A Meeting of Experts on Industry 4.0


Around 120 RWTH professors, Siemens experts, and students of RWTH Aachen University came together yesterday at Campus Melaten under the motto „Digital Industries and the Internet of Production.“ In workshops, on stage and in dialogue, the participants discussed what is commonly referred to as the fourth industrial revolution.


The Center of Knowledge Interchange Conference (CKI Conference), one of the most important partnership meetings between Siemens and RWTH, recently took place for the tenth time. The focus of this year's conference was on digital transformations in the industrial sector. In the morning, the participants of the event were offered a choice between numerous different activities. In workshops and trainings they worked together on important topics for the future with regard to industrial digitalization. As part of a campus tour, the two event hosts presented to the visitors the efficient work of the MindSphere Demponstrator, a machine tool that is connected to the Siemens IoT MindSphere operating system. The guests were also able to experience the state-of-the-art manufacturing facility of the electric car developer e.GO Mobile AG.

The winners of the "MindSphere Student Challenge" presented their ideas on Industry 4.0 to the audience. Together with Kampf Schneid- & Wickeltechnik GmbH, a manufacturer of slitting and winding machines, Siemens had offered this programming competition for RWTH students in the months prior to the conference. The awards were presented to the prize winners on stage during the CKI Conference.

RWTH Rector Ulrich Rüdiger and Roland Busch, member of the Siemens Board of Directors as well as the RWTH Board of Govenors, jointly kicked off the busy afternoon. The close partnership of Siemens and RWTH was well mirrored in the subsequent team presentations, always featuring pairs of one Siemens expert and one RWTH professor to talk about different Industry 4.0 topics.

Joint Statement of Intent

Another highlight took place backstage: Siemens and the Digital Photonic Production (DPP) research campus signed a statement of intent regarding use of the innovative Siemens IoT operating system MindSphere. With this a new form of longterm collaboration between Siemens, RWTH, the Fraunhofer Society, and various industrial partners is being established. At the focus of these joint research efforts will be light as a tool for industrial production in the future. The shared vision: to be able to immediately produce any given components through laser technology ‒ Digital Photonic Production. With this goal in mind, partners from science and industry are working across disciplines on solutions for the whole value chain. The DPP research campus is a part of the nationwide funding initiative "Forschungscampus – öffentlich-private Partnerschaft für Innovationen“ created by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, BMBF.

RWTH is one of eight strategic partner universities from all over the world involved with the „Siemens Center of Knowledge Interchange“ (CKI), which aims to build and promote a research and development network, as well as identify and work on research topics together. The DKI was inaugurated in 2011 on the RWTH Campus. Since then, many projects have already emerged from this pooling of resources and expertise.