BMBF funds new project to strengthen cross-company production support through software with 8.3 million euros

Federal Research Minister Karliczek:
We need uniform industry standards in the digital realm as well

Press Release /

At the beginning of January, the two-year joint research project “BaSys überProd” on the topic of “Cross-company production support” through software started with funding from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). The project is primarily aimed at manufacturing companies.

On the occasion of the project launch, Federal Research Minister Anja Karliczek explains:

“We need uniform industry standards in the digital realm as well, such as those that have long been part of day-to-day life in the physical world of machines. The standardization of production and process data, which is currently still handled differently from company to company, is a prerequisite for cooperative production at the highest level and will contribute to the technological sovereignty of Germany and Europe.

With this new research project, we will therefore be testing software that will help to make flexible and cross-company production workflows easy and efficient. I am very pleased that we are able to fund the forward-looking work of this research consortium with 21 partners from research and industry with 8.3 million euros. The participating companies will bear the remaining costs of the project volume of 13.8 million euros.”

Prof. Dr. Peter Liggesmeyer, Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering IESE, the consortium leader of the project, adds:

“The evolution of the Internet has shown us how technology creates new, global champions that seize the opportunities available to them at an early stage. The fourth industrial revolution ‘Industrie 4.0’, as a technology for automation technology, has just as much potential. We have developed the first open-source middleware for Industrie 4.0 applications that fully supports standards such as the asset administration shell and is already the basis of numerous industrial applications today. The research project ‘BaSys überProd’ will support the implementation of flexible cross-company supply chains, the efficient production of small lot sizes, and revolutionary data-driven business models in numerous industrial application contexts. We will make resulting digital interfaces and models available free of charge via our Eclipse reference implementation BaSyx and thus provide a significant boost to the fourth industrial revolution.”

Background:

Flexible cooperative production is a major challenge for the companies in our country, which are organized on the basis of a high degree of division of labor. Competitive pressure does the rest, which means that innovation opportunities often cannot be seized. The main challenge is that production processes can rarely be changed quickly and cost-effectively. This is where the research project “BaSys überProd” comes into play. With the help of digital twins of real products, processes, and tools, the risks of changeable, flexible production become manageable. Digitalization and standardization strengthen Germany as a production location and can contribute to keeping production capacities in Europe.

With the research projects “BaSys 4.0” and “BaSys 4.2”, the software engineering foundations for the digitalization of production processes have been realized since 2016, and will continue to be realized until 2022, in such a way that easy exchange with administrative, business, and other processes is possible. For this purpose, an open-source middleware for Industrie 4.0 was developed and implemented under the name BaSyx as a plugin for the development platform Eclipse. The BaSyx middleware is thus a realization of the reference architecture model Industrie 4.0 (RAMI 4.0). In the joint research project “BaSys überProd”, a wide range of representative use cases are now being implemented through cooperation between companies and research partners. In this process, AI methods will also be used.

The focus of the project “BaSys überProd” is on flexibly changeable production as well as on cross-company production and business processes. The aim is to not only to demonstrate this in use cases, but also to identify the reuse potential of applications and solutions for other contexts.