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Project SME Digital

Under the name ”Smart Sensor Systems Model Factory“ we are supporting enterprises in their gradual adoption of Industry 4.0 technology.


Since October 2016, IMMS has had a support role in the gradual introduction of Industry 4.0 technology to industrial companies in the region. To meet the growing demand for customer-specific products and services and so to remain competitive, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are having to optimise their processes and join forces. For this reason, the Ilmenau Mittelstand 4.0 centre of excellence has been set up to support to SMEs as they begin to apply the digitisation and other technologies needed in Industry 4.0. The electronic solutions are to be the means of bringing flexibility and optimum methodology into every process in the added-value chain and every stage of business through from the drawing board to manufacture in commercially-linked networks.

The Ilmenau SME Digital Centre Ilmenau

The German federal ministry for industry (BMWi) has funded the digital centre with Technische Universität Ilmenau at its head so that four partners, called Fabs, can offer relevant information and innovative approaches which are then put to the test. The Fabs, or ”Modellfabriken (model factories)“ bridge a number of fields, which include the networking of machines and production processes, virtualisation, 3D printing and individualised production, the generating of process data and data transfer, and smart sensor systems.

The IMMS contribution as the ”Smart Sensor Systems Model Factory“

IMMS, now also known as the ”Smart Sensor Systems Model Factory“, is supporting other enterprises in their gradual adoption of the technology applicable in Industry 4.0. An example of what this means is refitting machinery and equipment with wireless and networked sensors so that data can be obtained and processed to underpin new diagnostic, maintenance and service plans. Using universal electronics platforms for components that are Industry 4.0 compatible, together with open-source software, is an effective means of achieving rapid, reasonably priced, real-time innovation.

All SME Digital events of IMMS

AI trainer at IMMS

Since May 2020, AI trainers from SME Digital have been supporting the planning and design of concrete AI implementation measures and strategies, imparting knowledge on methods of artificial intelligence and machine learning in digitisation and helping with their introduction, implementation and expansion. AI trainer Wolfram Kattanek of the ”Smart Sensor Systems Model Factory“ at IMMS offers support in the following areas:

  • intelligent sensor and measurement systems
  • sensor-based AI-based signal processing
  • Machine condition monitoring and predictive maintenance
  • Knowledge transfer from research to SMEs
  • practical demonstration and implementation projects with AI

Acronym / Name:

SME Digital /

Duration:2016 – 2024

Project website:„Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Ilmenau“ (in German)


Automation technology and Industry 4.0|Automotive| Energy and energy storage| Mechanical engineering| Plastics| Ceramics| Optics/optoelectronics| Micro-/nanotechnology

Research field:Smart distributed measurement and test systems

Related content

All publicationsSME Digital


Digitalisierung im Mittelstand 2023

Thementage Digitalisierung im Mittelstand 2023 | Teil 4: Sensorik/ Smarte Sensorsysteme


elmug4future 2023

Technology Conference „Sensor systems of the future - from measured value to information“


AI Spring 2023

AI in production - sensors, data, applications



Technology Conference “Energy Supply – Complex Growth Market in Transition”

Press release,

Gemeinsam durch die Krise: Thüringer Netzwerke starten branchenübergreifende Initiative

Informationen, Förder- und Unterstützungsmöglichkeiten für KMU in Thüringen

Press release,

Reinhard Bütikofer zu Besuch im „Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Ilmenau“

Lösungen zur Vernetzung und zu Energie- und Ressourceneffizienz an TU Ilmenau und IMMS vorgestellt

Press release,

Ramelow besucht „Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Ilmenau“ am IMMS alias „Modellfabrik Migration“

Sommertour durch Digitalisierungsthemen – dritte Woche #ZukunftThüringen startet am IMMS

Press release,

Bundestagsabgeordneter Tankred Schipanski zu Besuch am IMMS

Am 12. Juli 2018 besuchte der für den Landkreis Gotha und den Ilm-Kreis gewählte Bundestagsabgeordnete Tankred Schipanski das IMMS. Zur Pressemitteilung auf



Dr.-Ing. Frank Spiller

”Smart Sensor Systems Model Factory“ in the ”SME Digital Centre Ilmenau“

frank.spiller(at) (0) 3677 874 93 61

Dr. Frank Spiller assists you with SME Digital topics as well as with the research and development of application-specific automation systems for industry:

  • Retrofittable sensors for innovative diagnostics, maintenance and service concepts
  • Universal electronic platforms for Industry-4.0-compliant components
  • Open source software and AI-based data processing for industrial applications

Implementation projects

Indoor swimming pool

Remote readout technology for an automated water disinfection system with UV sensors


IMMS contributes to automated monitoring of cooling lubricants: Sensor installation as proof of concept for determining coolant-relevant data.


IMMS has developed an AI-based, retrofittable and cost-effective solution for quality assurance of machining tools.

The work of IMMS as ”Smart Sensor Systems Model Factory“ is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) in the ”SME Digital Centre Ilmenau“ under the reference 01MF21008C and continues the activities from the ”Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Ilmenau“.

The ”Mittelstand 4.0-Kompetenzzentrum Ilmenau“ (centre of excellence in Ilmenau serving SMEs) was part of the funding initiative „SME 4.0 – Digital Production and Work Processes“ which was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) within the funding programme „Digitising SMEs – Strategies towards digital Transformation of Business Processes“. IMMS was funded under the reference 01MF16005C.

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