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Last week, a regular meeting focused on the strategic topics of digitalisation in ŠKODA AUTO Production and Logistics took place at the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics and Cybernetics at the Czech Technical University in Prague (CIIRC CTU). On this occasion, members of the ŠKODA AUTO Board of Directors, Dr. Michael Oeljeklaus and Christian Schenk, together with forty experts from the fields of production and logistics, quality management, finance and IT, were introduced to selected projects that are currently underway at the CIIRC CTU and are related to the automotive industry. During a two-hour tour of the Testbed for Industry 4.0, the scientific teams presented them with concrete research results using the latest technologies available at the RICAIP Centre of Excellence.

The researchers presented ten illustrative experiments to ŠKODA AUTO representatives. The range of individual demonstrations was very diverse - from a mobile app for worker training, to robotic 3D printing and mobile robot collaboration in logistics using a 5G network, to hybrid manufacturing combining additive manufacturing with machining. Direct applications in the automotive industry include a system currently under development for reusing batteries from electric vehicles without dismantling them into their base material. Thanks to automated operations with minimal human involvement, car batteries can be revived to find new applications despite their lower power capacity.

KODA AUTO has been a long-standing and valuable industrial partner of our institute and a technological driver, which it demonstrates both through its involvement in research projects with us and its support for platforms such as the National Centre for Industry 4.0," says Prof. Vladimír Mařík, Scientific Director of the CIIRC CTU, and adds, "It is important for us that today we were able to show our colleagues from ŠKODA AUTO the new solutions that our teams are currently working on, and to present new topics and opportunities for further cooperation."

CIIRC CTU researchers are currently working on projects that deal with, for example, a comprehensive system for ensuring error-free production (Zero-error Production). This requires automated quality monitoring, but also an understanding of the causality of data collected from processes, machines and products. The future of manufacturing and the challenge is also the work of hybrid teams composed of humans and robots as AI partners.

 "We are delighted that ŠKODA AUTO Production and Logistics is a founding and key partner of Testbed for Industry 4.0. The long-term development of the laboratory, including the operation of the National Centre for Industry 4.0, demonstrates the high professionalism of the CIIRC CTU team. In conjunction with our experts, we have a unique space here to support R&D, innovation and the digital competence of our employees," says Jiří Drbout, Head of Brand Planning for ŠKODA AUTO's Production and Logistics area, and emphasises, "Cooperation with CIIRC CTU and Testbed for Industry 4.0 is crucial for us. Thanks to this, we are already shaping the future of industrial production together, supporting the digital transformation at ŠKODA AUTO."

This is the first time that researchers and ŠKODA AUTO executives have met in this form since the completion of the Industry 4.0 Testbed. In the spring of this year, this experimental laboratory was equipped with cutting-edge technologies worth over CZK 350 million thanks to the involvement of the CIIRC ČVUT in the Czech-German RICAIP Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. ŠKODA AUTO is actively using the laboratory to support collaborative and custom research, innovation and the development of employees' digital competencies.





Contact person: 
Ing. Mgr. Eva Doležalová