The LIT Factory at the Linz Institute of Technology (LIT) located at the Johannes Kepler University (JKU) in Linz is a networked factory for education, learning and researching smart polymer processing and digitalization.
A call published by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency served as the foundation to create the LIT Factory. The LIT Factory is co-financed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Transport, Innovation and Technology, the JKU, the Upper Austrian government, the city of Linz, and industrial companies as an infrastructure platform to support research collaboration directly at the JKU.
There are several reasons as to why the JKU is an ideal gravitational center to implement technological innovation in the field of polymer technologies. What stands out in particular is the way polymer technologies are anchored between research areas in polymer chemistry, mechatronics and computer science with focus on machine learning as well as the LIT and its focus on Cyber Physical Systems. The University of Linz has interdisciplinary research in its DNA, including social, legal and economic aspects in research. As an open platform, the LIT Factory will explore, develop, demonstrate, and teach the potential of digital transformation.
Upper Austria is unique in that there is no other European region in which the entire value-chain of the plastics industry is represented in such a condensed area. For many years now and in close cooperation with local companies, Upper Austria has become a location that supports the continual expansion polymer technologies and polymer chemistry.
The LIT Factory at the JKU aims to leverage the potential of digitization alongside the value chain of materials ranging from product development and tool-making to production and ecologically recycling plastic. The Linz Institute of Technology follows a visionary and holistic technological approach with a focus on Responsible Technology.
As one of the most versatile materials today, plastic serves as an innovative source in many applied areas of application in which recyclability, resource efficiency and sustainability are important factors. Plastics offer decisive advantages when taking life cycle assessments into consideration.
Polymer processing involves digitalization and digital transformation in order to increase productivity, ensure quality by means of intelligent process models, and develop new products, processes and business models. In the long run, the LIT Factory aims to become an internationally visible flagship for polymer processing and digitization.
25 companies, mainly in Austria and Germany, are involved in creating and growing the LIT Factory. The company partners' broad portfolios cover the entire value-added chain of polymer technologies ranging from materials, product development, mould and tool making, mechanical engineering, plant construction, suppliers of system components and peripheral equipment to producers and users. These include numerous world market leaders in their areas. Many of the business partners have made a commitment to collaborate beyond the LIT Factory's 3-year development phase.