Simulation platform for Smart Services in SMEs

  Group of people Copyright: © SimPlan AG Participants at the kick-off of the SEAMLESS research project in Hanau

Aftersales services such as process optimization, training, maintenance, conversion and modernization are becoming an increasingly important part of the value chain for many German machine and plant manufacturers. One reason for this is that these services are particularly benefiting from the digital transformation: Machines and plants are increasingly merging with information technologies that record status data in real time, learn from this data, control processes automatically or support human decisions, and communicate and interact via the Internet.

In order to improve data-based learning and the decision support based on it, the use of different simulation tools is an obvious choice. However, these tools are currently used only sporadically and in isolation, especially by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). A networking of simulation systems with each other and with the real production plants hardly exists in SMEs.

Against this background, ten companies and institutes, including the Automation and Control Department of the Chair of Machine Tools of the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University, are now starting the research project "SEAMLESS - Simulation-based assistance system-based engineering and maintenance services for lean after-sales services". The aim of the project is the development and provision of simulation tools on a cloud based platform, "Simulation Enhanced Assessment as a Service (SEAaaS)", which allows users to combine different simulators synergistically and use them for smart services.

The kick-off of SEAMLESS took place this February at the project coordinator SimPlan in Hanau. Sven Spieckermann, spokesman of the board of SimPlan AG, spoke with regard to the intended project results, of a great opportunity especially for small and medium-sized enterprises. With new simulation-supported after-sales services, they could maintain and expand their position in the increasingly tough market for machines and systems.

Partners in the SEAMLESS project

  • Actimage GmbH Kehl
  • Dieffenbacher GmbH Eppingen
  • EKS InTec GmbH Weingarten
  • EXAPT Systemtechnik GmbH Aachen
  • FZI Research Center for Information Technology Karlsruhe
  • Innolite GmbH Aachen
  • Seeburger AG Bretten
  • SimPlan AG
  • Chemnitz University of Technology (Chair of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Management)
  • Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL) of RWTH Aachen University

The SEAMLESS research and development project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) in the funding area "Complex products, production processes and plants (Smart Services)" and is supervised by the Project Management Agency Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe (PTKA).