Hackathon #hack4tk: 24 hours of innovation

Corporate culture | Digitalisation and industry 4.0 | innovation | Almost 70 inventors and programmers. An entire day in front of the laptops. With one task: to master the challenges at thyssenkrupp’s Hackathon #hack4tk.

rop – the brightness of the screen keeps me awake. And I drink a lot of water, of course.” His team mates are already resorting to harder things: 55 liters of coffee and 115 energy drink cans should keep their eyes open and brains awake during these 24 hours. What’s it all about? The Hackathon #hack4tk – where thyssenkrupp brings together coders, concept developers, designers and experts for the third time.

Tales from the post-it jungle: When you hack against time, good organization is everything if you want to stay ahead of your competitors.Tales from the post-it jungle: When you hack against time, good organization is everything if you want to stay ahead of your competitors.

Coding and hacking like in the #ruhrpott

The venue: the Grand Hall of “Zeche Zollverein” in Essen. A special place, not only for the Ruhr area. As a coal mine, the colliery made industrial history in Germany from 1851 onwards. Today, it is known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and represents the transformation of the Ruhr area from a coal pot to a cultural hotspot.

Die Zeche Zollverein: Hacken, wo einst die Kumpel hackten.“Zeche Zollverein” is a place where hackers have replaced miners.

At that time of the industrial revolution, no miner would have imagined that source codes would be written, and hardware and software developed at this historic place. But the venue shows: Today, the Ruhr area and its companies stand for modern industry in all its facets. That’s why 2018 edition of thyssenkrupp’s Hackathon also bears the motto #ruhrpott.

Fresh input for both sides

thyssenkrupp itself expects from the Hackathon one thing above all: plenty of new digital approaches for the future of the company. “As they’re external, our participants generate fresh ideas because they can think out-of-the-box,” explains initiator Jörn Ossowski.

All those present felt this passion and way of thinking from the very first minute. For one day, developers, students, creative people and designers will work on their ideas for the future on site. But first, the 17 teams have to face a difficult question: Which challenge do we want to overcome? Over the next 24 hours, they will work with experts to develop, reject and rethink solutions for their chosen challenge.

Greater transparency in materials logistics

At the final presentation, three teams prevail. The winners of Nebuchadnezzar, a team of employees from the thyssenkrupp Materials Services division, presented their new ideas for transparency in the field of material processing. A decisive question has moved them in the last 24 hours: How can the purchasing of materials be made more transparent for the customer – and more efficiently for thyssenkrupp? Because every location has its own distinctive processing capabilities, which are currently not always introduced optimally. Their solution: a cloud-based configurator that enables MX locations to provide their capabilities and customers to create their desired products in real time as well as track the route of their items – including price, material used and many other details.

The second-placed data specialists from Neusta showed valuable approaches for intelligent drones. Thirdly, DODOS convinced with its solutions for the exciting topic “Social Foresight”.

Hackathon means team work

DODOS is also the team of Julian Martens. The working student and his comrades-in-arms were enthusiastic about their Hackathon Challenge right from the start: “It’s about looking into the crystal ball and anticipating what how future will look like.” However, the 29-year-old’s most important insight on this day has nothing to do with codes and programming. “Cooperation is essential. Because only a functioning team is able to solve the challenges within a short time.”

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