Synus - Methods and Tools for the synergetic conception and evaluation of Industry 4.0-solutions

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Potentials and Challenges

The digitalisation of the entire value chain is associated with considerable productivity increases and economic potential for Germany as an industrial location across all industries. The basis of all industry 4.0 solutions (I4.0 solutions) is the collection, processing and provision of information for the real-time networking of humans, machines, objects and ICT systems. The range of available I4.0 solutions addresses different functional and corporate areas. The distribution, analysis and target-oriented use of information results in a variety of potentials for improved planning and control of processes and products along the entire value chain. Despite the promising potential, companies have so far been reluctant to digitalise their own business processes and production. This reluctance is mainly due to the following obstacles in the introduction of I4.0 solutions:

  • Lack of knowledge of available I4.0 solutions and the functional and corporate areas addressed by them (e.g. product development, production planning, and production) as well as the potentials associated with their use.
  • Often high initial investments and unknown follow-up costs, e.g. for operation or qualification of employees
  • Difficulty of predicting positive and negative consequences resulting from the introduction of a specific I4.0 solution for the own company

There is a lack of a sound knowledge base and methodology to be able to comprehensively and objectively secure investments in I4.0 solutions for the digitalisation of one’s own business processes. It is hardly possible for companies to assess which functional and corporate areas can be meaningfully supported by digitalisation. The target-oriented selection and implementation of I4.0 solutions under consideration of the specific requirements and boundary conditions of companies are only insufficiently supported yet. In particular, the costs for company-specific adaptation or operation (maintenance, energy, etc.), which exceed the pure acquisition costs, are often not taken into account, which calls into question the advantages of the I4.0 solution in the long term. In addition, previous assessments of the potential of I4.0 solutions have focused primarily on production. Potentials and requirements resulting from the introduction of I4.0 solutions for other business areas, such as product development, are usually completely ignored.


The objective of the Synus innovation network is to depict the information, material and energy flows changed by I4.0 solutions within companies across divisions and domains. By an integrated modelling and simulation of the different flows, the potentials of I4.0 solutions are to be evaluated under consideration of the existing infrastructure as well as qualitative criteria, e.g. flexibility of the product development. With the help of cross-departmental modelling and evaluation, potentials but also obstacles to operational implementation that have not yet been considered, are to be identified and investment decisions secured.

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System image of the project

Contact Person

M.Sc. Niels Martin

Phone: +49/531/391-7693
E-Mail: n.martin@tu-braunschweig.de

M.Sc. Bastian Thiede

M.Sc. Bastian Thiede

Phone: +49/531/391-7153
E-Mail: b.thiede@tu-braunschweig.de

Project Profile

Sponsoring             Project Owner


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Project duration: 36 months, start 10/2017
Project homepage: in progress
Project partners: Composite partners of 5 College Institutes and 14 Cooperation partners

Technical University of Braunschweig

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  • Institute of Machine Tools and Production Technology | Sustainable Manufacturing & Life Cycle Engineering
  • Institute of Automotive Management and Industrial Production
  • Institute for Engineering Design

Technical University of Clausthal

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  • Department of Informatics | Division for Software Systems Engineering

Ostfalia |University of applied sciences

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  • Institute for Measurement and Automation Technology | Division for Control Systems Engineering & Automotive Mechatronicsiwf/pul/forschung/projekte/synus

  last changed 28.10.2019
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