What are the smallest building blocks of digital transformation?

Data! Our researchers handle them every day and never lose sight of what they are supposed to do: create specific solutions for the challenges industry and society are facing. Find out in the latest issue of FUTUR how data is collected, analyzed and processed in a useful, secure and high-quality manner!

The German government’s Digital Summit took place in Jena at the end of November 2023. The topic: »Digital transformation at the turn of an era. Sustainable. Resilient. Future-oriented.« The priorities that politicians are addressing here have been part of our agenda at PTZ Berlin for some time.

In close cooperation with industry, our scientists are getting the digital transformation of production off the ground. To this end, they are also investigating the smallest building blocks of this transformation: data, and how it can be collected, analyzed and processed in a beneficial, secure and high-quality manner. In short, they never lose sight of what this data is actually used for: to create specific solutions for the challenges industry and society are facing.

This is why our researchers are actively involved in the Gaia-X initiative, which aims to facilitate the collection and exchange of data along the value chain at European level. In this issue of FUTUR, you can read about how this enables the use of collaborative digital twins. With their help, cross-company and cross-organizational product development teams can, for example, more easily design and manufacture innovative, efficient and holistically thought-out products. In the Gaia-X sub-project Catena-X, researchers at Fraunhofer IPK are also developing assistance software to help companies in the automotive industry design suitable recycling strategies. In doing so, they are making a decisive contribution to the circular economy.

Due to a lack of transparent data and benchmarks, it is often difficult for companies to determine how they are positioned in terms of their greenhouse gas emissions compared to others. A benchmarking procedure developed at Fraunhofer IPK provides clarity and transparency, especially for small and medium-sized companies.

In the future, a novel software will also help product development to move quickly from idea to prototype. It transfers designs 1:1 into virtual environments, facilitating joint processing and helping to identify weak points earlier. In the spirit of »extended reality«, the virtual world is having an impact on the physical world. We are also presenting two very different use cases that have one thing in common: the clever handling of data when training artificial intelligence. And we present approaches developed at Fraunhofer IPK for data economy in industrial image processing and in the quality control of additive manufacturing processes.