AI Team Garners “Best of Industry Award”

Shiftconnector ® Smart Search Accelerates Plant Floor Search Capabilities with AI

Bad Säckingen, Southern Germany and Boston (MA), USDecember 08, 2023 – Global software developer eschbach, provider of the Shiftconnector® enterprise software platform for process manufacturing, received this year’s Best of Industry Award in the Artificial Intelligence category. eschbach’s AI team was recognized in Würzburg, Germany for their Shiftconnector Smart Search module. Providing relevant knowledge in a user-friendly way, Smart Search has become a powerful assistant in 24/7 plant operations.

Best of Industry Award Andreas and Christian
Best of Industry Award Andreas and Christian

“Capturing and managing knowledge is domain-specific, which is why our Smart Search is specifically designed with our customers in mind. Managing data and information in a 24/7 shift operation is a challenge. With a smart application, modern information management offers a huge opportunity for greater efficiency and safety in manufacturing. AI also makes it possible to collect implicit knowledge to make the experience of employees available for future generations,” explains Andreas Eschbach, CEO and founder of eschbach.

The Shiftconnector Smart Search feature, developed by eschbach over the course of five years, utilizes state-of-the-art AI-based natural language processing (NLP) to provide process manufacturers with new search capabilities. The eschbach AI team, led by Dr. Christian Matt, worked closely with one of its major customers to conceptualize and design a search function that could easily find relevant answers based on its plant operations. The team also collaborated with Prof. Dr. Bela Gipp and Anastasia Zhukova of Göttingen University (Germany), who contributed with their state-of-the-art research in the field of natural language processing. The cooperation is supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).

“The success following initial implementations is impressive. Smart Search has been well received in production facilities and is an integral part of daily operations. Where users previously spent several hours searching online documentation, sometimes without results, Smart Search now shows process-relevant results in a matter of seconds. Statistics also show that the knowledge accumulated in Shiftconnector® over the years is no longer lost but is repeatedly picked up by users. Before implementation, however, only information not older than a month was used. This means that employees in shift operations, from plant operators to plant managers, benefit from the AI-supported and innovative plant process management solution,” explains Dr. Christian Matt, AI/NLP Team Lead at eschbach.

“Truly user-centered, this application demonstrates the value of bringing customers into the design process from the onset to help drive and ensure satisfactory outcomes,” said Andreas Eschbach. “With close to 20 years of experience in developing solutions for the process industry and almost 70,000 users, we understand the challenges of the process industry. We welcome suggestions from our users to provide solutions that will help them win in an increasingly competitive environment,” he added. eschbach's dedication to customer-centric software development, along with their commitment to harnessing the power of AI technology, has positioned the company as a leader in the process manufacturing industry.

The new Smart Search function makes production plants more reliable and productive by recording knowledge for shift teams and making it easy to search for information. As we move forward into Industry 5.0 where the human element is the focus in plant operations, using AI is a leap forward in gaining the information necessary to drive process efficiency, mitigate risk, and ensure regulatory compliance.

About eschbach and Shiftconnector®

Headquartered in Bad Saeckingen, Germany and with North America operations based in Boston, US, eschbach develops software for plant process management. Shiftconnector® provides a new level of digital team communication to ensure safety and improve plant effectiveness. The award-winning solution is trusted worldwide by leading manufacturing companies such as Bayer, DuPont, BASF, and Roche. For more information visit

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