Consortium Project »Facing the Smart Future«: Smart Products, Production and Services

In cooperation with experts from research and industry, KEX Knowledge Exchange AG will start another consortium project “Facing the Smart Future”, which focuses on smart products, smart production and smart services.

KEX Knowledge Exchange already conducted two successfull consortium projects with the participation of over 40 renowned international companies.


Dr. Alexander Kermer-Meyer

Extract of former participants:

Study Motivation

  • Digitalization (incl. integration of networking capabilities into physical products) is no longer just affecting the consumer electronics industry
  • New paradigms regarding control and design of production processes are established
  • Diversity of relevant buzzwords: »Internet of Things«, »Industrie 4.0«, »The Industrial Internet« or »Smart Data«
  • What do these buzzwords really mean for companies, their product portfolio, production technologies and value-added services?

    ►In the consortium project we aim to get answers to these and many other questions.


Creating economic and technological transparency regarding actual developments in smart production, products and services

Exploring and analyzing market and technology trends and possible game-changing business models

Promoting valuable exchange and networking between the most relevant international industry partners

Key Questions

Market / Application

Smart Services

  • What game-changing business models will affect the markets?
  • How can the relation between supplier and customer be designed?

Smart Products

  • What »smart« functionalities will differentiate products?
  • How can networked products lead to after-sales revenues?

Smart Production

  • What potential does smart manufacturing offer in different industries?
  • How can time-to-market and lead time be improved?
Applications & Enabler of Industrie 4.0

Technology / Enabler

Smart Sensors

  • Which sensors can be integrated into mass production at competitive prices?
  • How can collected data be leveraged for added customer value?

Smart Data

  • Which data access platforms and analysis technologies will be important?
  • How can big data be analyzed and integrated to reduce costs?

Smart Networks

  • Which infrastructure standards will become ubiquitous?
  • How can heterogeneous autonomous devices securely interact to address market demands?

Network of Experts

The consortium project...

  • is based on extensive knowledge and previous projects done by the research partners in the context of »Industrie 4.0«
  • leverages the pooled expertise in the consortium
  • builds an expert network that enables knowledge and information generation and exchange across value creation stages and business sectors
  • brings together all experts and decision makers involved with smart products, services and production

    ► Benefit from the opportunities provided by our network and determine which innovations will soon be cutting edge in the market!

Target Markets


Aerospace & Defense

Electronics & ICT

Medical & Healthcare

Transportation & Logistics

Energy & Storage


Engineering & Manufacturing


Study Approach

Each round of the study is divided into three phases:

Phase 1 - Pilot Study

Generating an overview on the status-quo of market applications, relevant trends and technologies.

Phase 2 - Technology / Market Analysis

Providing detailed information on selected applications regarding technological opportunities and market potential.

Phase 3 - Business Cases

Deriving comprehensive business cases on selected highlight applications regarding technological feasibility and market competitiveness.

About KEX

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG is a professional technology and market information provider. The aim of KEX is to bring relevant and customized technical knowledge right to the point.

As a spin-off of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT, KEX can look back on more than 20 years of experience in the methodical structuring, processing and interpretation of knowledge. Since we are located at the very heart of a broad network of experts, we are in constant contact with the latest technology trends and directly involved with the development of innovations.

Not only the technical expertise and the unique network of experts, but also the comprehensive access to exclusive information sources allow KEX to scan, scout and monitor technologies and markets effectively. To ensure quality, relevance and timeliness of all information, we use own knowledge management systems and develop them continuously. The information found is finally analyzed and evaluated by our experts regarding the specific questions of our customers. Therefore we can guarantee that all information provided by us is not only exclusive, but also customer-specific.

In sum: We provide the basis for your decisions.

Your Personal Contact

Dr. Alexander Kermer-Meyer

Technology Manager

KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

Phone +49 241 51038 619


Research Partners

Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT

  • Founded in 1980; 415 employees
  • Business portfolio: Turbomachinery, Tool Making, Optics, Lightweight Technologies, Life Sciences Engineering, Integrated Mechatronic System
  • Knowledge and experience in all fields of production technology for developing and optimizing solutions for modern production facilities

Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering WZL of RWTH Aachen

  • Founding year: 1906
  • 760 employees
  • 16,000 m² offices and laboratories
  • Business portfolio: Manufacturing Technology, Gearing Technology, Machine Tools, Metrology and Quality Management, Production Engineering and Production Management
  • Knowledge and experience in all fields of production engineering and production management for developing and optimizing solutions for modern production facilities

Demonstration Factory of RWTH Aachen Campus

  • Founding year: 2013
  • Small-scale production of marketable products with a high vertical range of manufacture on 1,600 m²
  • Application, exploration and further development of Industrie 4.0 solutions with industrial and research partners
  • Implementation of smart systems enabling transparent and consistent order tracking on the shop floor
  • Further education in a real production environment

Institute for Industrial Management at RWTH Aachen

  • Founding year: 1953
  • Industry-oriented research in the areas service management, information management and production management
  • Part of the initiative for excellence in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW)


KEX Knowledge Exchange AG

Campus-Boulevard 30

52074 Aachen




Press and Public Relations

Phone +49 241 51038 628

Fax +49 241 51038 699

Head Office:

Aachen - District Court Aachen, HRB 14545


Supervisory Board:

Prof. Dr. Günther Schuh (Chairman)

Dr. Stephan Krumm

Dr. Ulrich Hermann  

Board of Directors:

Toni Drescher (CEO)

Markus Wellensiek (CFO)


VAT No.: DE 258300450

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