Norbert Steinkemper

Focus on the Factory of the Future – Minister Olaf Lies launches “Digital Production” Roadshow at Broetje-Automation in Rastede


More than 90 participants visited the start of the roadshow “Digital Production 2023” to take a look behind the scenes of digitization at Broetje-Automation. Lower Saxony’s Minister of Economic Affairs, Olaf Lies, opened the roadshow, which is intended to help small and medium-sized enterprises transform to digital production.

Roadshow of Digital Mobile Factory

A central component of the roadshow is the “Mobile Factory” of the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover. The factory, which is funded by the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, brings demonstrators and digitization solutions to companies and events throughout Lower Saxony to touch and try out. Based on the production of a car model, a complete digital process chain is mapped. In this way, digitization becomes tangible and comprehensible in local companies.

At the start of the roadshow 2023, the Mobile Fabrik will be a guest at the “Digital Places” in Lower Saxony. The host institutions are pioneers of digitization, actively shaping digital change and have already been awarded the title of “Digital Places of Lower Saxony” by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. Broetje-Automation has been one of these digital places in Lower Saxony since 2019.

“Together with the Digital Agency of Lower Saxony and the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover, we are focusing on initiatives, projects, companies and institutions that are particularly committed to digitization and thus make an important contribution to the innovative strength of our state,” emphasized Economics Minister Olaf Lies. “The roadshow is a good example of how we are advancing digitization through targeted knowledge and technology transfer.”

The Mobile Factory is touring within the roadshow to Digital Places in Niedersachsen.

Insight into digitalization

The visitors got a deep insight into digitization in SMEs – from the basics to the digital twin. Dr.-Ing Thomas Lepper, expert from the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover presented the applications, which could then be experienced live in action on site in the Mobile Factory.

Marcel Meyer, Team Leader Simulation at Broetje-Automation, presented the practical application of digitization solutions such as those used in mechanical and plant engineering for high-tech industries such as the aerospace industry. The mechanical engineering company based in Rastede has been using “digital twins” – a digital image of real machines – since 1996 to ensure quality at the highest level in aircraft construction. Over three decades, this concept has been continuously developed and today offers a complete digital image not only of the machines, but also of their production processes up to the management of entire factories.

Marcel Meyer, Team Leader Simulation at Broetje-Automation, explains the use of the digital twin as it has been developed on the company's machines for almost thirty years

A view to the shopfloor

Lutz Neugebauer, CEO of the Broetje-Automation Group, emphasized how important digitization is for the international competitiveness of the company. “It pays off today that we have been working on digitization for almost thirty years,” emphasizes Neugebauer. “In this way, we are able to help the customer optimally from planning and programming to quality assurance and documentation of his production. This not only ensures our competitiveness, but also that of our customers.”

During the factory tour at Broetje-Automation, the participants, who had come to Rastede from various industries and regions in northern Germany, were then able to visit the real robots and machines on site. In the Mobile Factory of the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover, visitors were then given the opportunity to experience the entire digital process chain live.

Broetje-Automation has been building machines and systems for the aerospace industry for more than forty years. With the PowerRACe, the product portfolio also includes its own robot, which is developed and built in Lower Saxony.

More visits to come for the Mobile Factory

As part of the roadshow, the Mobile Factory will travel throughout Lower Saxony. The Digital Agency Lower Saxony and the Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover organized this in close cooperation with the Lower Saxony Ministry of Economic Affairs, Transport, Building and Digitalization. Thanks to funding from the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection, this offer is available to interested companies free of charge.

The Mittelstand-Digital Zentrum Hannover is part of the Mittelstand-Digital network. The funding priority offers SMEs comprehensive support in digitization with the Mittelstand-Digital Zentren, the Initiative for IT Security in Business and Digital Now. Companies benefit from concrete practical examples and tailor-made, provider-neutral offers for qualification and IT security. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection enables free use and provides financial subsidies.

Further information about the Mobile Factory can be found here:

During the factory tour, the participants of the well-attended event were given an insight into production at Broetje-Automation