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Another key aspect in the Smart Production Lab is the position and relevance of people as a central component of Industrie 4.0. For this reason, the Smart Production Lab analyzes necessary competencies and organizational requirements for people in the digital transformation. A key research focus in the area of "Work of the Future" is on working with assistance systems, in particular augmented reality (AR) technologies. This makes it possible, for example, to call up information directly at the workplace and to carry out (decision-making) simulations. In addition, the use of virtual 3D models offers opportunities to work with or on virtual machines and thus to acquire the technological skills needed in the 21st century. In connection with the research activities in the AR field, the aim is to create a test environment for a wide variety of AR use cases in order to explore the industrial application possibilities from different perspectives and along the entire value chain. The research goal is on the one hand to determine the industrial suitability of AR technologies and on the other hand to develop concrete application scenarios for industrial companies and the associated change process.

Research interests:

  • How are new digital technologies changing work in industrial companies?
  • How can the workforce best drive the digital transformation of the company?
  • What are the requirements for employees' skills resulting from the new technological developments?
  • How do organizations need to change to remain fit for the future?
  • What does successful leadership look like in the age of New Work?

Use Cases:

  • Augmented reality with MS Hololens for 3D augmentation of objects
  • Augmented Reality with hmt1 for Remote Service and Maintenance

Toolchain for improving production workplaces:

As part of the "Safe and Intelligent Workspaces" and "Smart Workplace Innovation Project for SMEs via the DIH Süd initiative" projects funded by the Province of Styria and the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the institute has developed a toolchain to improve production workplaces and increase employees' decision-making skills through the use of smart technologies:

  1. The change readiness check is used to assess the company's readiness for change from the perspectives of managers and staff in order to create the best possible conditions for the introduction of new technologies.
  2. With the help of a process check, companies can independently analyze their workplaces with regard to decisions and the digital technology used and select an initial workplace to be innovated.
  3. In the third step, areas of action in the dimensions of technology, data, organization and person are derived for this workplace with the help of an expert system.
  4. The final step is to summarize these into a roadmap for concrete implementation measures with the help of a transformation map.

Accompanying literature can be found here: Smart Workplaces
If you want to upgrade your production workplaces and thus become more flexible and faster in your processes, please contact us at

Survey of the digitization status of SMEs:

As part of the FFG-funded innovation project "Digital Transformation Navigator", the Institute of Industrial Management at FH JOANNEUM in Kapfenberg has developed a way of examining the degree of digitalization in small and medium-sized enterprises in five concrete steps and deriving recommendations for action:

  1. Evaluation of the current digitization status by means of a digital readiness check.
  2. Analysis of the digitization status with the developed digitization roadmap for SMEs in the 5 fields of action purchasing, logistics, production, sales and people.
  3. Decision on the most important fields of action.
  4. Creation of measures in the selected fields of action.
  5. Deriving strategies and key performance indicators to increase the level of digitalization in the company

The project showed that an accompanied, moderated application of the digitalization roadmap is crucial for achieving the goals.

Accompanying literature can be found here: Roadmap Industry 4.0
If you would like to check your digitization status and develop sustainable strategies in an accompanied process, please contact us at or

MMag. Dr. Sabrina Sorko
Head of the research group "Work of the Future"; Lecturer
DI Lena Leitenbauer
Project staff member in the research group Work of the Future; research associate
Mag. Christine Lichem-Herzog
University Lecturer
Klaus Seybold
University lecturer; work of the future
Bianca Steiner, MSc.
Research assistant
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