More with less — how do we master the increasing complexity of production systems?
Industry faces major challenges as product lifecycles shorten, product variability increases, and global markets become more volatile. To remain competitive, production facilities and equipment must be adaptable to respond quickly and efficiently to these changes.
A key success factor in achieving these goals is the control and automation infrastructure. New distributed architectures are a possible approach to address these requirements. New interaction and communication patterns as well as new ways of programming automation systems consisting of networked control units are required.
Mastering variability and complexity in cyber-physical production systems also requires new software engineering methods and tools, particularly for variability modeling and product configuration as well as to support maintenance and evolution.
LIT | CPS Lab
Johannes Kepler University Linz
Altenberger Straße 69
LIT Open Innovation Center Ground Floor
+43 732 2468 9494
What were you doing five years ago today? While you may be reminiscing about the answer, let us tell you what was on our agenda in March 2018: founding. At the time, Professor Alois Zoitl was faced with the challenge of setting up the LIT Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) Lab, which was based in Science Park 3: "What excited me about my new job at JKU was the interaction with the students and the scientific freedom. The start at the LIT CPS Lab was, of course, connected with open questions - I didn't have an answer for all of them. So, it was gratifying for me to build a strong team and shape the path together gradually."
About a year later, the LIT CPS Lab already counted four more employees and one professor more: since November 2019, Rick Rabiser has been leading the LIT CPS Lab together with Professor Zoitl. "From the beginning, I wanted to conduct exciting research projects and excellent teaching with a great team. So far, this has worked out excellently," Professor Rabiser sums up his experience. In the meantime, the two professors lead a 20-member team. As a reason of this, the space requirements also increased and the LIT CPS Lab moved to the LIT Open Innovation Center. The coworking space offers room for dynamic collaboration and cross-project exchange. Bianca Wiesmayr, one of the first LIT CPS Lab employees, summarizes the OIC experience: "We were thrilled to move into a new building. The open spaces immediately intensified interaction with other LIT Labs. Especially for our young institute with still few contacts, the environment was very inspiring."
85 publications have already been published by the LIT CPS Lab team. "Assessing the usefulness of a visual programming IDE for large-scale automation software" is one of these publications. The work focuses on an open-source tool, Eclipse 4diac, which is developed at the LIT CPS Lab, among others, and was examined using a usability methodology developed by Professor Rabiser and others. The described usability study illustrates the excellent collaboration between Professor Rabiser and Professor Zoitl.
On 39 occasions, we have delighted an eager audience with one of our lectures and talks. The 40th talk will take place at the end of April at the WFCS 2023 conference in Pavia, Italy. Professor Zoitl will present scientific findings and application-oriented experiences on the topic "We want to! We need to! - Communicating in IEC 61499-based Control Systems."
16 research projects have been and are being conducted in the LIT CPS Lab so far. Lisa Sonnleithner is involved in one of these research projects. In the Christian Doppler Laboratory (CDL) VaSiCS, research is conducted on managing variability in software-intensive cyber-physical production systems. "I appreciate working at the CDL because, on the one hand, we directly cooperate with an industrial partner and thus receive application-oriented feedback for our research results. On the other hand, we also have the freedom to implement our own ideas and goals," Lisa says about her job.
With 40 Scientific Community Services, we actively contributed to the scientific community. We contribute to shaping science with our interdisciplinary expertise through participation in conferences, journals, and funding programs.
We continue to evolve and look forward to the future with excitement. Prankur Agarwal is also looking forward to future tasks: "I embarked on my journey with LIT CPS Lab as a Student Researcher in October 2022, and it has been an incredible experience ever since. Although Eclipse 4diac was new to me, the team's support made navigating the initial learning curve easy and comfortable. Although there's still much to learn, I remain confident, knowing I have a great support system to guide me. Besides my role here, I'm working on my Master's thesis. The seamless workload balance, context switching, and prioritization have allowed me to focus on both endeavors."
Want to be part of this future and join our team or write your scientific thesis at the LIT CPS Lab?
Contact us today at: email@example.com. We are looking forward to hearing from you!
Congratulations to Elene Kutsia and Philipp Bauer (represented at the conference by co-supervisor Lisa Sonnleithner) from the Christian Doppler Lab VaSiCS at the LIT Cyber-Physical Systems Lab for their great bachelor's theses winning the Software Engineering Conference Student Research Competition (places 1 and 2) end of February 2023.
The selection of winners was based on the submission of a two-page summary of the bachelor’s thesis, which was reviewed by a committee of international experts, as well as based on the presentation at the conference (as poster).
More information at: https://www.jku.at/cdl-vasics/
Once a month, the whole team of the CPS Lab meets for a joint meeting. This time we finished the meeting with a cooking session in the kitchen of the JKU library. We enjoyed dishes made by Antonio, Dario, Lisa, Mainak, and Sayyid. The rest of the team supported the cooks with peeling, cutting, and humor. For dessert, we had Faschingskrapfen from Bäckerei Meingast.
In November the Christian Doppler Lab VaSiCS was scientifically evaluated. The evaluation report submitted before described the research results since the start of the laboratory in February 2021 and an outlook on the planned work for the next years.