Consortium-Benchmarking “Artificial Intelligence in R&D" - Implementation of Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing Companies

24/05/2019

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Jan Koch

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At the final conference of the consortium benchmarking "Artificial Intelligence in R&D" on 23 May 2019 at the Eurogress in Aachen, the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen in cooperation with the Complexity Management Academy GmbH and a top-class industrial consortium honored the five best companies on the subject of "Artificial Intelligence in R&D". The aim of the benchmarking was to identify particularly successful methods, structures and processes in the systematic implementation and realization of artificial intelligence in R&D. The aim of the benchmarking was to identify the most successful methods, structures and processes in the systematic implementation and realization of artificial intelligence in R&D. The companies 3M, Wacker Chemie, Dürr Systems, ABB and Airbus were honored as "Successful Practices 2019" for their outstanding achievements.

  Group picture award-winner with prizes Copyright: CMA/Kurt Beyer Award-winner and consortium of the Benchmarking Artificial Intelligence in R&D 2019 at the final event in Aachen.

The "Successful Practices" were determined in cooperation with a jury of experts from successful international companies, who also provided the consortium for the project. Members of the consortium were 24 leading industrial companies from the manufacturing industry in a wide variety of sectors. Professor Günther Schuh, Director of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University, headed the project.

At the start of the project in July 2018, the WZL, in close cooperation with the Complexity Management Academy and the consortium, first worked out the current industrial challenges in the field of integrating artificial intelligence in R&D. These challenges formed the basis for a detailed written questionnaire. The interviewed companies provided answers to four central topics of Artificial Intelligence in R&D. In addition to the identification of new service offerings through the "application of AI in the product portfolio", application possibilities for the "optimization of internal R&D processes" were addressed. Furthermore, the companies were asked about "organizational requirements" as well as "technological requirements" for the successful integration of artificial intelligence in R&D.

A total of over 200 companies participated in the benchmarking process. The majority of the participating companies originated from Germany. The remaining companies have their headquarters in other European countries as well as in the USA or Asia.

A detailed screening of the study's top performers revealed the nine most promising candidates, which were presented to the consortium partners during the review meeting in February 2019 in order to identify the five successful practice companies. The consortium partners visited the selected companies in April and May 2019 and were able to gain insights into their methods, structures and processes in the field of Artificial Intelligence in R&D on site. In all cases it was confirmed that the selected companies use particularly successful approaches for the implementation of Artificial Intelligence in R&D and can justifiably be awarded the title "Successful Practices".

A key result of the consortium study is that successful practice companies in particular are developing use cases in networks. The aim of the activities following the study is to link the competences of the university environment at RWTH Aachen more closely with the manufacturing companies beyond the study. Therefore, a community with manufacturing companies will be established on the RWTH Aachen Campus in order to promote collaboration in the field of digital solutions in R&D as well as to set up consortia or bilateral demonstrators and implement applications.