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Interview with Erwin Rauch

by | Jul 5, 2021 | Interviews,

Erwin Rauch

Erwin Rauch

Assistant Professor at Free University of Bolzano

Key Topics:Industry 4.0, Smart Manufacturing, Human-centred Manufacturing
I am an Assistant Professor at the Free University of Bolzano and the Head of the Smart Mini Factory Lab for Industry 4.0. I have a B.Sc. degree from Free University of Bolzano, a MSc. and an MBA from Technical University of Munich and a PhD from University of Stuttgart in Germany. I have published more than 150 scientific contributions and I am the author with most publications on Industry 4.0 in Scopus. Further I am an expert/member of various associations and organisations (EuroScience, Expert World Manufacturing Forum, European Professors in Industrial Engineering and Management, International Association of Learning Factories).
Erwin recently featured on Onalytica's Who's Who in Industry 4.0 report.

How did you get to become an expert in your key topics?

In the past I used to work a lot with Lean Production and Agile Manufacturing. Due to the proximity to the German-speaking area, I came into contact with Industry 4.0 very early and built up a learning factory laboratory in Italy with almost all common Industry 4.0 technologies. In the following years I specialised in the introduction of Industry 4.0 in small and medium sized enterprises.

What sub-topics are you most passionate about?

In addition to economic aspects, I always like to put people at the centre of my research. This means pursuing goals of social sustainability in addition to goals such as increasing efficiency and performance. This means designing human-centred manufacturing systems. This can include many facets. For example, how can I support an employee with a cobot or how can people with disabilities be better included through digital assistance systems. At the same time, I am increasingly concerned with digitalisation in production, the use of data and tools such as artificial intelligence to maximise the potential of this data.

Who influences you within these topics?

There is no special person that influences me, but the need to initiate changes in manufacturing that finally affect also our society in a very positive way by taking advantage of innovative technology for increasing the wellbeing of the human in society.

What challenges are brands facing in this space?

In the field of smart manufacturing, most brands face the challenge of standardisation when it comes to networking and interoperability of systems. In addition, a major challenge lies in the ethically correct application of AI in production.

What do you think the future holds in this space?

The future will be interesting and stimulating. Machines and robots will gain in sensing capabilities and thus will be able to support us much more than nowadays. Further technology will change more rapidly than in the past creating a very dynamic environment.

What brands are leading the way in this space?

Actually there are several leading brands in the field of smart manufacturing. Some of the big players are of course companies like Bosch, Siemens, Kuka, Universal Robots or Omron.

If a brand wanted to work with you, which activities would you be most interested in collaborating on?

I am open to all kind of collaboration related to my areas of interest. Regarding the formats this could be based on, webinars, speaking opportunities, research and innovation projects and interviews.

What are your passions outside of work?

Outside of work my passion goes for old classic cars, hike in the mountains and of course to spend time with my wife and my two sons.

What would be the best way for a brand to contact you?

Via email or LinkedIn.

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