Currently Funded Project

Industry 4.0 for Ceramic Production (Ind4Ker)


Future ceramic production according to Industry 4.0 standard
© Fraunhofer Center HTL
Schematic representation of the central building blocks of future ceramic production according to Industry 4.0 standard

Ceramic production is extremely important for numerous technical products. However, it is at the beginning of the production chain and is under strong price pressure internationally. It also suffers from a shortage of labor. Automation and digitalization according to Industry 4.0 standards would significantly increase the future viability of the European ceramics industry, but are currently difficult to implement in the small-scale manufacturing processes, so that a significant gap has developed compared to other industries.


Levels of automation technology
© Fraunhofer Center HTL
Tabular overview of the levels of automation technology

This project therefore aims to develop methods that enable the efficient introduction of Industry 4.0 methods in the ceramics industry. The performance of these methods will be demonstrated up to the level of a process control system (Level 2) on an existing production line for ceramic fibers at the HTL. Industry 4.0 methods for product tracking and predictive maintenance are also to be implemented and tested there. In utilization projects based on Ind4Ker, these methods will then be transferred to other ceramic companies and expanded to include methods at the level of the resource planning system (Level 3).


Digitized image of the fiber pilot plant at the HTL in Bayreuth
© Fraunhofer Center HTL
Digitized image of the fiber pilot plant at the Fraunhofer Center for High Temperature Materials and Design HTL in Bayreuth

Using the example of the non-oxide production line of the HTL fiber pilot plant, methods are to be developed and demonstrated with which the effort required for the introduction of Industry 4.0 in ceramic production can be drastically reduced.

The tasks are divided into four work packages:

  • Establishment of holistic data acquisition
  • Development of data utilization and consolidation
  • Optimization of comprehensive networking and communication
  • Development of product tracking and predictive maintenance

Project Data

Project Duration 1.11.2023 - 31.10.2025
Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy
Funding Amount   600.000 Euro
Project Management   PD Dr. Gerhard Seifert / Rainer Richter