What is the SmartFactoryKL?

The term SmartFactoryKL  refers to a network of about 50 partners from industry and science based at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence in Kaiserslautern. Since its foundation in 2005, this network has been dedicated to Industry 4.0 and the Factory of the Future. Their goal is to work together as equals on research and development projects. The development and description of the vision of the research association as well as its concrete industrial implementation are on the agenda for these partners. This network is showcasing its competencies in its own Smart Factory, as a test environment for the processes of future production.

A manufacturer-independent demonstration and research platform: an Industry 4.0 production plant developed by the SmartFactoryKL partner consortium.

What contribution is HARTING making to the SmartFactoryKL?

HARTING has played a leading role since the first demonstration of a production facility in 2007, which was initiated by SmartFactoryKL. HARTING has set up a prominent assembly module that includes a variety of in-house solutions.

This has also been sustained at the research association's new Industry 4.0 facility – the "Production Level 4" production center. The HARTING Technology Group is responsible for a module at the non-proprietary demonstration and research platform, which will be used to demonstrate Edge computing solutions.

HARTING right in the center: As one of the world's leading suppliers of industrial connection technology, we are contributing key components to the SmartFactoryKL production facility.
ProductionLevel4 module interface strategy

The connectivity being used provides a unified interface for the supply and communication infrastructures.

Intelligent connectors are equipped with additional functions that contribute to the overall safety of the facility. For example, to avoid danger, they ensure that unlocking is only possible when the facility is de-energized.  

Andreas Huhmann, strategy consultant for Connectivity + Networks at HARTING, has been active as a member of the SmartFactoryKL board since 2011.

Which topic is currently in the focus at the SmartFactoryKL?

At the moment, the partner consortium focuses its current discussions and research at the "Production Level 4" production center.

The primary challenge is to improve factory automation with regard to the production aspects of flexibility, efficiency and availability. This new demonstration will be continually advanced until 2025, so that we can then implement our declared vision.