Manufacturing companies see far-reaching opportunities in digitalization. However, they are confronted with the specific question of what added value the expansion of existing machines and plants with new technologies promises in order to exploit their innovation potential. It is important to increase the flexibility and adaptability of existing machines and systems with regard to products to be manufactured and digital business models. The large number and complexity of available technologies, the lack of necessary competence development and design aids for human-technology interaction, and difficulties in estimating the economic viability of sensor-based applications often lead small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in particular to postpone the urgent upgrading of their machines and plants.
The objective of the ConSensE research project is therefore to reduce the complexity of plant development and extension in the area of available sensor technology and the associated technical diversity. This goal will be achieved by developing an assistance system that supports users (such as plant operators and manufacturers as well as sensor manufacturers) in the selection and integration of suitable sensors for existing and new production plants, reduces set-up times and lays the foundation for the development of digital services and business models. Above all, SMEs are supported by the assistance system in the selection of sensors for the retrofitting of existing production systems and are shown possible potential for new business models and services at an early stage. The configurator is intended to enable users of the production systems to identify user-centric requirements that go beyond mere functional fulfillment as early as the planning phase. Furthermore, other stakeholders such as plant or sensor developers can use the tool to develop and offer data-driven services as a complement to their hardware product.