Empolis is a software company based in Kaiserslautern and an active member involved in building the new demonstrator. We talked with CEO Dr. Stefan Wess about the cooperation with SmartFactoryKL and the concepts of Production Level 4 and Industrie 4.0.

Why is Empolis a gold partner in the construction of the new demonstrator for HM 2020?

We are very pleased to be involved in the further development of Industrie 4.0. We believe that with the help of AI applications, people will gain from having intelligent assistants constantly by their side, supporting them in making the right decisions and solving problems faster, even under difficult conditions. The new demonstrator is a great example of the cooperation between humans and machines.

Why is the SmartFactory Technology Initiative an important (strategic) partner for Empolis?

SmartFactoryKL is a German initiative that brings together all important players from relevant disciplines. We are pleased, since the manufacturing industry does not stop at national borders, that connections are now being strengthened on a European level by the establishment of SmartFactory-EU.

What (economic) benefit does Empolis gain by membership in SmartFactoryKL?

We can show innovative technologies to our customers in a completely modular, manufacturer-independent production facility. Industrie 4.0 is brought to life and can be actually experienced in a very realistic demonstration environment.

What is the technical involvement of Empolis in the new demonstrator?

The Empolis Service Express is an AI-based cloud solution designed to assist employees with plant reconfigurations in the Plug & Produce process as well as with service and maintenance orders. Our software provides context-related information and supports the operator with step-by-step instructions. The production system informs the operator when it is OK to start the reconfiguration. In the operation, AR glasses can be used and information can be accessed via a mobile field service app or even offline. The assistant automatically starts the reconfigured production process and automatically sends feedback when completed. This assistance system even enables untrained trade fair visitors to reconfigure a manufacturing production line! Empolis software supports modular and agile Production Level 4 structures, in which operator, machine, and software become one unit.

How does Empolis view future cooperation with SmartFactoryKL?

Global awareness of the work and research results from Kaiserslautern has been growing since 2011 under the keyword Industry 4.0, to the point where it is now an internationally recognized term. Human and artificial intelligence is being merged in the new demonstrator and together we will usher in the next stage of Production Level 4.

About Empolis

Empolis supports customers to make the right decisions. We have approximately 500 Empolis installations worldwide and every day around 700,000 professional users use our solutions to serve approximately 40 million end customers. We bundle artificial intelligence technologies for CRM and service management applications in cloud platforms. These enable a completely new quality of service, customer approach, and digital “as a service” and platform business models – from signal to action. Together with the Internet of Things, AI holds great promise in production, service and maintenance for manufacturing companies. The real-time analysis of machine, product, and service-related data, combined with the use of the latest human-machine interfaces (for example, voice interface, image recognition, and Augmented Reality), leads to fast development and distribution of innovative service products. Future service technicians will soon have personal service assistants to guide them through the repair, maintenance, and diagnostic tasks using voice control. AI continuously processes data and information automatically and provides it to the worker, if requested. AI technologies and digital assistants represent the next logical step in the fourth industrial revolution; people and artificial intelligence working hand in hand in the future. www.empolis.com

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