Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e. V.

The “Institut f. Automation und Kommunikation” (ifak), founded in 1991, whose legal operator is the registered association of the same name, ranks among the German Research-Mittelstand and is one of the founding members of the "Deutsche Industrieforschungsgemeinschaft Konrad Zuse e.V.".

The institute carries out applied research on “Information and Communication Technology and Automation”, “Water and Energy”, “Measurement Technology and Power Electronics” and “Transport and Assistance”. In around 75 projects of research annually, ranging from feasibility studies to complex development projects, ifak is a partner to industry. It is a reflection of the cross-sectional character of automation and information technology that the customers come from the widest range of industries in addition to electrical engineering.

In keeping with the non-profit character of the institute, ifak is especially involved in precompetitive cooperation projects for which research funding can be obtained at European and German federal level as well as from industrial organisations. Academic reputation of ifak is reflected by its recognition as the first institute affiliated to the Otto-von-Guericke-University of Magdeburg. The institute’s national and international network of cooperation is complemented by its active participation in a wide range of expert committees. Nearly 75 % of the more than 50 fulltime staff of the interdisciplinary ifak team are scientists.

The institute and the executive board are advised by an advisory board of 21 scientists, managers from industry and politicians.

Nearly 75 % of the more than 50 fulltime staff of the interdisciplinary ifak team are scientists.


Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e.V. will lead task T1.2.5. Within that task resource models and service specifications for integration of legacy equipment into Industry 4.0 scenarios and systems will be developed. Asset Administration Shells will be designed according to Industry 4.0 guidelines (VDI/VDE-GMA; ZVEI: Statusreport Referenzarchitekturmodell Industrie 4.0, April 2015).

Key contribution

The Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e.V. will analyse goal scenarios and involved legacy production equipment like existing sensors, control and communication systems as well as planning systems.

In a second step current standards and guidelines will be analysed like those of VDI, ZVEI, Platform Industrie 4.0, AutomationML and various communication standards like OPC-UA, AMQP, ZeroMQ oder MQTT with the goal, to find approaches regarding the modeling of production components, their communication relations and communication systems.Resource models for production components will be developed based on the results of previous analysis work and additionally service specifications for Industry 4.0 - Administration Shells (AAS).

Furtheron the institute will implement the models and specifications based on a test environment. Within that part of the task, the focus is on the realization of functional requirements while non-functional requirements (performance, energy consumption, etc.) are not yet considered. One outcome will be evaluation results of a variety of technologies, which are currently under discussion to fit the needs of Industry 4.0 scenarios best.

In a last step those basic implementations of AAS will be extended and diversified. Those AAS variants will differ in characteristics like data volume, security, performance and administration efforts. A comparison of those approaches is of urgent public interest since the determination of the right technology is one of the main challenges in order to implement Industry 4.0 scenarios.

Institut für Automation und Kommunikation e. V.
Werner-Heisenberg-Straße 1
D-39106 Magdeburg