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The Aachen Center for Optics Production (ACOP) will pool the expertise of research institutes and the regional optical industry . The goal is to promote the networking and digitalization of processes for the production of high-precision optical components. The object of research is both the technologies applied and the glass and plastic components used. In order to investigate the manufacturing processes, a digitally and physically networked infrastructure is to be established. Since Industry 4.0 is still relatively untapped in the optical industry, researchers are focusing on digital twins, modern data analytics, and cloud-based services.

Eleven companies from North Rhine-Westphalia have already announced their support for the ACOP, including local companies such as Innolite GmbH and Son-x GmbH , but also international groups Hella KGaA Hueck & Co and Limo -Lissotschenko Mikrooptik. The state of North Rhine-Westphalia has pledged funding to the tune of €2.8 million for the first three years.