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Good Partners for Business

Regional company representatives visit ESB Business School's Werk150.

By Sven Rottner

Since 2013, Werk150 has provided a state-of-the-art research environment for production and logistics at Reutlingen University campus, where ESB Business School students can apply what they have learned in a realistic factory environment. At the same time, Werk150 is an attractive research location that offers support in the area of digitization, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Several delegations from the Südwestmetall employers association and the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce recently came to see the innovative technologies at Werk150 for themselves.

Last Thursday and Friday, delegations from Südwestmetall and the Reutlingen Chamber of Industry and Commerce visited the teaching and research factory. The company representatives were able to form a comprehensive picture of 5G and blockchain networks, exoskeletons, collaborative robots, smart warehouses and of digital twins in presentations and demonstrations at the factory.

“Talking to companies about meaningful applications for new technologies in production and logistics is extremely important for us,” says Professor Vera Hummel, founder and director of Werk150, summing up the visits by numerous industry representatives. "In this way, we learn exactly where action is currently needed and how we should set the priorities in applied research,” she adds.

In addition to experiencing the technologies, the visits focused on possible future collaboration. “With Werk150, we offer our partners a state-of-the-art infrastructure and access to new technologies and methods for joint projects,” says Professor Daniel Palm, head of Werk150.

As the European Union's Digital Innovation Hub and the state of Baden-Württembergs application centre for the Industry 4.0, 5G technology, digital twinning and digital transformation, Werk150 is able to make specific offers to companies. In numerous collaborations and projects, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular benefit from the lively transfer of knowledge.

For example, with its own 5G network, Werk150 is the first point of contact as part of the 5G4KMU project to provide information about possible applications of the technology in SMEs’ production environments.

SMEs in particular benefit from the consulting services offered by the DigiHub project with the Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Industry 4.0 transfer platform with Steinbeis. Werk150 provides support for companies so that the digital transformation and the use of artificial intelligence may be applied successfully.

Werk150 was founded in 2013 under the name "ESB Logistik Lernfabrik" as a campus-owned learning and research environment. Now, the factory has its own premises on the Reutlingen University campus with a total of 800 square meters of space for practical work.