicroTEC Südwest Cluster Conference.

The Cluster Conference showcased the strategy, activities, technologies and markets of MicroTEC Südwest. The cluster focuses on four main application areas: Smart Mobility, Smart Health, Smart Energy and Smart Production. On the first day, mainly the future of manufacturing with micro systems technologies, so-called smart production, was addressed by speakers such as Dr. Schimpf from Wittenstein, Prof. Post from Festo as well as Prof. Bauernhansl, director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation IPA in Stuttgart.

Dr. Schimpf from Wittenstein, one of the hidden champions and involved in „Industry 4.0“ from the beginning, outlined the company’s way to an Industry 4.0 company (smart factory), undergoing a transition from a German mechanical to a global mechatronics company. He believes there is a need for the organisation moving from a central leadership to network intelligence and more decentralised autonomy.

Prof. Post from Festo, also heavily involved in Germany’s Industry 4.0 activities, emphasised the need of further technology developments in cyber-physical systems (CPS) to cope with the increasing integration of process levels, to provide hardware for IT integration and to agree upon standards, interfaces and protocols. MicroTEC Südwest will position itself as moderator for these activities for the cluster region.

Prof. Bauernhansl described his concept from the early visions of a fractal factory to a cyber-physical production system (CPPS), which includes various steps to achieve internet capability: CPPS have to be connected to combine their individual capabilities in a smart way to provide novel functionalities. Dematerialisation of hardware will continue to increase. The smart factory is organised decentrally and can react in real time. The efficiency of production, no longer based on rigid and scheduled processes, will benefit from increased flexibility and decentralised intelligence. Using the real time data, context management to his view will take over the function of a fixed planning.

In Smart Mobility the vision of the cluster is to contribute to a sustainable mobility including an efficient individual traffic with low pollution for the environment and at the same time a considerably increased safety to traffic. Therefore, Robert Bosch develops silicon carbide-based sensors as well as low temperature infrared sensors with partners in MicroTEC Südwest.

14 | commercial micro manufacturing international Vol 7 No.3

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