OptiPro 4.0: Optimisation of Production Processes – Industry 4.0 in the Bavarian-Czech border area

The Faculty of Management of the University of Economics in Prague is the project partner of the OptiPro 4.0: Optimisation of production processes – Industry 4.0 in the Bavarian-Czech border area, number 91, which is co-financed by the Czech Republic – Free State Bavaria Goal EÚS 2014-2020.

The Bavarian-Bohemian borderland is one of the most important production regions in Europe. Many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) form the backbone of the regional economic structure and are considered to be flexible suppliers to a wide range of industries.

The SMEs are increasingly coming under competitive pressure and their margins are declining.

Many of these enterprises target specific customers and are almost invisible outside of their industry, thus making it more difficult for them to acquire new customers or cooperation partners.

In addition, there are other challenges (keywords: “Industry 4.0″ or “Digitalised Production”) that are being poorly utilized by the SMEs although these challenges reduce the potential risks of the manufacturing world and the world of change. The Chairman of the Board of Zollner Elektronik AG predicts that: “Those who will fall asleep and miss out on Industry 4.0 may not have any business at all in two years time”.

The regional universities possess enough information and available experience although the SMEs often lack the correct contacts they could utilise. However, this works in both directions. The equipment at the universities and the recommended processes and algorithms are not immediately utilised, and even the research results need to be promptly exchanged in order to refine and develop the tools so they can be adapted to the needs of the manufacturing SMEs.

As a result, the potential on both sides is not developed further. The outcome of this for the SMEs is that they will never know how they can improve their revenue using simple means or how to correlate operating data and consumption data in order to identify where their energy goes to waste.

These complex issues are addressed by the OptiPro project via different, but still connected, axes. The aim is to involve as many SMEs as possible and to motivate them toward cooperation. According to our experience, the SMEs that are ready to open up completely and allow the project team to take a proper look at their company processes will benefit the most, particularly if the pilot testing of newly developed tools will take place in these companies.

In particular, the project deals with two main axes:

  • Transfer of technologies and Know-How. SMEs should be able to identify and remedy (self-help) weak spots in their production.
  • Creating and enhancing cross-border meetings within the field, sharing network experience and balancing capacities. The situation on both sides of the border is comparable. This is why we want to show them our perspective of how they can increase their market presence and how they can move ahead faster and more efficiently together.

Lead partner

Cluster Mechatronik & Automation Management gGmbH (CMAB)

Project partners

University of Economics, Prague, Faculty of Management
Západočeská univerzita v Plzni, Fakulta strojní, Fakulta aplikovaných věd, NTIS – Nové technologie pro informační společnost – výzkumné Centrum RTI (Regional Technological Institute)
THD – Technische Hochschule Deggendorf, Technologiecampus Grafenau Fakultät Maschinenbau und Mechatronik
Universität Bayreuth, Lehrstuhl für Umweltgerechte Produktionstechnik (LUP)

OptiPro 4.0: Optimisation of Production Processes – Industry 4.0 in the Bavarian-Czech border area