Wüthrich Rolf, Co-director
The fourth industrial revolution
With the fourth industrial revolution, the manufacturing sector faces new challenges.
Coined in Europe in 2011, Industry 4.0 promotes the computerization of manufacturing. The goal is to develop Smart Factories, where the complete manufacturing chain communicates via the Internet of Things, ultimately producing an economically produced Batch Size 1.
These challenges open new needs in research in industry and academia.
As the industry 4.0 paradigm will be implemented progressively across global companies, the manufacturing industry must deal with situations where geometry of the sub-parts change as well. In this case the customer will not only choose from existing options but will be actively involved in the design. In such cases of mass personalization new manufacturing technologies are required which can keep manufacturing overhead related to change of part geometries low. They need to address the issues of tooling costs (avoid part-specific tooling) able to handle complex parts and reduce production steps (eliminate overhead due for example to alignment or tool change). The center, among other research axes, develops novel manufacturing processes to addresses these challenges.