Artificial Intelligence and Logistics (AILog-2012) Autonomous and Decentralized Approaches in Logistics
Workshop at ECAI 2012, Montpellier, France, August 28, 2012

Invited Speaker

Detlef Zühlke

Smart Factories and their impact on smart logistic systems

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Detlef Zühlke received the MS in electrical engineering and computer sciences and his PhD in robotics both from RWTH Aachen/Germany. Currently he is a Professor for Production Automation at the University of Kaiserslautern and scientific director of the research department Innovative Factory Systems (IFS) at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). He is chairman of the executive board of the SmartFactoryKL, chairman of the IFAC CC 4 on Mechatronics, Robotics and Components and member of the IFAC Technical Board, advisory board member of the VDI/VDE-Society for Measurement and Automatic Control and member of the advisory panel of Springer publishing.

His research interest is in industrial control architectures, factory planning and operation and human- machine-systems for industrial applications.


Factories will face major changes over the next decade. This change is characterized by the keyword “smart factories”, i.e. the broad use of smart technologies which we face in our daily life already in future factories. More in detail this means that factories will benefit from the advances in computer sciences and electronics like cyber physical systems, wired and wireless networking and various AI techniques. The planning and control systems will change from today´s monolithic and hierarchical structures to more or less open networks with a much higher degree of autonomy and self-organization. Because of these fundamental changes this situation was described in Germany by a new paradigm “Industry 4.0” characterizing the changes as the 4th industrial revolution. It is obvious that smart factories will also have a substantial impact on logistics which must fit into this new world.

In Kaiserslautern a large demo factory called “SmartfactoryKL” was installed years ago in close cooperation with many industrial partners. This factory serves as a realistic testbed for developing and demonstrating new factory technologies. Close links to the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and also the local university allow for the necessary research actions and offer a unique environment for a beneficial transfer of the research results to industrial application.

This presentation will describe the experiences gathered by the Smartfactory consortium over the last years and identify the impact and challenges for future production systems.

Show Presentation