The Goal

More than a Smart Factory - an open industry 4.0 Ecosystem for SMEs

Together with over 30 innovative machine manufacturers & software partners, a prime example of an open, cross-manufacturer industry 4.0 ecosystem is emerging. A network free for integration of all machine manufacturers, software companies, platforms and infrastructures. Built on the latest open source technology, a robust, scalable platform providing the foundation for new digital business models and easy implementation of future technologies such as 5G, Smart Contract, KI, Machine Learning and Blockchain for M2M transactions.

In short - an open, high-performance networking solution with which any
production can be networked and securely connected to a global ecosystem

The goal of our project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs is based on 3 subgoals

01/ Connectivity

Transform manufacturing into an intelligent Smart Factory in which all assets are networked across production sites and communicate with each other in a standardized manner.

02/ Intelligence

Transformation of operational data into information and target-oriented use for applications and software infrastructures such as ERP, MES, e-commerce, which can modular dock onto the Smart Factory.

03/ Ecosystem

With all project participants developing new use cases pragmatically and cooperatively, transform them into corresponding business models, in order to subsequently transfer results reproducibly into your product portfolio.

A cooperative development project of the Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V.

The Story

Behind the project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs

The production sites of the Swiss steel trader stürmsfs ag from Goldach am Bodensee (CH) represent the quality of its innovative European production very well. Machines and plants of different manufacturers, with different control systems – old as well as new – are coordinated to work together during several shifts.

Being an innovative company in the metalworking sector, on-time delivery, quality, and customer satisfaction has top priority. Through the intelligent networking of our productions, we expect not only complete transparency but also an additional boost of these three quality features. I am also convinced that this will give us the platform we need to be able to offer our customers new digital services for all aspects of steel cutting.

Marcel Meier

(Business Development & Member of the Executive Board stürmsfs AG)

It is also the awareness that the manufacturing industry will change radically as a result of digitization and that the step towards the Smart Factory must now be taken if one wants to continue to be the spearhead, unites the management of stürmsfs ag with that of many European medium-sized companies.

Fa. stürmsfs ag in pictures & numbers:

> 0
tons of steel p.a.
Years of tradition
> 0
machine manufacturers
Assets to be networked

"But precisely this heterogeneous machine landscape makes
digital transformation a major challenge for many companies."

The Challenge

"How do I approach this process?" - and above all - "Which solution do I bet on?"

Most go the way of a customized, proprietary Smart Factory by a system integrator. The goal is often achieved – only at what cost and how open is it to other ecosystems? In short, is it the best bet to rely on for this strategic decision?

Which requirements had to be considered for the project Smart Factory @ stürmsfs?

Heterogeneous machine landscape of more than 30 manufacturers must cooperate intelligently with each other.

Openness in the connection of all machine manufacturers, software companies, platforms, infrastructures & ecosystems

Robust platform as basis for applications and new digital business models

Highest possible Safety & Security of the entire Smart Factory according to Industry 4.0

Scalable solution that enables flexible growth according to the needs of the factory operator

Preparation for easy implementation of future technologies such as 5G, Smart Contracts, AI, Machine Learning and Distributed Ledger for Transactions

A smart factory that is completely independent of a cloud or platform vendor and does not lead to vendor lock-in

“The task of smart networking for SMEs is a challenge of such complexity that it can no longer be realized through a proprietary monopolistic approach – if we want to successfully master this step, we can only achieve this through targeted cooperation and networking between manufacturers, ecosystems, and users.”

Dr.-Ing. Konstantin Kernschmidt

(Project Manager Industry Business Network 4.0)

The Method

Cooperative, agile development and creation of immediately tangible added value

We operate in two parallel lines of action – while factory operators and machine manufacturers prepare everything concerning use cases & assets, the software development team is already working on setting up the first executable system.

Ideation, specification, onboarding of all project participants and joint kick-off

The project participants are divided into two circles, which work on hardware and software in parallel.

Development of industry 4.0 use cases and transformation into corresponding business models. Subsequent evaluation of any necessary retrofits to the respective plants.

Software development team is working on the development of the first executable system. Deployment of the pre-alpha at stürmsfs at the end of 2019 as the first digital image of the Smart Factory.

Preparation of equipment by manufacturers in terms of semantics and interoperability. If necessary, retrofitting of hardware and creation of standardized, manufacturer-independent interoperability via Semantic Manager.

Fastest possible release of APIs and SDKs to enable developers to create applications and services for the Smart Factory.

Continuous, iterative integration of further features on the basis of the roadmap

Ongoing goal: to transfer developed standardized and reproducible into the product portfolios of the project participants.

Do you find this approach exciting and would you like to participate?

Become a member of the Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V. and participate in other interesting projects.

The Technology

An Open-Source solution for the digital transformation of medium-sized businesses

IndustryFusion is an initiative of the Industry Business Network 4.0 e.V.  whose goal is to provide a fully-fledged Industry 4.0 networking solution that can network and manage any asset in any manufacturing environment.


By linking assets on a semantic level, IndustryFusion creates true cross-vendor interoperability – regardless of their communication protocols. The deployment options are intentionally kept flexible, allowing IndustryFusion to run on an edge server, any cloud, or in a hybrid environment. Besides flexible deployment, IndustryFusion also serves the highest industrial standards of IT security & reliability.

Intelligente Smart Factory Vernetzungslösung via IndustryFusion am iPad

The democratisation of industry 4.0

IndustryFusion is the first multi-vendor open-source networking solution for smart factories that creates an interoperable link between machine, factory and cloud platform. The simplicity of implementation is a central component of the solution and enables SMEs in particular to take advantage of a broad industry 4.0 ecosystem.

Connects and manages any number of assets from multiple vendors

Connects assets on the shop floor level to existing IT infrastructure (ERP, MES, CRM)

Provides a secure and resilient Smart Factory platform to generate valuable insight and revenue from the data it collects

Manages and maintains the entire fleet of assets in the field

Connects field assets to existing IT infrastructure (ERP, MES, CRM)

Offers a secure and robust smart product platform for building new digital business models for nearly any industrial asset

Generates true cross-vendor interoperability between assets

IndustryFusion is freely scalable and offers maximum deployment flexibility

IndustryFusion is suitable for both greenfield and brownfield applications

Customized IT security in accordance with Industry 4.0 specifications

Join in and use IndustryFusion for your digitisation strategy!

Development Roadmap

What steps are planned?

Die IndustryFusion Development Roadmap


Pre-Alpha & digital image of the factory

Q4 - 2019

Deployment of a first pre-alpha of IndustryFusion with digital image of the production.

Structure & topology of production

Basic Features

Implementation of first Safety & Security Architecture

Präsentation Zwischenstand auf Community Event 2019

Q4 - 2019

The current state of development will be presented on 28 November 2019 to project participants, supporters and an interested specialist audience.

Presentation End of 2019

Extension of Mission & Prospect of the Project


Der schematische Aufbau einer vernetzten Fertigung mittels IndustryFusion - beinhaltet die Anlagen-, Fabrik- und Ökosystemebene

More features & APIs

Q2 - 2020

By providing APIs & SDKs, software developers and machine builders get the tools they need to dock their applications & services on the Smart Factory.

Visualization of operating data

API and SDK deployment

Presentation of interim results at HMI 2020

Q2 - 2020

Presentation of the intermediate stand at the Hannover Industrial Fair 2020.

Continuous integration of features

Q3 - 2020

Event-based notification system

Data analysis and reporting of cumulative data

Integration of first ecosystem applications & services

Deployment of an industrial beta version

Q4 - 2020

Integration of first ecosystem applications & services

Presentation at EuroBLECH 2020

Q4 - 2020

The development status of the project will be presented to a wide audience at the EuroBLECH 2020 trade fair in Hanover. At the same time, interoperable networking with IndustryFusion will be demonstrated live in action across several exhibition stands.


Project completion on HMI 2021

Q2 - 2021

Presentation of the intermediate stand at the Hannover Industrial Fair 2021

Integration of future technologies

Distributed Ledger for Documentation & M2M Transactions

Smart Contracts

KI e.g. Machine Learning applications & complex data analysis

5G wireless standard for wireless connection of assets

“We live in a time in which almost all challenges can be solved technologically. On the one hand we have the European Machinery & Plant Engineering industry, which sets global standards with its high-tech products, and on the other hand, the world of IT, which provides us with many high-performance, field-tested open source software frameworks. Let’s now bring both worlds together and pave the way for the digital future of small and medium-sized businesses”

Matt Mikulina


Closing Remarks

Cooperative, agile development and creation of immediately tangible added value

After the conceptual part, we are now officially starting the second phase – the pragmatic implementation of an interoperable, open Smart Factory in a real manufacturing environment. What was prototypically developed as the first prototype and presented at the EuroBLECH 2018 trade fair is now being implemented in the context of the Smart Factory @ stürmsfs ag project on running systems and real use cases in the productive operation of the innovative Swiss company. Based on the latest open-source technology, we are creating an open and manufacturer-independent industry 4.0 ecosystem, which in the future will form a pragmatically implementable, cost-efficient solution for networking European SMEs.

Let's get started together, further develop in practice and incorporate the results into our series products.

Let us start together into the digital future of small and medium-sized enterprises!

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Intelligente Smart Factory Vernetzungslösung via IndustryFusion am iPad