Smart Production Lab

Vision & Strategy

Vision & Strategie 1

Machines which communicate with each other and optimise themselves by exchanging information about their status, workpieces and error messages. Just a dream? Not at all!

The rapidly advancing digital transformation of our economy has now entered the realm of production processes. Smart production, i.e., networking machines, people, and services along the entire production chain, is becoming increasingly important, also in Styria. And that means FH JOANNEUM is automatically involved because it has opened a 600 m2 laboratory in Kapfenberg in which students and companies can test new Industry 4.0 (I4.0) production technologies and explore the efficient networking of high-tech equipment.


  • Create a hub for I4.0 issues in business and science in Upper Styria.
  • Drive applied research on translating I4.0 building blocks for application by/in SMEs.
  • Establish an expertise platform for discussion and testing of new technologies and standards.
  • Establish and expand a versatile training factory in which tomorrow’s skilled employees become qualified to meet the challenges of digitalisation based on hands-on use cases.
  • Provide further training for managers and professionals in the industry using customised training programmes.
  • Offer companies, students and interested individuals the opportunity to experience I4.0 from up close.

One lab – many options

Key areas of research being undertaken in the modern Smart Production Lab include networking the entire supply chain, from suppliers and manufacturers through to customers (horizontal integration), as well as IT integration, with the continual flow of data from the shopfloor right through to the business IT systems (vertical integration), see concept map.

The ‘human factor’ is also a topic in digital production. This involves research into the skills and job profiles of the future, and how assistance systems such as augmented reality can be used to support employees on the shopfloor. It also covers the development of suitable training methods for creating digital learning environments.