Wednesday, 12 a.m. – A selected group of the international hacker scene meets up in Ingolstadt for a second time. The mood is relaxed; it’s all about code, algorithms and the Audi production. “The Audi Smart Factory Hackathon is a competition for developing software solutions for specific applications from the production, and programming the corresponding prototypes within a very short time,” organizer Kathrin Schwinghammer explains. For this, Audi invites teams to Ingolstadt from all over the world. In a guided tour of the plant, the 82 participants receive an exclusive insight into how models such as the A3 are manufactured. One question that stood at the center of the group’s discussion: how can data optimize work processes to be faster, better and more cost-effective?
Audi Smart Factory Hackathon 2017
Modular, interlinked, intelligent: Data paves the way to the destination, but how can Audi utilize it? At the Audi Smart Factory Hackathon, teams from all over the world develop innovative solutions for the factory of the future. Schuster
There’s a reason that Audi aims to produce its vehicles in the world’s most efficient production network. A different perspective from people outside the company, without rules or hierarchies, paves the way to achieve this aim.
Nerds of today are CDOs of tommorow
Thursday, 9 a.m. – The countdown has begun. The clock on the monitor is ticking away in a rather unspectacular manner. 25 hours in total will be counted down, in accordance to the motto of “the extra hour”. The symbolic 25th hour of Audi represents the extra time gained through autonomous driving. There doesn’t seem to be much excitement, the participants are focused. Now it’s all about sifting and evaluating the data and consulting with Audi experts in the next step, for ultimately developing an approach within a team. Brainstorming wherever you look. After all, the Hackathon is about presenting the jury and audience a programmed solution within a mere 25 hours. “No pressure, but the expectations are high” is the unofficial motto of the day.
Solutions with a future potential
From all software prototypes that were developed last year, 90 percent were pursued subsequently as projects by Audi. Three teams even brought their own start-up to life through their ideas. Rather than the Audi driving experience, a career at Audi seems to be more of an incentive. “The event gives us the opportunity to connect with young IT talents,” Kristina Hoffer confirms. As part of the organization team, the recruiter is responsible for the candidate management.
Thursday, 10 p.m. – The Chief Digital Officers (CDOs) of tomorrow aren’t thinking of their future career at this point. Their main priority lies in overcoming the next hours. Meanwhile, all teams have deeply immersed into their assigned subject and are busy discussing, analyzing and programming, as in the case of “Susita Al”. The five Israelis have travelled from Tel Aviv and are enjoying the competition’s relaxed atmosphere. Especially the tour of the plant was “crazy cool” to them, as they put it. Now it’s all about finding a way to take and analyze automated high-speed images during the laser beam soldering in body construction.
Whether the team from Ingolstadt, “Flying Codemen”, in the room next door has a home advantage has yet to be discovered.
The students of the technical college are participating at a Hackathon for the first time and want to “find out, above all, how good we really are.” On the previous day, they were assigned their preferred subject: “predictive maintenance for adhesive dosing units”. The big question: How accurately can the wear state be predicted when analyzing the history data of the adhesive application? Even the group “exe-v0.1” is facing a similar challenge.
More than 40 Audi experts from production and IT are on site all around the clock to provide the talents with advice and assistance when needed. Right in the middle: Stefanie Augustine from Audi P-Lab. She assists the teams in the preparation of their final presentation. After the 25 hours have passed, each team is given only three minutes on stage to convince the jury and audience. “The key to pitching successfully lies in presenting the problem and the results in the most simple and understandable manner, while highlighting the benefits for Audi,” she explains.
The pitch has to be done right
Friday, 7 a.m. – The participants didn’t sleep much last night. Their ambition is great; the final presentations are being fine-tuned. Three hours to go until the countdown timer reaches zero, and the participants have to submit their data. By 10 p.m., the tension in the room has elevated noticeably. Now we’re getting down to serious business.
Friday, 12:30 p.m. – Let’s go. Pitching in front of a jury and an audience for three minutes proves to be a real challenge for the Hackathon teams. For most of them, holding a presentation on such a big stage is terra incognita. Nevertheless, the team “Tricycle” especially stands out. Maximilian Backenstos, Svenja Seip and Niel Wagensommer dedicated their efforts to the subject of “error allocation in body construction”. While the two guys hold their presentation, Svenja drives a bobby car to symbolize the processes in body construction. The jury and audience are able to grasp the problem and the presented solution easily. The three students have developed a model that can be used to predict potential errors in the dimensions of the vehicle’s chassis. This system allows the detection of small deviations, which could lead to errors in a later stage, and gives insight on how these can be avoided. With this result and their presentation, “Tricycle” makes the first place in the Audi Smart Factory Hackathon. The second place goes to “DataSquat” from Austria. The “Flibbittygibbitts“ from Mainz rank third. All three teams can look forward to an Audi driving experience in Finland, Austria and Germany.
Audi’s Smart Factory Hackathon: 25 hours to devise new software ideas
Startup spirit with Audi’s Smart Factory Hackathon: From October 4 through October 6, the Audi Forum Ingolstadt played host for the second time to all things big data, machine learning, algorithms and data visualization. Around 80 talented data scientists from around the world developed software solutions for the factory of the future, on the basis of real data sets from Audi Production. The “Tricycle” team won the programming competition. The students from Karlsruhe and Munich convinced the jury with their idea on “Defect mapping in body manufacturing.”Read more
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