Smart Engineering describes methods, processes, and IT tools for the interdisciplinary, system-oriented development of innovative, intelligent and networked products, production plants, and infrastructures. These aspects are commonly known under the term "Industry 4.0". The comprehensive exchange of information between all components involved in the production process plays a major and decisive role. In addition, it is also about the exchange of information between the individual sub-processes of both product development and manufacturing, to improve performance, quality, customer acceptance, and cost reduction of products. An equally important sub-area is an interdisciplinary "Life Cycle Management" to improve the knowledge domains and interactions that have so far largely been insufficiently linked, and thus to counteract a continuous loss of information and experience. Thus, especially in the area of networking of all development and production steps from interdisciplinary concepts to the production process, product use, and final disposal, there are fields of action to be developed in the area of product data and process models.
The applications in the faculty's research profile on Smart Engineering already start in the planning processes of product development. The reason for this is that structuring and the associated information models are already being started, taking into account possible boundary conditions. This digital development process finally leads to the qualification and networking of production and modeling processes, as well as automation technology. The basis for this is to ensure clear communication between sub-processes and production plants. The main challenge in this context is probably secure communication to mobile production components.
Finally, smart engineering comprises the integration of product development, production planning, and production control for the rapid market-ready implementation of innovative product ideas and thus the creation of value through a digitally influenced development process. Important here is the development of a PLM concept (PLM: Product Lifecycle Management) to capture the entire product life cycle and thus improve productivity, quality, and reliability across all process boundaries.