On 14 July 2016, more than 60 participants from science, industry, business, chambers and associations from across Germany were invited to Saarland’s permanent base in Berlin to attend the APPsist trade conference on ‘Intelligent Knowledge Services in Smart Production’. The event was organised by the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Festo AG and Ruhr-Universität Bochum. The impetus and background came from the ongoing pilot project by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) looking at intelligent and adaptive assistance and knowledge services on the shop floor in German mechanical and plant engineering.
In addition to a general progress report on the APPsist project and lots of practical examples from companies including Festo AG, MBB Fertigungstechnik GmbH and Brabant & Lehnert Werkzeug- und Maschinenbau GmbH, the focus was on transferring the technologies and solutions developed during the project into other fields of mechanical and plant engineering, as well as other sectors. The transfer issue was intensely discussed by participants, including in-depth questions and forward-looking concerns relating to expanding the service architecture developed within the project using real-time machinery data for qualification purposes, aspects of artificial intelligence in assistance and knowledge services, and the transferability of existing solutions to other fields of application and activity in production.
The summary and review provided by the three organisers together with Andreas Tettenborn from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) on the conference’s closing panel was overwhelmingly positive: ‘the APPsist project achieved a lot, and now we need to discuss how we will make further use of these findings’, according to the members of the pilot project’s steering group Prof. Dieter Kreimeier, Prof. Christoph Igel, Dr. Carsten Ullrich and Klaus Herrmann. The successful conference was a positive milestone within the project and illustrated the untapped potential still available to be explored.