The ERAT Program 2024

Keynote-Speaker 2024

Christina Wilfinger

CEO SAP
„Unlocking Industry 4.0. potential – join the digital transformation journey with SAP“

Speaker 2024

Host country Slovenia

Program Overview

Parallelsession A
Parallelsession A
“Valley of Death” – How to turn research results into successful products and services?
Moderation

Assoc.Prof. Dr. Gerald Steinbauer-Wagner

Associate Professor at the Institute for Software Technology at the Graz University of Technology
Even successful application and innovation-oriented research projects often do not lead to applications, products, or services that can be used in practice after their completion, but remain stuck in a dead end, even though they have achieved successful technology demonstrations, positive feedback and great expressions of interest from the users involved, convincing scientific publications from the research institutions involved, and the development of sound basic technologies.

In our opinion, at least three gaps need to be closed following a successful research project in order to ensure a successful transfer into the daily practice of users. These require considerable effort, which the institutions involved in a project can rarely manage on their own:

1. the technology readiness level (TRL) at the end of a application-oriented project is usually 4, 5 or 6, but for a reliable, commercially available product or service this must be 9. The effort required to bridge the gap from TRL 4, 5 or 6 to 9 is usually many times greater than the effort invested up to that point (see also Pareto principle, 80/20 rule).
2. the business readiness level (BRL) is at least as decisive for the successful transfer into a commercially available product as the technology readiness level. However, this is usually not suficently considered even in application-oriented research projects and is typically 1 or 2, rarely 3, but must be 9 for a commercial product.
3. Many of the use cases in robotics research, such as disaster response, care, health, or urban services, are not (yet) typical commercial mass markets, but are highly regulated for good reason. In these markets, suitable framework conditions (procurement rules, standards, further training, etc.) are required for the introduction of new innovative technologies for the benefit of users and society.

In order to better exploit the potential of successfully completed research projects in the future, we will discuss the reasons for the “valley of death” and measures to bridge it.

The session will be organized as a panel discussion with a round of introduction statements by the panelists.
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Parallelsession B
Innovative Approaches for Achieving SDGs through Robotics in Industry
Moderation

Astrid Weiss

TU Wien Informatics
Explore how robotics addresses sustainability in industry. Aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the session highlights robotic contributions to sustainability. By showcasing industry experiences, participants gain practical perspectives on successful implementations and ongoing challenges. This session aims to spark discussions on how robotics can drive sustainability in industry, offering concise insights into the transformative potential of sustainable robotics applications.
Talk 1:
Enhancing Sustainability Through The Assistance of Robotics. A Brief Discussion with a Focus on Austria

Dorian Dragaj, TU Wien Informatics

Integrating robotics offers a promising avenue for innovative solutions to address sustainability issues. The presentation aims to delve into the application of robotics to address Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Austria, with a specific focus on four key goals: SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 9 (Industries, Innovation, and Infrastructure), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities), and SDG 13 (Climate Action). I will provide insights into the existing robotics landscape in Austira, derived from qualitative interviews with relevant stakeholders, emphasizing their role in advancing the specified SDGs and addressing potential challenges associated with integrating robots.

Talk 2:
Harvesting and innovation: Transformation and advances in agricultural robotics

Georg Linsberger, Josephinum Research
Johannes Zuser , Josephinum Research

Agriculture is seeing big changes with the use of robotics, leading to more efficient and sustainable farming. Robotics are making a big difference in tasks like planting, harvesting, and checking on crops, improving how much food is grown and how farms impact the environment. At the same time, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being combined with robotics, especially for safety features like spotting problems early on and recognizing objects and people. These technologies are important for making sure robots can work safely around people and animals on farms.

Talk 3:
Smart, autonomous and electric: How robotic systems for steep slope vineyards contribute to SDGs

Walter Wohlkinger, Robokraft GmbH

The labour shortage has compelled vintners to look for alternatives to tractor drivers for crop protection in their vineyards. On this journey, they discovered the many advantages of lightweight and smart, sensor-equipped robots. One robot does make a difference, but only once the whole system is in place and the processes have adapted to it, the compounded benefits come to bear, in diverse areas contributing to the SDGs.

Talk 4:
It’s a Safe New World

Michael Zillich, Airskin

Rapid advances in robotics (particularly legged robots) and AI promise a plethora of new robotic applications, that can help to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: robotics in agriculture for highly efficient farming with a small environmental footprint; energy-efficient logistics from warehousing and fulfillment centers to the last mile; taking over the remaining dull and dangerous jobs to supplement an aging workforce; service robots in health care to support people with disabilities in leading healthy independent lives. All this, however, can only happen if we can make these new classes of robots safe to operate amongst humans, everywhere, every day.
In my talk I will discuss required and available technologies regarding physical robot safety, and pose the question how current regulations can keep up with these rapid developments to allow progress and while ensuring safety. (I leave safe AI for others to discuss)

Parallelsession C
Just-in-Time Methodologies for Today’s World
Moderation

FH-Prof. Dr. Mathias Brandstötter

Professorship for Robotics and Mechatronic Systems and Head of the ADMiRE Research Center
In this session we will explore the transformative potential of just-in-time (JIT) methods in today’s business landscape. From optimizing operations to improving supply chain resilience, we will look at how JIT principles facilitate real-time coordination, efficient use of resources and sustainable practices. We will discuss the relevance and practical application of JIT strategies within the context of today’s dynamic and interconnected business environment.
Talk 1:
Unlocking Resilient Supply Chains: Integrating Real-time Data for Sustainable Transport Networks

Angel Gaydarov, Fraunhofer Austria Research GmbH, Logistics and Supply Chain Management division

The research initiative, designated as NIKITA, is focused on the development of sustainable and cooperative transportation networks. The methodology focuses on achieving said goal by incorporating real-time data throughout the supply chain. The project explores the potential contribution to improvement of planning efficiency and establishment of resilient supply chains as foundation of sustainable logistic system, such as JIT, through optimized utilization of transport units and the inclusion of real-time data from transportation vehicles as well as from online sources via web scraping.

Talk 2:
Enhancing Supply Chain Resilience and Efficiency through AI-Driven Operations Management

Dear Prof. Herakovič, University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Hugo Zupan, DIGITEH d.o.o

A cutting-edge solution will be presented designed to streamline assembly line operations using a combination of a digital twin and artificial intelligence. Our system significantly contributes to the establishment of sustainable and collaborative transportation networks by optimizing real-time data integration throughout the supply chain. By improving the utilization of transport units and ensuring materials and personnel are precisely where needed, we facilitate more efficient planning and the foundation for Just-In-Time (JIT) processes. This approach not only enhances communication and coordination between customers and suppliers but also leads to substantial reductions in unnecessary transportation, thereby lowering carbon footprints and bolstering supply chain resilience.

Talk 3:
Smart Use of Product Quality Data to Eliminate Systematic Errors in the Production Process: A Cyber-Physical Inspection System Use Case

Michael Gfoellner, MAGNA STEYR FAHRZEUGTECHNIK GmbH & Co KG

Transforming data into information is a key element in the digitization of industrial inspection processes. A big data analytics project at the Magna plant in Graz was able to establish the link between serial product quality data and a long suspected systematic influence in the multi OEM Body in White Process. The discovery led to the development of a patented cyber-physical inspection system that is able to identify and eject faulty geometric fixtures that cause the systematic influence from the process in real time. The backbone of the process is a big data algorithm that extrapolates geometric dimensional deviations of the geometric fixtures from serial quality data of the products and consequently decides which fixture to eject next. The presentation discusses challenges and benefits of developing and implementing the system into a high volume serial process.

Parallelsession D
HTL – school for higher technical education
Moderation

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Parallelsession E
Connecting the Dots: Optimizing Industrial Processes Through Interconnect-ed Data and Advanced Analytics
Moderation

Ing. Andreas Herbst

Delve into the heart of industrial optimization. In today’s digital landscape, interconnected data is the key to unlocking efficiency. Experience the im-pact of real-time monitoring and predictive maintenance on streamlined operations. Join us as we uncover fresh pathways for innovation and com-petitive edge in industrial evolution.
Moderation

Georg Alber BSc

Talk 1:
Embracing the Power of Interconnected Data in Modern IIoT Use Cases

Patrick Haslinger, Dareto GmbH

In an era characterized by digital transformation and data-driven decision-making, under-standing the importance of interconnected data is essential for organizations seeking to unlock the full potential of IIoT technologies. This interconnectedness enables real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and optimized operations, driving efficiency and productivity across industries. By embracing relationships between data, organizations can unlock new opportunities for innovation, efficiency, and competitive advantage in the evolv-ing landscape of IIoT.

Talk 2:
Low code programming increase efficiency

Bernhard Schenkenfelder, SCCH – Software Competence Center Hagenberg

Using low-code to increase efficiency in industrial automation (Bernhard Schenkenfelder, Human-Centered Systems Design, SCCH) still needs to be specified in more detail – where is the AI application here – or the link to the topic of data itself? – I will also follow up on this.

Talk 3:
Intelligent production – which building blocks are necessary for holistic digitalisation with added value

Nico Teringl, Danube Dynamics Embedded Solutions GmbH

Digitalisation is still finding its way into the production of companies very selectively. A few sensors here, a few cameras there, an IoT connection for one machine and an AI model for analysing another. This is not intelligent, and added value is only created to a limited extent, far below the possible potential.

We show which building blocks are necessary to increase the overall level of digitalisation and generate real, measurable added value, which can then also be reflected in costs and sales. To this end, we show a solution that can be applied to both ‘green field’ and ‘brown field’ environments. We will explain how intelligent production can be implemented, from sensors and AI-supported IoT gateways to the cloud, which components are required and which services can be built on top of them.

Talk 4:
Harnessing the Transformative Power of Data: Creating Value with Machine Learning and Algorithms

Dominik Wörz, alpLytics

Let’s explore the transformative power of data and how we can create valuable solutions with machine learning and algorithms. We will outline the process of a data project and pre-sent potential scenarios for companies in different industries. Discover how the use of a mix of automation techniques can enhance data collection and preparation processes, optimis-ing efficiency and accuracy. Finally, we will conclude the presentation by illustrating these concepts with a fascinating real-world example.

Parallelsession F
Fully digitalized design of safe machinery solutions in flexible industrial applications
Moderation

Dipl.-Ing. Dr. techn. Michael Rathmair

Deputy Director of the Institute, Research Group Leader Industrial Robot System Technologies
Flexible robot-based machines are a central component of modern automated product manufacturing. All the more reason why well-organized and, above all, fully digitalized planning and design processes are needed to keep the associated costs within an economically attractive framework. In this session, we will present a wide range of possible applications to show how the fully digitalized machine design process can be implemented and which R&D challenges still need to be solved.
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