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Industrie 4.0: KUKA and VINCI Energies strike out in new directions

In its new “Digitalschmiede”, VINCI Energies showcases prototypes for Industrie 4.0 solutions from the areas of smart industry, smart energy, the smart building and the smart city. As major strategic partners, KUKA and connyun also present innovative technologies there.

27 April 2018

“Digitalschmiede” opens its doors

The opening ceremony for the digital lab “Digitalschmiede” of VINCI Energies Germany attracted customers, partners and employees alike.

The goal of the new “Digitalschmiede”: to present prototypes from the Industrie 4.0 areas of Smart Industry, Smart Building, Smart Maintenance, Smart Energy and  Smart City.

During a guided tour through the new facilities featuring a number of use cases, the pick-and-place application using the LBR iiwa was not just front and center in terms of the on-site layout. It also grabbed everyone’s attention.

During the opening ceremony, KUKA also introduced itself as a selected strategic partner in the context of the IIoT ecosystem.

Industrie 4.0 processes are visualized

In the KUKA pick-and-place application, the LBR iiwa picks up a box from a predefined location. It places the box at a setdown point and then performs the process the other way round.

For visualization of the application, the KUKA Industrie 4.0 Accelerator Team developed a customer-specific dashboard for VINCI based on a user interface.

With the aid of the connyun IIoT platform, the process data is sent to the cloud and relevant key process indicators are visualized on a dashboard.

The highlight of the guided tour through the new facilities of the “Digitalschmiede” was the KUKA pick-and-place application.

The KUKA pick-and-place application was also exhibited as a central element of the VINCI Energies booth at Hannover Messe. Significant potential is seen in the expansion of robot-based automation along with other areas. System integrator Actemium from the VINCI Energies Group is driving ahead with this.

For KUKA, this provides a real opportunity for advancement into further industries not previously among KUKA’s focus markets. Examples include the chemical industry, mining & materials, oil & gas, steel & metallurgy, paper, etc.


I am convinced that the ‘Digitalschmiede’ will help advance the energy transition and the digital transformation in Germany. Here, experts can jointly flourish in their creativity and feel very much at home. This applies to everyone from engineers and programmers to digital consultants. The opening and KUKA’s part in it showed me that we have great opportunities in the partnership for robot automation and IIoT – and that we are very well situated.

Dr. Reinhard Schlemmer, Deputy Managing Director of VINCI Energies Europe

Hackathon – Human beyond digital hack

The opening ceremony was followed by the second hackathon this year with KUKA participating. It was organized by VINCI Energies France. Sixty VINCI Energies employees and participants from external start-ups qualified in a total of twelve teams for three different challenges.

The winners received not only a monetary prize, but also professional consulting and support services from the VINCI Energies Innovation Team. This will enable them to develop their prototypes further to market readiness.

KUKA Industrie 4.0 Team participation

During the hackathon, various partners conducted IIoT workshops. Here, products and solutions were presented. As part of this, the KUKA Industrie 4.0 Accelerator Team, too, presented KUKA Smart Production and KUKA Connect.

connyun showcased IIoT platform features and provided a preview of optimizer solutions: Machine Manager, Station Manager, Line Manager and Asset Manager. They have been launched during this year’s Hannover Messe.