ZF to Showcase Industry 4.0 project with Partners at CeBIT 2018

  • Client

    ZF Friedrichshafen AG

  • Services

    To quickly adapt the production processes for the launch of a new product so that all purchased items are automatically and promptly available.

  • Technologies

    Artificial Intelligance (AI)

  • Dates




German component major, ZF Friedrichshafen, the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and their cooperation partners will present an infrastructure solution that will contribute towards optimizing production equipment productivity – the Industry 4.0 basic system, at the CeBIT 2018 event.


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 the infusion of an amount of 12 million euros.


The partners have developed a basic system for production equipment that networks and integrates existing technologies in such a way that allows the realisation 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 organisation.


Efficient Production Network


The BaSys 4.0 system make it possible to quickly adapt the production processes for the launch of a new product so that all purchased items are automatically and promptly available. The usage 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.


The basic system facilitates virtual commissioning for the purpose of testing conversions in a digital twin while the real production continues without any interference. ZF said that 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 visualised.


The demonstrator that would be displayed at the trade fair booth of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research represents an assembling station, for which ZF developed the technology in collaboration with the DFKI at the company’s Saarbrucken location. Other partners in the project were Festo which specializes in industrial automation and the Technical University of Munich-based Fortiss company which conducts research and development in digital technology. A basic system is integrated in the demonstrator, which makes it possible for the hardware components to network better with the overall system, and hence it is easier to implement the changes in the production process.


Dr. Hermann Becker, Head of the ZF Saarbrucken location said that as part of the fourth industrial revolution, manufacturing companies like ZF need to be ready to adapt to faster market changes, more intense competition and a wider range of versions. He emphasized that with BaSys 4.0, ZF would be able to respond to these requirements in Production and optimize its productivity.


ZF Friedrichshafen AG