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Optimize production processes and train employees with the SKZ

The Vipra system, a virtual production assistant, and the planned expansion of the SKZ research project "DigiPlat4Train" will be used to train employees at the machine and improve production processes. The AI evaluation is continuous and is designed to suggest demand-oriented and individual micro-learning units, training courses and solutions.

December 6, 2023
Virtueller Produktions-Assistent

Virtual production assistant (Vipra©) in use on a laboratory twin-screw extruder. (Photo: Luca Hoffmannbeck, SKZ)

Get customized training and solutions right at your machine

Industry 4.0 is the fourth major transformation for industry. Digitalization means that processes and systems are becoming increasingly networked. This opens up new opportunities for the plastics industry. The Virtual Production Assistant (Vipra®) from SHS plus GmbH connects to production systems and enables higher-level live data analysis. At the SKZ Plastics Center, the system is now connected to a twin-screw extruder and a complete pipe extrusion line, continuously accessing live data from the production systems during production and recognizing different production situations or, for example, production errors that occur. 

Digital training content synchronized
As part of the "DigiPlat4Train" research project, this data is evaluated and analyzed using AI methods so that the system can suggest solutions to correct the errors. In addition, the project synchronizes the digital training content of the SKZ with the assistance system. This enables the assistance system to recognize the real situation and, if necessary, directly select and provide appropriate training.

User-specific training recommendation
The assistance system uses real machine information to determine the operator's individual training needs and compares them with the SKZ's digital learning units to provide a user-specific training recommendation. In this way, not only can production processes be optimized, but the knowledge level of employees can also be improved in line with requirements. Particularly in times of a shortage of skilled workers, production companies in the plastics industry are thus given the opportunity to provide their employees with effective, timely and individualized training and further education.

About the project: 
Together with SHS plus GmbH, SKZ is involved in the "DigiPlat4Train" research project on digital training in Germany. The research project is developing a platform solution for demand-oriented, digital "on-demand training" for production companies in the plastics industry and is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) as part of the INVITE innovation competition. During the project, a learning environment for plastics companies will be developed that enables individual and demand-oriented learning directly at the machine. For this purpose, existing extruders were completely retrofitted by SHS plus GmbH. The project will run until August 31, 2024.

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Contact Person:

Tobias Göbel
Scientist | Compounding and Extrusion

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