Press Release


CeBIT 2018: ZF and DFKI to Present a Trendsetting Industry 4.0 Project

  • Joint development of an Industry 4.0 basic system for ideal production equipment productivity
  • Total of 15 cooperation partners from the industry, science and research segments
  • The Federal Government is sponsoring the project, which is scheduled to run over a three-year period, with funds totaling €12 million.

Hanover/Saarbrücken. At CEBIT, the world's largest IT trade fair, ZF Friedrichshafen AG, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and further cooperation partners will present an infrastructure solution that will contribute to optimizing production equipment productivity – the Industry 4.0 basic system. The project will be presented using an assembling station demonstrator at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research trade fair booth, which has sponsored the three-year project with funds totaling €12 million.

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CeBIT 2018: ZF and DFKI to Present a Trendsetting Industry 4.0 Project

The joint project has developed a basic system for production equipment that networks and integrates existing technologies in such a way that allows the realization of Industry 4.0 applications. "In accordance with the 'Plug-and-Produce' principle, this basic system is able to determine, supplement, re-arrange and immediately execute the abilities of other equipment," explains Werner Balandat, Head of Production Management at ZF. The objective is to eventually offer the basic system as open source software on the market via the non-profit Eclipse Foundation organization.

ZF focusing on efficient and networked production

Thanks to BaSys 4.0, production processes can be quickly adapted when introducing a new product so that all purchased items are automatically and promptly made available. The utilization of assistance systems in Assembly and networking into Production results in tangible advantages for the plant employees. Planning processes can be virtually simulated in 3D and missing functions are automatically identified by the system. Furthermore, the basic system permits virtual commissioning where conversions can be tested in a digital twin while the real production continues without impairment. One benefit of this is the reduction of downtimes. Thanks to a simple scalable software engineering-based networking of hardware components with the overall system, the product and process changes are simplified and visualized.

The demonstrator at the trade fair booth of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research represents an assembling station, the technology of which was developed together with the DFKI at ZF's Saarbrücken location. The industrial automation specialist Festo as well as the Technical University of Munich-based fortiss GmbH company that deals with research and development in the field of digital technology are also heavily involved in the project. Thanks to the basic system which is integrated in the demonstrator, the hardware components are better networked with the overall system, meaning that changes in the production process are easier to implement. "In the course of the fourth industrial revolution, producing companies such as ZF must be ready for ever-faster market changes, new competition and increasing variety of versions. With BaSys 4.0, we are able to respond to these requirements in Production and optimize our productivity," emphasizes Dr. Hermann Becker, Head of the ZF Saarbrücken location.

CEBIT is scheduled to take place in Hanover between June 11 and June 15, 2018. Pay us a visit at the Federal Ministry of Education and Research trade fair booth in Hall 27.


Karin Markenstein

Communications Car Powertrain Technology Division

+49 681 920 2563

Torsten Fiddelke

Commercial and Financial Communication

+49 7541-77 7924