Klaus Seybold
FH Joanneum

On January 24, 2024, an event on the topic of Industry 5.0 took place at the Smart Production Lab of FH Joanneum in Kapfenberg. A notably positive atmosphere carried all attendees through a long but diverse day.

The event was organised by the Platform Industry 4.0 in collaboration with FH Joanneum Kapfenberg and in cooperation with the Silicon Alps Cluster. The Platform and the University of Applied Sciences are partners in the European Horizon project Bridges 5.0, while the Silicon Alps Cluster is responsible for the implementation of the Cascade Funding Sure 5.0. Both projects are based on the idea of Industry 5.0, which involves expanding and deepening the industrial perspective with a focus on human-centricity, sustainability, and resilience. The organisers aimed to present Industry 5.0 and its associated technologies, as well as to connect relevant stakeholders.

The head of the Smart Production Lab, Martin Tschandl, opened the event with a warm welcome and a brief overview of the history of his lab. The topic was then introduced through presentations by the CEO of Platform Industry 4.0 Austria, Roland Sommer, and the head of the “Future Work” working group at FH Joanneum, Sabrina Sorko. Both shed light on figures and facts related to digitisation, emphasising its significant role in addressing pressing issues such as resource or energy consumption and highlighted the importance of the ethical approach proposed by the EU Commission with Industry 5.0.

Following this introduction, Michael Zwantschko presented Sure 5.0. The project aims to support digitisation projects with a focus on Industry 5.0. Participants in the project had the opportunity to present their ideas, some of which already had funding commitments, and engage with audience questions. This was followed by pitches from selected service providers. Heimo Heininger, Siemens Austria AG, presented “trusted traceability”, a software product that aims to enable transparency in the supply chain through a Digital Product Passport. Felix Zottl from Schneider Electric then tackled the task of presenting the future of automation as envisioned by his company. A plenary discussion followed both the project presentations and the service provider pitches, revealing that the dimension of human-centricity, alongside sustainability and resilience, the third pillar of Industry 5.0, is still not a given in project development, posing a challenge in developing a shared understanding on-site.

It is these currently “soft” concepts such as human-centricity or sustainability that will largely determine the future of our “European Way of Life.” In addition to a vibrant democracy and high quality of life for the many, this mode of living is characterised by high-quality (production) jobs. To ensure that digital transformation contributes to the preservation and evolution of this culture, we must learn to consistently prioritise end-users – workers and consumers alike – in our considerations. It is reassuring that events like this one facilitate the much-needed exchange, allowing the discussion to conclude with the agreement that “technology should serve people“.

After a dense morning program, the subsequent lunch break provided an opportunity for lively conversations and networking. A buffet provided by Lebenshilfe Kapfenberg ensured the well-being of all attendees.

The second part of the day focused on the Smart Production Lab and its further development. After a brief overview of the history and tasks of the lab, employees from various research groups guided the attendees through the production hall. This allowed ample time and space for questions and getting to know individual workstations, which are set to undergo an upgrade to Industry 5.0 standards in the coming years as part of the Bridges 5.0 project. The last presentation of the day addressed how this can be achieved, with Sabrina Sorko presenting the project goals – from analysing the current state to developing job profiles compatible with the new standard and aligning them with the necessary skills, to providing recommendations for companies on their journey to Industry 5.0.

Given the many positive responses, the day can be considered a successful start to our activities in 2024. A heartfelt thanks goes to all partners for their excellent collaboration in preparation, and especially to the staff of FH Joanneum for their hospitality and successful efforts to ensure a pleasant stay for all guests.

Finally, a big thank you goes to all participants of the Sure 5.0 project, as well as all tech providers who engaged in the experiment and presented their project ideas and offerings in staccato fashion, each in three-minute slots, and then participated in the discussion. These include:

Gernot Theuermann, NET-Automation GmbH
Enrico Boaretto, Klaxon Mobility GmbH
Matthias Pappenscheller, Ortner Reinraumtechnik
Michael Fiammengo, T.I.P.S. Messtechnik GmbH
Elias Vögel, Multivaitive

Heimo Heininger, Siemens AG
Thomas Saier, Edera Safety
Sebastian Egger-Lampl, XR Console
Philipp Kolb, ITK Engineering
Markus Brillinger, Pro2Future
Manfred Hall, Exaron

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