First smart factory demonstration centre opens in Slovenia

The Faculty of Mechanical Engineering in Ljubljana has launched Slovenia’s first smart factory demonstration centre, aiming to promote research of various Industry 4.0 technologies.

“Before leaving the university, a student should know smart factory concepts and try out these technologies themselves,” said professor Niko Herakovič, the man behind the idea for the centre.

The facility has been established as part of the GOSTOP smart specialisation programme, which aims to develop new technologies for swift digitalisation of Slovenian industry.

‘Taking into account Industry 4.0 predictions, we’ve gone a step further by setting up a manual work post where one could demonstrate various smart factory technologies, including virtual and augmented reality,” Mr Herakovič added.

The centre has been designed to show the industrial sector how to develop smart factory concepts and use them to ease and accelerate digital transformation. It currently employs 11 people, with its value estimated at 500,000 euros.

“We must be aware that organised manufacturing processes will be based on cybernetics, artificial intelligence and other key technologies of Industry 4.0. With the development and establishment of the centre, we opened the door to the industry so that representatives of companies can see how individual processes actually work, and then together we can find a solution on how digitalisation can be transferred to each environment and adapted to each need,” Professor Herakovič concluded.