I work at Beckhoff Automation in Research & Development in the areas of machine learning (or artificial intelligence, whichever notion one prefers) and data analytics, where amongst other things I am leading the design and development of the company’s TwinCAT Machine Learning and Neural Network runtime. This allows us to utilize ML/AI techniques directly from the real-time control loop, powering for example the motion controller of the recently introduced Beckhoff XPlanar system.
- 03/2017 – present: R&D Machine Learning
Beckhoff Automation GmbH & Co.KG
- 01/2014 – 02/2017: Head of Research
10/2012 – 12/2013: Coordinator of Innovation Projects
DMG MORI Software Solutions GmbH
Applications of ML/AI techniques to real-time industrial settings have great potential, e.g. to optimize motion control, improve live condition monitoring in complex settings and provide flexible anomaly detection. At my current employer, the main platform for those improvements is the Beckhoff TwinCAT automation framework, a software solution that turns common PCs into industrial real-time controllers—along with all the benefits that the performance of a modern multi-core processor provides.
Beckhoff Automation is one of the major industrial automation companies in the world. Instead of relying on highly customized “black-boxed” hardware, Beckhoff is build around an unified automation software running on standard x86/x64 and ARM computer architectures. This approach has enabled Beckhoff to grow and advance alongside the general technological developments of computers, CPUs and processing power during the last decades.
From 2012 to 2017 I managed the software focused research collaborations of the DMG MORI group (formerly known as Gildemeister AG) as Head of Research at DMG MORI’s software division, in particular the projects of the “it's OWL” research cluster. For example, during a four year project we investigated the feasibility of a CNC simulation and production scheduling cloud platform (it’s OWL “InVorMa” project).
In addition to the usual on-the-job training, I found that self-study with the online courses that have become available in recent years can be really rewarding. The advanced Udacity nanodegrees are a great opportunity to keep up with modern techniques and to broaden the knowledge.
- 11/2018: Deep Reinforcement Learning nanodegree , Udacity
- 06/2018: Robotics Software Engineer nanodegree , Udacity
- 08/2017: Artificial Intelligence nanodegree , Udacity
- 11/2016: Machine Learning certificate , Coursera
- 10/2015: “Big Machines, Big Data, Big Challenges” (in German) keynote presented at the OWL Maschinenbau 13. Fachtagung in Bielefeld, Germany. See the corresponding newspaper article.
- 09/2016: “Arbeitsvorbereitung durch virtuelle Werkzeugmaschinen” (in German) presented at the it’s OWL Summer School in Bielefeld, Germany.
- 06/2016: “Intelligente Arbeitsvorbereitung auf Basis Virtueller Werkzeugmaschinen” (in German) final “it’s OWL-InVorMa” project presentation in Bielefeld, Germany.
- 03/2016: public panel discussion on Industrie 4.0 / IIoT and digitalization strategies at the 13. Bielefelder Mittelstandsforum in Bielefeld, Germany.
- 09/2015: “Werkzeugmaschinen und Projekt ‘InVorMa’” (in German) presented at the it’s OWL Summer School in Bielefeld, Germany.
- 04/2015: “Digitale Arbeitsvorbereitung und intelligente Werkzeugmaschinen” (in German) presented at the it’s OWL-Fachkongress in Paderborn, Germany.
- 09/2014: “Überblick Prozesskette Drehen” (in German) presented at the PAZAT-Fachkolloquium ‘Innovation Drehbearbeitung’ in Dresden, Germany.
- 05/2014: “G-Code: Der CNC-Assembler im 21. Jahrhundert” (in German) presented at the TNG Big Tech Day 7 in Munich, Germany.
- 11/2013: “Werkzeugmaschinen und Industrie 4.0 - Visionen und Gegenwart” (in German) presented at the Norddeutsche Industrietage in Würzburg, Germany.
- 11/2013: “Industrie 4.0 und Herausforderungen für den Werker von morgen” (in German) presented at the Fachforum ‘Wissen und Lernen im Innovationsprozess’ in Berlin, Germany.
- 06/2013: “Vernetzung und Zustandsüberwachung bei Werkzeugmaschinen” (in German) presented at the Clusterforum Mechatronik in Bamberg, Germany.
- 05/2013: “Innovationsprojekt InVorMa” (in German) presented at the Strothmann Innovation Days in Schloß Holte-Stukenbrock, Germany.
- 01/2013: “Condition Monitoring—present practice and the future” presented at the CIRP 2013 Continuous Maintenance meeting in Paris, France.