The model factory reproduces a real production facility from the Web shop and ERP/MES systems through to storage, transport and production cell, where products can be manufactured flexibly with batch size 1. A number of scenarios introduce students to the subject of vertical integration and demonstrate benefits as well as pitfalls. Read more


The assistance system for complex production machines supports the user by proposing operator interventions to fit the current process situation. The knowledge required to guide the user is generated automatically from the operating history recorded by the machine. The software is largely independent of the machine. Read more

The research group is interested in further projects on the topic of “digital factory”. A wide range of topics can be covered in cooperation with the research group System Integration.
Further information

Current Projects:
Economy 4.0 in SMEs: The digital transformation (“WiMiT”)

This project is funded by the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and by the Free State of Bavaria.

Funded by:

The ERDF project “WiMiT” supports medium-sized companies in the field of “Industry 4.0”. With a high degree of digitalization, participating companies should be able to record the current state of their company as well as the company field more precisely and faster in the future, as well as create more accurate forecasts. Overall, concepts in the field of “Industry 4.0” not only enable significantly higher efficiency, but also greater flexibility, so that the overall competitiveness of companies is strengthened.

Within the framework of WiMiT, the Institute of Information Systems will carry out various cross-sectional projects in the period from October 1, 2016 to the end of September 2020, which will be supported by the various research groups of the institute according to their thematic orientation. The central challenge will be to transfer the concepts and solutions developed with various scientific demonstrators to the production facilities of the participating companies. At the University of Applied Sciences in Hof, too, a corresponding demonstrator called “Factory of the Future” has been set up since 2003, which not only enables horizontal and vertical integration, but also demonstrates industrial production with a batch size
of 1.

Upscaling to the corporate environment usually requires significant changes in the IT infrastructure, additional competence of employees, as well as new organizational structures. However, the resources required for such a use of technologies usually exceed the capabilities of medium-sized enterprises. In the course of this project, therefore, the developed solutions are to be prepared in such a way that not only the participating companies in the project, but also other companies can implement corresponding applications on this basis.

Further information about “WiMiT” compact as PDF

Adjustable consumers

As part of the Smart Grid Solar project, the research group is working on work package 4.1. The basic idea of the work package is to reduce the load on the power grid by adjusting the load profile, i.e. the energy consumption, to the fluctuating generation due to regenerative, non-controllable energy feed-in. For this purpose, industrial consumers are controlled in such a way that the energy demand corresponds as closely as possible to the current energy production.

Capacitive console (KaKon)

Under the umbrella of the Car Infotainment and Man-Machine Interface Research Unit at Hof University of Applied Sciences, iisys is developing a new type of control unit for the automotive industry in collaboration with the Institute of Materials Science (IFM) at Hof University of Applied Sciences. The production-technical aspects – manufacturing and forming of the electronic components – are worked on at the IFM. The iisys is creating the software for the prototype, which shows how the new control elements can be used in an innovative user interface.

Statistical operator support for special machines and
machine tools (BuMa)

The aim of the project, which is being carried out in the Car Infotainment and Man-Machine Interface Research Unit at Hof University of Applied Sciences, is to display troubleshooting options to an inexperienced machine operator in the event of an error reported by the machine. These suggested actions are automatically generated from the operating history recorded at the machine. In this way, the knowledge of the previous operators, which lies dormant in this history, can be called up in the error situation.

As a basis for the procedure, different algorithms from the field of machine learning are investigated. The history data will be collected on real production machines at the project partners and a test system at IISYS.

In the long term, the aim is to proactively detect problems so that the operator can intervene before the machine comes to a standstill due to a fault.

Innovative user interface for controlling complex production systems (IBS Pro)

Within the scope of this project, iisys is developing a concept for more intelligent user interfaces at industrial production facilities. This development, which is being carried out under the umbrella of the Car Infotainment and Man-Machine Interface Research Unit at Hof University of Applied Sciences, is intended to largely reduce the amount of training required for users in production. In addition, the machine should prevent users from operating errors and guide them in the event of malfunctions in order to solve problems quickly. The technical work is accompanied by empirical market research, which examines the acceptance of the concepts as early as possible and parallel to the development, so that a feedback on the development is possible.

Cooperative Lecture and Practical
“Industry 4.0 in Planning and Production” (IPP)

The flexibilization of production processes up to batch size 1 places great demands on planning systems such as Management Execution (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning systems (ERP). These requirements can only be met on a solid data basis provided by the managed resources, i.e. the production machines in real time.

To demonstrate the problems and common solutions, the Chair of Environmental Production Engineering of the University of Bayreuth (LUP) and the Hof University of Applied Sciences are working out a cooperative lecture with practical course covering vertical networking and overall planning in theory and practice.

For this purpose, the LUP will network the production machines in the pilot plant with the ERP system at the Hof University of Applied Sciences. This interface will be used to report statuses such as quantities, maintenance requirements, material requirements and quality-relevant data and to receive machine programs. In addition, selected machines are to be extended to include a terminal for the machine operator, on which the information supplied by the ERP on the current order is displayed (actual/target number of pieces, setup plan; drawings). The operator can also use this terminal to report information such as quality data back to the ERP.

The Hof University of Applied Sciences is expanding an existing test setup, which simulates a complex, customer-specific production, in such a way that customer orders as well as material orders are transferred directly from a machine or an ERP system at the customer to a machine or an ERP system at the supplier. The human control interventions that have been customary up to now when triggering the order or accepting the order are to be reduced as far as possible.