StationConnector is ready for the market


Source: Fraunhofer IPA/Foto: Rainer Bez

StationConnector is ready for the market

Data are the currency of the future. But how does a company derive countless data from its machines in order to modernize production? Innovative software helps. It reads out the data needed and makes it available for any application. Its advantage is: It is particularly flexible and user-friendly.

Reading time approx. 4 minutes

Companies that wish to modernize production have to handle data – the more or better, the greater the potential for new applications. Anyone who needs automated quality control, wants to implement artificial intelligence or to remotely track whether their machines are working properly must access and handle machine data. Entering into Industrie 4.0, the great goal of every production operation, is unthinkable without data exchange. But productions usually consist of machines spanning several generations. And these work with different protocols and controls. A great deal of effort has been required up to now in order to provide those data. Up to now.

There’s often a problem when trying to use the data as well: Applications may require a different read-out speed. Machine learning, for example, depends upon a high data rate, while monitoring gets by with a low rate. Above all, many companies cannot yet decide how they will modernize. Therefore, you often do not know which data you will needor which format or sampling rate will be best in the future.

Read out and provide data

Experts from the Fraunhofer IPA have developed software with which neither reading nor using data is a problem. The “StationConnector” can handle most of the machines, can read out their data, and make the data available for other applications.

“Regardless of what the future brings – you are equipped well with the StationConnector,” says Marcus Defranceski, the responsible IPA computer scientist.

This allows a company to grow harmoniously without having to commit too early. And the software is very customer-friendly. “You don’t need in-depth IT knowledge to work with it,” reassures Defranceski. Machines don’t even need to be switched off during installation. And the customer can handle the configuration himself. It determines which data are to be provided by which machines, and at what frequency.

Information about machine status

The software runs on a windows platform and can be additionally accessed by smartphone or networked to the cloud. The data read out can be made visible in graphs in order to quickly get a first visual impression. And the program is able to define critical machine states that require intervention. If there is a risk of overheating, for example, the StationConnector not only provides an error code, but it also provides extensive information on the machine’s status. The operator immediately knows what to do.

IPA researchers found a start-up

At the beginning of this year, the IPA innovation took the next step: The three computer scientists from Fraunhofer IPA who developed the program founded Data Coffee GmbH and have been on the market with StationConnector since March 2021.


Marcus Defranceski

Head of the Cleanliness-suitable equipment and components group
Phone: +49 711 970-1033