3 min

New Centre: Industrial Data Lab

St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences Opened New Josef Ressel Center

New Centre: Industrial Data Lab

The St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences opened its Josef Ressel Center for Knowledge-Assisted Visual Analytics for Industrial Manufacturing Data (Industrial Data Lab). The lab will use visual analysis methods to optimise manufacturing processes. The Center is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy (BMAW) and the participating companies.

The new Josef Ressel Center strives to optimise the interface between humans and machines to gain meaningful results from industrial manufacturing and production data more effectively and efficiently. On this basis, manufacturing processes can be improved, optimised and partly automated.

Minister for Labour and Economy Martin Kocher: “When we need skilled workers as badly as we do know, sharing the knowledge of a company’s employees, and further developing and retaining it for the future is key. This is where the enormous potential of knowledge-based visual data analysis comes in – ranging from visual material for trainings and support to employees to new algorithms for automated data analyses. The research to be conducted at this new Josef Ressel Center will create a competitive advantage for the participating companies while strengthening Austria as a location.”

Ministry of Labour and Economy Funds Research in the Industry

“The new Josef Ressel Center will pool our expertise in Visual Analytics and Industry 4.0 and bring substantial advances in this field. I am happy that, together with our partners from the industry, we will start our third Josef Ressel Center so far. With this opening, the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences demonstrates strength in research and good relations to the industry, and highlights the relevance of this field of research to the economy”, says St. Pölten UAS Executive Director Hannes Raffaseder.

The St. Pölten UAS is the coordinator of the new centre. Funding is partly provided by the company partners Greiner Assistec, STIWA Group, Welser Profile and Schmid Schrauben Hainfeld.

Combining Human and Machine Intelligence

“The digitalisation of the manufacturing industry leads to massive amounts of data being collected in all phases of an industrial production process, mostly in connection with a certain timeframe. Most of these data are somehow chronologically connected. By demonstrating how the data samples relate to one another, to the overall process and the final products, we can interpret them in a meaningful way and gain valuable information. This helps us to optimise the entire manufacturing process, for example when it comes to dealing with environmental factors or the maintenance of production machines”, explains Markus Wagner, the head of the new centre.

The difficulty of such an endeavour: human experts might find these enormous volumes of data overwhelming – not least because the data sometimes seems to be contradictory. Computer systems, however, are much better at identifying trends and patterns in such large volumes of data but they lack the specialist knowledge of humans to make meaningful interpretations.

Visualising Data

To improve the collaboration between humans and machines in this context, the Josef Ressel Center will visualise data using the methods of “Visual Analytics“ to gain insights. For this purpose, the team of the centre works on using a theoretical model developed at the St. Pölten UAS for the practice of industrial manufacturing.

Researchers of the St. Pölten UAS created the model in collaboration with partners of the project “KAVA-Time” (Knowledge-Assisted Visual Analytics Methods for Time-Oriented Data). The project sought to extract and formalise explicit expert knowledge to integrate it into a VA system to be used for automatic data analyses and information retrieval of the results.

Simple Use – Minimum Loss of Knowledge

The Josef Ressel Center aims to follow this principle when working with the industry. Particular importance is given to an intuitive user interface with visual interaction possibilities, such as drag and drop gestures, to be used by experts. This helps to make experts aware of their implicit knowledge.

The model should be adapted for various user groups: process technicians, quality managers, mechanical engineers, and sales managers. “Its practical use has great potential for optimising the setting of production machines, sales and operational planning, and error cause identification in the manufacturing industry”, says Wagner. Such systems should also serve to counteract knowledge loss in companies caused by outbound migration or retirement waves. Knowledge that is stored in this context should help train new employees.

Josef Ressel Centers: Research at a High Level

At the Josef Ressel Centre, outstanding researchers cooperate with innovative companies to conduct applied research at a high level. The Christian Doppler Research Association earned an international reputation as a best-practice example for funding this collaboration. Josef Ressel Centers are jointly funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy (BMAW) and the participating companies.

Third Josef Ressel Center at the St. Pölten UAS

The Josef Ressel Center for Knowledge-Assisted Visual Analytics for Industrial Manufacturing Data (Industrial Data Lab) is the third Josef Ressel Center operated by the St. Pölten UAS. It follows the Center for Unified Threat Intelligence on Targeted Attacks (TARGET), which is already completed, and the ongoing Josef Ressel Center for Blockchain-Technologies & Security Management.

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FH-Prof. Dr. Wagner Markus, BSc MSc

FH-Prof. Dr. Markus Wagner, BSc MSc

Lecturer Industry 4.0 Education Coordinator Media and Digital Technologies Course Leader Agricultural Management and Technology Management (MA) Course Leader Agricultural Technology (acad.) Course Leader Certified Professional for UX-Development (certif.) Course Leader Digital Photography and New Visual media (MA) Course Leader Production and Technologymanagement (MA) Course Leader Production Management (acad.) Head of Josef Ressel Center for Knowledge-Assisted Visual Analytics for Industrial Manufacturing Data Member of the UAS Board from 2023 to 2026 Department of Media and Digital Technologies
Mag. Hammer Mark

Mag. Mark Hammer

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