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Support for information search in the company

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology for implementing Industry 4.0, which is no longer an abstract idea but a wide range of solutions that can be used in products and in the company. How AI, machine learning and the like are finding their way into everyday operations, what companies have thought about this topic, and how successful implementation can succeed will be presented in this series of events using examples of implementation. Companies will show how they are harnessing the potential of this new technology for themselves and others.

The virtual exchange of experience “AI in mechanical engineering – support in the search for information in the company” took place on 07 September 2022. The aim of the event was to show companies from the mechanical and plant engineering sector what possibilities there are with artificial intelligence to profitably shape information management in the company.

Guido Reimann, speaker, VDMA Software and Digitalization, presented the current activities in the association such as events and publications. On the occasion of the event’s main topic “Information Management”, Reimann also recommended taking a look at the new publication of the same name by the Technical Documentation and Information Management Working Group. This provides an overview of the expanded possibilities for using information from technical documentation, including with the help of new technologies.

Bastian Maiworm, CRO & Co-Founder, ambeRoad Tech GmbH in Aachen, and Lothar Vandeberg, Member of the Executive Board, Müller Maschinentechnik GmbH in Düren, gave an insight into the practical application of AI in information provision in their tandem presentation.

At Müller Maschinentechnik GmbH, a medium-sized machine builder and sales partner for automation components, more than 60 employees work at two different locations and have accumulated a great deal of know-how over the years. This is located in various digital data silos – for example, SharePoint, OneDrive, in MS Teams or on network drives. The effort required to access the right information is therefore constantly increasing. The mechanical engineering company quickly realized that internal communication needed to become more asynchronous to enable employees to independently access the information they need. To counteract this, Müller Maschinentechnik is working with the Aachen-based start-up ambeRoad Tech GmbH. The young company has developed an AI-based search engine for use in companies so that employees can also find internal information more quickly.

In a second practical example, Matthias Gutknecht, Business Development Manager at the STAR Group, and Mirko Uetzmann, Head of Digital Transformation at Renk GmbH in Augsburg, explained the variety of applications and benefits of digital product knowledge.

In his presentation, Uetzmann presented some practical examples of this, for example how added value can be created through digital knowledge exchange between product specialists and service people in marine gear units. He also showed how such applications will provide access to new real-world data in the future, which in turn will be the basis for improved machine learning algorithms and better analytics. This will achieve a symbiosis between human knowledge and AI-based analytics so that the added value of products and services can be permanently increased. Gutknecht complemented these remarks and showed in his presentation which requirements are necessary to digitally capture product knowledge and to be able to offer additional smart services.

Further information

The event was offered by VDMA in cooperation with ProduktionNRW. ProduktionNRW is the competence network of mechanical engineering and production technology in North Rhine-Westphalia and is carried out by VDMA NRW. ProduktionNRW sees itself as a platform for networking, informing and marketing companies, institutions and networks among themselves and along the value chain. Significant parts of the services provided by ProduktionNRW are funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).