Startup solutions for mechanical engineering - NRW & BeNeLux-Special

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As in previous start-up events, selected start-ups presented their innovative and digital solutions, which were primarily aimed at the mechanical and plant engineering sector. The English-language online event was attended by participants from the mechanical and plant engineering sector from Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg (BeNeLux), Austria and Germany.

A special focus of the event on 6 July 2020 was the networking of companies from the BeNeLux states and North Rhine-Westphalia. The welcome by the moderator Carsten Rückriegel from ProduktionNRW was followed by a short questioning and introduction of the participants.

Arjan Schmits, Business Development Manager BeNeLux at VDMA, used examples and statistical facts to show how important and fruitful a strong, cross-national link between entrepreneurs is for all sides. Furthermore, he gave a short overview of how mechanical engineering companies (especially those from the BeNeLux countries) can benefit from VDMA membership.

Afterwards, the five start-ups had the opportunity to present their digital solutions to the entrepreneurs and representatives of the engineering industry. First, Simon Winter from Obsoletely / Körber Digital GmbH started his presentation about an IT tool for digital obsolescence management. The presented solution is characterized by a proactive customer service that addresses the issue of obsolete (outdated) components. The software enables managers from the different company divisions to deal with the obsolescence of components in time and to replace obsolete parts with new ones in time. Obsolescence management helps to extend the life of products and thus promotes resource efficiency.

Olivier Verhage, co-founder and CEO of Yoho BV, presented in the second start-up pitch the "Yoho" platform, which serves the exchange of knowledge and information among employees. Video-based training and instructions on internal company problems, such as setting up a machine, can be uploaded to this platform. This transfer of empirical knowledge and information contributes to the externalization of knowledge - and thus also leads to a digitalization of corporate knowledge. A use case could be, for example, that experiences made at one production site with the configuration of a certain machine can be easily viewed at another production site in the cloud.

Timur Ripke, CEO and founder of Coman Software GmbH, presented an IT solution that enables visual progress tracking of development projects in mechanical and plant engineering. The Coman software enables company employees to monitor and, if necessary, also control the current project progress during the set-up or assembly of machines or plants around the clock and from any input device, be it smartphone, laptop or desktop computer. In addition, the software is designed for the common programming interfaces (APIs).

Following the motto "Implementing Industry 4.0", Martin Irrgang, VP Sales of Recogizer Analytics GmbH, explained in his contribution how machine learning can contribute to digitization. The AI controller from Recogizer Analytics, which is based on artificial intelligence and is also characterized by a closed control loop, contributes to the optimization of processes. These can be, for example, processes for the intelligent and environmentally friendly automation of building technology or machines. The software detects anomalies and contributes to the stability of processes, among other things, through automatic corrections.

The final pitch was presented by Christian Bremer, the CEO of Two Pillars GmbH. He presented a software for model-based system technology (systems engineering) with which mechatronic designs can be processed and easily tracked. The cloud-based solution combines systems engineering with project management. This enables companies to accelerate their development projects and improve interdisciplinary communication.

At the end of the event Dr. Laura Dorfer presented the upcoming activities of the VDMA Startup-Machine. The value of the Startup-Machine was demonstrated by the numerous examples that bring together startups and mechanical engineering companies. Immediately after the event, this event also led to the first steps on the way to joint, cross-border projects between start-up companies and machine and plant manufacturers.

Organizer

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