AI Marketplace and AI Living Lab celebrate successful datathon premiere

“Turning data into gold” – that was the credo of the Industrial Datathon , jointly organized by the AI Marketplace and the AI Living Lab. Around 30 heads of dedicated hackers, data analysts and data scientists from universities, research institutions, companies and start-ups raced last week to solve real challenges from industry. The win – an implementation project in the AI Real Lab – came as a surprise to the winning team.

“The win was totally unexpected for us. We all only recently got into the topic of Data Science and wanted to gain application experience through the Datathon. Of course, it’s great that we were so successful right away,” says Henrik Folz, dual student of Data Science at Phoenix Contact. Together with his teammates, all of whom are also dual students at Phoenix Contact, he can now implement a project with the AI real lab.

Challenge from local SME düspohl Maschinenbau

But the event was also a complete success for the datathon’s challenge provider, düspohl Maschinenbau: “For düspohl, this datathon was a special opportunity to receive valuable input for possible solutions to master today’s challenges with the help of production data,” says Uwe Wagner, Managing Director of düspohl Maschinenbau. At its site in Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, the company manufactures profile wrapping and laminating systems for international customers in the wood and plastics industries. In the industry, düspohl is known for its innovative solutions and pioneering work in automating the process. In the challenge set by düspohl, a profile wrapping machine was to be enabled by means of AI to configure itself for unknown products. The actual task in the Challenge was to cluster various known profiles in such a way that düspohl’s production line would be able to adapt its configuration for unknown products as well.

“A thoroughly exciting challenge,” notes Steven Koppert, research associate at the Fraunhofer Institute for Mechatronics Design IEM, who supervised the Challenge from the scientific side. Both technical expertise and creativity were needed to solve the task – skills that all the teams demonstrated. “The teams’ approaches to solving the problem were actually very interesting for us to follow. We will certainly take away helpful approaches from this for our project work in the AI Marketplace,” Koppert sums up. In the AI Marketplace, düspohl and Fraunhofer IEM are working on an AI algorithm that optimizes the setup process of the “RoboWrap”, a fully automated profile wrapping system.

The winning team of the datathon now has exciting months ahead of them. Together, they can now design a 10,000 euro implementation project at SmartFactoryOWL as part of the AI Living Lab. An exciting challenge for Henrik Folz from the winning team: “I’m looking forward to solving real challenges from industry and thus gaining further practical experience.”

AI initiatives for the OWL region

The AI Marketplace and the AI Living Lab are two strategic initiatives of the Leading-Edge Cluster it’s OWL. Both projects are driven by the topic of artificial intelligence, but pursue different thrusts: The AI Marketplace is about tapping the potential of AI in the area of product creation. The AI Living Lab focuses on downstream processes of product creation such as production, operation or service. This results in numerous synergies: for example, recommendations from potential analyses of the AI Marketplace can be transferred by companies into implementation projects in the AI Living Lab. At the same time, real data from the AI Living Lab can be fed back to the AI Marketplace platform.

“We see great added value for the economy in OWL in these two initiatives,” says Günter Korder, Managing Director of it’s OWL. “The offerings and services of AI Marketplace as well as the AI Living Lab cover the entire value chain and thus offer companies a wide range of services for the digitalization of their value creation. The is a building block in this.”

The Datathon was also supported by the AICommunityOWL, which has held AI Challenge Days several times in the past year and organizes and supports AI-related activities in OWL. The AI Living Lab and the AI Marketplace are funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs.

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