Industrie 4.0

What does Industrie 4.0 mean from the perspective of systems and software engineering?

The definition by the Industrie 4.0 Working Group initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is as follows:

“networks of manufacturing resources (manufacturing machinery, robots, conveyor and warehousing systems and production facilities) that are autonomous, capable of controlling themselves in response to different situations, self-configuring, knowledge-based, sensor-equipped and spatially dispersed and that also incorporate the relevant planning and management systems.”

(Recommendations for implementing the strategic initiative Industrie 4.0)

What does Fraunhofer IESE offer in the area of Industrie 4.0?

Industrie 4.0 potential analysis

We examine your manufacturing processes, present to you the possibilities offered by Industrie 4.0, elaborate and prioritize requirements together with you, and develop a strategy for how you can best benefit from Industrie 4.0.


Conception of Industrie 4.0 infrastructures

Trace your production and your products on dashboards. Digital Twins make your processes understandable and identify optimization potentials in your production.
Document all manufacturing steps and the quality of all components – and discover optimization potentials in your manufacturing processes.

Optimize your production – at your premises or across sites.
Together with you, we will plan the transformation of your manufacturing processes to Industrie 4.0. Lot size 1? Documentation obligation? Digitalization of your manufacturing processes? Talk to us!


End-to-end communication in production

Integrate your production facilities with your IT. Connect tools. Get fit for Big Data and predictive maintenance. Thanks to a uniform interface, new applications and devices can be integrated at any time. Talk to us!


System concepts for lot size 1

Our service-based manufacturing enables production with lot size 1 already today. Talk to us!


Digital Twins

Digital Twins represent products, devices, workers, and all other important assets. Along the entire lifecycle and with a uniform interface. We will be happy to realize Digital Twins with you and discuss the requirements on your IT as well as storage solutions for Digital Twins. 

How to make Industrie 4.0 easy? With BaSyx Middleware

BaSyx provides support for the digital transformation! Eclipse BaSyx is an Industrie 4.0 middleware. With BaSyx, production environments can be digitalized and Industrie 4.0 can be implemented easily.

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BaSyx Middleware – easily explained with the model factory

Changing markets, the desire for individual products, as well as extensive documentation obligations present companies with new challenges. Industrie 4.0 promises to remedy this. However, taking this step into the digital future is a major obstacle for companies. But can Industrie 4.0 also be made easy? Frank Schnicke from Fraunhofer IESE shows how to do this.

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Challenges for systems and software engineering

If we look at the above definition of the BMBF for Industrie 4.0 from the perspective of systems and software engineering, numerous challenges emerge, particularly if, despite the rapidly increasing system complexity, the crucial system properties such as Safety in safety-relevant applications and Data Security as well as User Experience of a system must be guaranteed.   

To address these challenges, Fraunhofer IESE is working on scalable systems and software engineering methods for Industrie 4.0:

  • in production,
  • automation, and
  • logistics.

Despite the complexity of real systems, these methods can be applied efficiently in practice. A special focus is on guaranteeing quality properties both by construction and with regard to quality assurance. In order to be able to give this guarantee, Fraunhofer IESE addresses various issues along the development lifecycle.

First of all, the question arises as to a suitable process for efficiently eliciting and evaluating the requirements on such complex, highly dynamic, and networked systems. Based on the requirements on Industrie 4.0, suitable system architectures can then be derived using the software architecture methods of Fraunhofer IESE. These enable an integrated view of the entire value chain from the sensors to Cloud services. They also contribute to guaranteeing the SafetySecurity, and User Experience of these systems by construction.

The use of model-based methods means that particularly the analysis and simulation of the architectures is very important in early development phases already.


Autonomous Systems – Digital Twin

Digital Twins as virtual middleware for digital production.


Data usage control with IND²UCE

Integration of mobile devices into Industrie 4.0 environments

Safety: Numerous challenges for operational safety

Kompetenz: Funktionale Sicherheit (Safety), Fraunhofer IESE
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On the one hand, adjectives such as “autonomous“ or “self-configuring“ call for a large degree of (artificial) intelligence and adaptivity of the individual systems. The requirement for flexible networking, on the other hand, means that at runtime, systems of systems are created dynamically whose structure and overall behavior cannot be predicted – or can only be predicted with difficulty – at the time the single systems are developed. All these are factors that lead to uncertainties, i.e., features that are hard to predict and thus cause great uncertainties with regard to predicting the system behavior to be expected. This contradicts the execution of safety cases, which is centrally based on the assumption of deterministic, predictable system behavior.

Fraunhofer IESE meets these challenges with modular safety case processes as well as processes that allow safety cases and monitoring to be performed at runtime in order to account for the dynamics of Industry 4.0 systems.

More about the Fraunhofer IESE competence Safety Engineering

Data privacy: Powerful mechanisms through increased networking

Fraunhofer IESE Security
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At the same time, the systems become more open as a result of collaboration with other systems, and thus more vulnerable to security attacks. On the one hand, this has an impact on safety; on the other hand, the elicited data must be safeguarded. The researchers at Fraunhofer IESE are therefore developing data usage control concepts that use so-called security policies to determine who is allowed to see or change which data to which extent and in which place. The use of corresponding mechanisms allows guaranteeing adherence to these policies at runtime. This makes it possible to use the data that is essential for Industrie 4.0 intensively, without losing usage control over it. With MYDATA Control Technologies, Fraunhofer IESE offers the appropriate technical implementation for this.

More about the Fraunhofer IESE competence Data Security

BaSys 4: The open-source middleware for Industrie 4.0

With its open-source components, BaSys supports the end-to-end digitalization of manufacturing processes in companies. The capabilities of our middleware can be illustrated with the following concrete application scenarios.


Application scenario 1: Asset administration shells enable continuous data access from the IT to the shop floor. The status of devices and orders is available at all times. Predictive maintenance, dashboards, and analyses can be realized at low cost thanks to BaSys. Sensor data, such as the energy consumption in milling processes, can therefore be used not only to predict the quality of the product, but also to determine when maintenance is due. The resulting optimization of maintenance intervals avoids downtimes and saves costs.

Application scenario 2: Documentation of product quality in real time: Thanks to the object model based on asset administration shells, users of BaSys 4.0 can process data from devices in real time and assign quality data to the current product. This data is stored in the product’s asset administration shell and is available at all times. By connecting this data to ERP systems and high-performance databases, such as SAP HANA, the data can be made available and analyzed at any time.

Application scenario 3: The service-based production architecture of BaSys 4.0 offers enormous advantages for manufacturing companies. Work pieces can be produced efficiently even in small quantities; lot size 1 becomes reality. 

More about the Fraunhofer IESE project BaSys 4.0

More about the Fraunhofer IESE project BaSys 4.2

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The 4.0 wave started in the industrial production domain with the widespread concept of Industry 4.0 and has expanded to other domains like health, agriculture, and automotive. Regardless of the domain, 4.0 systems are characterized by trends like autonomy, service orientation, and product customization, and are engineered according to techniques based on digital twins, simulations, and continuous engineering. In this talk, Dr. Pablo Oliveira Antonino presents concrete instantiations of these concepts and techniques in the health domain and discusses the challenges faced and directions taken by medical devices manufactures, hospitals, and medical and technology practitioners towards the design, implementation, and adoption of so-called Health 4.0 systems.

Industrial Data Space

Digital sovereignty over data and services

More about Industrie 4.0 from Fraunhofer Research and Development


Transition to Industrie 4.0

Fraunhofer IESE and NetAPP take stock of the current situation and discuss digital ideas.


Information flyers BaSys


Interview about
Digital Twins

Dr. Thomas Kuhn about the technology trend for Industrie 4.0

Interview Digital Twin, English (PDF)

Interview Digital Twin, German (PDF)



Interview about
Industrie 4.0

Dr. Thomas Kuhn and Frank Schnicke from Fraunhofer IESE about Industrie 4.0 and BaSys

Interview Industrie 4.0, English (PDF)

Interview Industrie 4.0, German (PDF)