The 2021 Steinbeis Engineering Day: The Role Played by AIoT in Practice

How artificial intelligence of things (AIoT) creates benefits for business

The internet of things has not only found its way into our living rooms, industry is also increasingly recognizing the potential offered by networking between companies. Suddenly, processes that for years were optimized purely based on the gut feeling of employees are becoming transparent –  in areas in which artificial intelligence can now provide support. How this works in practical terms was explained by the presenters at the 2021 Steinbeis Engineering Day.

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Some forms of technology require large volumes of data to map information as accurately as possible, whereas others generate a deluge of data that, until now, has been difficult to translate into pertinent information. In retrospect, bringing these two types of technologies together was pretty inevitable. The experts at this year’s Steinbeis Engineering Day were quick to recognize that artificial intelligence and the internet of things are a perfect complement to one another. This made it possible for them to share their AIoT experiences with the audience – drawing on a variety of examples from their everyday work.

Implementing AIoT successfully – with the right partner

In a keynote speech given by Professor Dr. Heiner Lasi, academic head of the Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute, a vivid demonstration was offered of how the automation pyramid is being replaced by a new paradigm of flexible collaboration within digital ecosystems. Based on digital reflections of reality, solutions can be designed to focus on benefits. One such solution in the field of intralogistics was presented by Friedhelm Keller (aberu) and Michael Sinn (Flux MES). It became obvious that nobody is in a position to manage the digital transformation process by themselves. You have to work with others offering complementary skills.

How digital products will need to be set up in the future was explained by Marian Raphael Demme from Robert Bosch Manufacturing Solutions, who demonstrated a Bosch Nexo cordless nutrunner in use. Products that are designed to work with digitech must be capable of communicating openly with one another via standard interfaces. These days, if you try to install vendor lock-ins in your software, your product is already obsolete. In the future, products will enable buyers to select their own digital services and create packages from a range of different offerings. Using ideas from his AIoT playbook, Dr. Dirk Slama provided a vivid demonstration of the role played by AIoT in delivering straightforward, quick benefits in such settings.

Overall, looking at AIoT allowed the Steinbeis Engineering Day to highlight how in the old days, development departments were much needed, whereas these days just a handful of experts are enough to deliver significant benefit.


Sven Kurrle (author)
Research Assistant
Ferdinand Steinbeis Institute (Heilbronn)