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Industry 4.0: Austria's first factory demonstrator

17. September 2015

Vienna University of Technology and 20 companies are working together to develop the production methods of the future in Austria's first "Factory Demonstrator for Industry 4.0".

The end-to-end digitalisation and networking of machine tools, robots and products via the internet – known as Industry 4.0 – is ushering in a transformation for companies and society as a whole. This represents both an opportunity and a challenge for Austria as a business location.

Industry 4.0 should secure Austrian production companies a fixed spot on international supply chains. But for this companies need new processes which can only be developed and tested separately from regular operations – in factory demonstrators.

Recently unveiled in Vienna, the first factory demonstrator for Industry 4.0 will provide a platform in which Austrian companies can prepare for the future of industrial production.

Under an initiative by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the Vienna University of Technology will use the demonstrator in cooperation with 20 companies to develop new methods, machinery and production processes, which will later be adopted by companies in their regular manufacturing. The factory demonstrator will also be used as a learning laboratory for education and professional development.

Around EUR 4m has been invested in total, half of which was financed by the Ministry, with the rest funded by the Vienna University of Technology and the participating companies. The first phase will run until 2017, by which time the Technology Ministry plans to open additional factory demonstrators in Austria.