Factory-X - Creating an open and collaborative data ecosystem for factory equipment suppliers and operators

Project funding


In times of increasing digitalization, a wide variety of data is generated in the manufacturing industry. This data is created and enriched by engineering processes and then finally managed in enterprise resource planning (ERP) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software. Breaks occur especially at company boundaries. Data is exchanged at these boundaries via emails and PDFs and then manually entered into separate systems. The problem here is the loss of data, especially model-based data, through the import and export to less information-dense formats such as PDF. This effect is not exclusive, but can be clearly seen in the loss of design data (CAD) and circuit diagram data (ECAD). Factory equipment suppliers, operators and system integrators, among others, are experiencing increased effort and an increased susceptibility to errors. These problems could be avoided by the loss-free exchange of data throughout the entire engineering process.

Problem statement

The general problem of the Factory-X project can be derived from the existing problems: How can data be exchanged and passed on while preserving the sovereignty and business models of the companies involved? Open technical standards and specifications such as AAS, OPC-UA etc. or approaches from projects such as Catena-X are to be used. Technical problems such as data consistency, sovereignty, security and quality must also be taken into account. This requires architectures and algorithms that have not yet been implemented in this form, which are being developed as part of this project.


The aim of the Factory-X project is to create an open and collaborative data ecosystem for the manufacturing industry. This should make it possible to exchange and process data collaboratively and digitally across company boundaries. Engineering tool chains can thus be linked seamlessly, which would greatly improve the efficiency of the entire process and thus the entire industry. The resulting open software architecture, or the underlying specifications for data exchange in collaborative engineering projects across company boundaries, would then ideally become the standard for the entire industry.

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This image shows Robin Kimmel

Robin Kimmel


Research Assistant "Software and Engineering Methods"

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