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In February 2012 the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) announced the “it's OWL” (Intelligent Technical Systems OstWestfalen Lippe) high-tech strategy as one of the winners of its Leading-Edge Cluster Competition.
it’s OWL is a science and industry technology network which intends to set international standards in the field of intelligent technical systems. The cluster is helping pave the way to the fourth industrial revolution and makes a significant contribution to the competitiveness of manufacturing and production in Germany.
Tomorrow’s technological systems will be intelligent and connected. This applies to the products of mechanical engineering sector and related industries such as the automotive industry, electrical engineering and medical as well as their corresponding production systems. Intelligent technological systems arise from the interplay of engineering and information technology. They interact with their environment and adapt to it autonomously. They also deal with unexpected situations in a dynamic environment and are able to anticipate the future effects of different influences thanks to experiential knowledge. Moreover, they also adapt to individual user behavior.
Within the It’s OWL technology network, 174 companies – including world leaders such as Beckhoff, Claas, Gildemeister, Harting, Lenze, Miele, Phoenix Contract, WAGO, Weidmüller, and Wincor Nixdorf - and research institutions are carrying out pioneering work in this area.
Intelligent products and production systems are being developed in 46 projects: from automation and drive solutions for machinery, automatons, vehicles and household devices to networked production facilities. Examples include self-correcting manufacturing processes, digitalization of work planning, energy efficient intralogistics for warehouses, resource efficient large laundry as well as energy management in smart grids.
The development, deployment, maintenance and life cycle management of products, machines and systems will be improved by it’s OWL technologies and products. Their reliability, resource efficiency, and user friendliness will also optimized, with individualized and adaptable production processes becoming a reality.