Smart Products, Production & Services

Consortium Project
»Facing the Smart Future: Smart Production, Products & Services«


Digitalization, connectivity and sophisticated data analytics are major trends and jointly captured by high level concepts such as »Industrie 4.0« and »IoT«. 

  • Which implications does this hype topic have for your company?
  • Which technologies are needed to be competitive in the smart future?
  • What could be beneficial smart products, production processes and services for you?

In cooperation with experts from research and industry, KEX Knowledge Exchange will start another consortium project “Facing the Smart Future”, which focuses on smart products, smart production processes and smart services. KEX Knowledge Exchange already conducted two successfull consortium projects regarding this topic with the participation of over 60 renowned international companies.

Sign up for the project now!

Start: September 2017
End: June 2018

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Dr. Simon Schiwek, Project Leader
Dr. Simon Schiwek, Project Leader

Extract of former participants:




Digitalization, connectivity and sophisticated data analytics are major trends and jointly captured by high level concepts such as »Industrie 4.0« and »IoT«.

In the consortium project we will provide you a structured overview of approx. 300 cross-industrial smart applications and enabling technolgies for products, production processes and services. We aim to get answers to these and many other questions:

  • Which implications does this hype topic have for my company, business unit and my team?
  • Which technologies are needed to be competitive in the Smart Future?
  • What could be beneficial Smart Products, Production Processes and Services for me?



Creating economic and technological transparency regarding actual developments in smart production, products and services

Exploring and analyzing market and technology trends and possible game-changing business models

Promoting valuable exchange and networking between the most relevant international industry partners


  • Be able to define and refine your roadmap making your products, production processes and services smart for the future
  • Validate your company’s path through the fast changing environment of digitalization

  • Learn about the ways to implement mature and new smart solutions by receiving deep technological  insights

  • Receive knowledge directly from deeply involved instances like the Fraunhofer society

  • Assess the possible added and hidden values based on digitalization

  • Learn how to apply new services and business models

  • Network with cross-industrial players and experts

Key Questions

Market / Application

Smart Services

  • What game-changing new services get feasible by the evaluated solutions & technologies?
  • Is it possible to implement new business models?

Smart Products

  • Which »smart« functionalities will differentiate my products?
  • How can networked products lead to after-sales revenues and improved product life-cycle management? 

Smart Production Processes

  • Which potential does smart manufacturing offer in different industries?
  • How can the quality and cost efficiency be improved?

Applications and Enabler of Industrie 4.0

Technology / Enabler

Sensor & Actuators

  • Which sensors can be integrated into mass production at competitive prices?
  • How can augmented reality be used to improve data recognition and utilization?

Data Analytics & Management

  • Which data access platforms and analysis technologies are important?
  • How can big data be analyzed and used to minimize the outcome?

Protocols & Networks

  • Which standards and protocols will become ubiquitous?
  • How can heterogeneous autonomous devices securely interact to address market demands?

Network of Experts

The consortium project...

  • is based on extensive knowledge and previous projects done by the research partners like Fraunhofer IPT, PEM or WZL at RWTH University in the context of »Industrie 4.0« and »Digitalization«
  • leverages the pooled expertise in the consortium
  • builds an expert network that enables knowledge exchange and information generation across value creation stages and business sectors
  • brings together all experts and decision makers involved with smart products, services and production

    ► Benefit from the opportunities provided by our network and determine which innovations will soon be cutting edge in the market!

Addressed partners in the project

Addressed partners in the project

Target Markets

Mobility and Transportation

Mobility and Transportation

Industrial Assets

Industrial Assets

Consumer Products

Consumer Products

Discrete Manufacturing and Assembly

Discrete Manufacturing and Assembly

Process Manufacturing

Process Manufacturing

Logistics and Warehousing

Logistics and Warehousing

Project Approach

Stage 1 - Pilot Study

Generating an overview on the status-quo of market applications, relevant trends and technologies.

Stage 2 - Technology / Market Analysis

Providing detailed information on selected applications regarding technological opportunities and market potential.

Stage 3 - Focus Cases

Deriving comprehensive business cases on selected highlight applications regarding technological feasibility and market competitiveness.

Research Partners

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT

  • Founding year: 1980
  • 415 employees
  • Business portfolio: Turbomachinery, Tool Making, Optics, Lightweight Technologies, Life Sciences Engineering, Integrated Mechatronic System
  • Knowledge and experience in all fields of production technology for developing and optimizing solutions for modern production facilities
Fraunhofer IPT

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of RWTH Aachen

  • Founding year: 1906
  • 760 employees
  • 16,000 m² offices and laboratories
  • Business portfolio: Manufacturing Technology, Gearing Technology, Machine Tools, Metrology and Quality Management, Production Engineering and Production Management
  • Knowledge and experience in all fields of production engineering and production management for developing and optimizing solutions for modern production facilities

Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen

  • Founding year: 1953
  • Industry-oriented research in the areas service management, information management and production management
  • Part of the initiative for excellence in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)

Demonstration Factory of RWTH Aachen Campus

  • Founding year: 2013
  • Small-scale production of marketable products with a high vertical range of manufacture on 1,600 m²
  • Application, exploration and further development of Industrie 4.0 solutions with industrial and research partners
  • Implementation of smart systems enabling transparent and consistent order tracking on the shop floor
  • Further education in a real production environment

TIME -  Research Area Technology, Innovation, Marketing, Entrepreneurship

  • Founding Year: 1990
  • This Research Area combines aspects of entrepreneurship, technology and innovation management, innovation markets, consumer behavior, technology transfer and commercialization

PEM - Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components

  • Founding year: 2014
  • Research and innovation of electro-mobility
  • Development of production processes of the electric vehicle and its components
  • Application-oriented research projects