“Process Industry United in the Digital World”

The current landscape of research for the digitalization of the process industry

Authors: Sönke Bröcker, Ralph-Harry Klaer, Norbert Kockmann and Michael Maiwald with the participation of the members of TAK 100% Digital"

Preliminary remark: This overview is a "living document". Further initiatives, publications and research activities on the digitalisation of the process industry will be added continuously.

The Tutzing Symposium "100 % digital: survival strategies for the process industry" (see 4.1) in April 2018 was characterized by a great momentum which has been taken up and continued until today. The aim was to implement the ideas from the Tutzing Symposium in a coordinated and targeted manner. For this purpose, development needs as well as the numerous currently planned or already started research and development activities in the context of digitalisation were first compiled and analysed. This resulted in the current research landscape for digitalization in the process industry. It now enables to identify open topics and to translate them into research funding programs as well as to define new projects in the dialogue between users, suppliers and research, which are to be meaningfully interlinked and consolidated with existing projects.

Due to the strong interest in digitalisation, activities are constantly being added, so that this paper can only provide a snapshot of the situation in the period 2019-2020. The motivation of the initiative is

  • Increase of the operational safety by supporting the process control with digital techniques. The long-term goal is safe, autonomous operation.
  • Establishment of a highly flexible production with adaptation to changing product and delivery requirements with short set-up times and trained employees
  • Better use of existing facilities through more extensive use of information from other facilities - method transfer.
  • Development and construction of efficient, flexible and modern ("smart") new plants with high energy and material yields.
  • Shorter product and process development times through data utilization with the new methods of digitalization to support trained employees.
  • Creation of comprehensive standards for information transfer in the digital future.
  • Shaping the process of change in the world of work and working processes by providing information and education and training new skills

The aim of the initiative is to increase the competitiveness of the process industry.

Next page


  1. Introduction
  2. The concept of digitalisation in the process industry
  3. Accompanying the digitalisation of the process industry and designing potential infrastructural R&D focal points
  4. Current associations and working groups shaping the digitization of the process industry
  5. Important events to shape the digitalization of the process industry
  6. References
Become a member