ITQ GmbH is an independent service company that has stood for Software and Systems Engineering, Mechatronic Consulting and Digital Education for more than 20 years. In the age of digitalization, software is simply ubiquitous and, from a technological point of view, extremely diverse.

This results in a wide variety of requirements for the way in which projects are to be carried out and how they interact with customers in the best possible way. The company’s concepts are convincing because they make the experience in mechanical engineering and automation technology tangible and equally take into account the specific problems of mechanics, electronics and software.

Easy Engineering: A brief description of the company and its activities.

ITQ: We would like to support our customers in the digital transformation and offer support in the creation of individual, tailor-made software and the introduction of systematic software engineering processes. We adapt the development methodology and the tools used specifically to the needs and handle the projects in accordance with modern systems engineering.

A particular concern of our company is requirements-based and future-oriented training and further education concepts that already start with the younger generations. We have been dealing with the topic of Education 4.0 for years and with developing novel concepts and formats to promote young talents and bring them together with companies.

To this end, we have developed the SMART GREEN ISLAND MAKEATHON, where students and well-known companies from all over the world come together on Gran Canaria to work on common ideas, create prototypes and network together. In addition, we offer various formats for advanced training in management as well as for engineers in order to meet the requirements of digitalization.

E.E: What’s the news for 2021 about new products?

ITQ: Our main product is still to use the latest technologies to solve current problems. Especially during the pandemic, our service products around the topics of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality have increased significantly. Due to global travel restrictions, our customers were no longer allowed to travel to the customer countries in order to set up, start up or maintain new machines there.

At the same time, the demand for “Digital Twin” has increased significantly. Due to the restrictions of having access to the real physical machines and systems, the desire for digitalization of reality has clearly spurred on. The digitalization of the machine structures also opens up completely new possibilities to look for new or better approaches through the use of Artificial Intelligence in a simulation environment.

Virtually in tow to these tasks, companies are faced with the challenge of digitizing engineering processes. This is a major hurdle for many companies because processes and procedures that have been burnt in over decades have to change completely in a short time.

E.E: What are the ranges of products?

ITQ: ITQ’s portfolio is specially tailored to the needs of companies that manufacture mechatronic products. The original focus of ITQ’s customers was on classic mechanical and plant engineering. Due to the steadily increasing spread of software elements in almost all investment goods, such as trains, industrial trucks and cranes, the range of ITQ customers is continuously expanding.

The manufacturers of mechatronic goods almost all have the same scenario: The company can look back on a long tradition of purely mechanical design and production. However, due to digitalization, the proportion of software in products is continuously increasing.

While in the past the products were mainly functionally determined by the Mechanics and the term „Mechatronics” was defined as the intersection of Mechanics and Electronics, the situation has changed completely today. Mechatronics is no longer a technological sub-task, but a holistic management / development task that aims at a harmonious interplay of mechanical, electronic and software components. Compared to before, the (functional) share of software in the overall system has increased dramatically.

We therefore offer our customers urgently needed know-how in software development, including the introduction of HMI interfaces or new types of web technologies. In systems engineering, we support them in setting up or restructuring the software architecture as well as in topics such as modularization, functional description and simulation.

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

ITQ: The big challenge for companies is to be fast and innovative. Due to the pandemic, companies either have the situation that their goods (e.g. pharmaceutical companies or their suppliers) are in great demand and need to be delivered quickly. The opposite scenario is that the company’s products are no longer in demand so that completely new products have to be developed to survive in the market at all. In both cases, it means questioning everything in a very short time and breaking new ground, which can usually only be accelerated through greater digitalization.

The result is that our service products, such as the introduction of Agile Development and the integration of „Digital Twins” into the development landscape, are in greater demand than ever.

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

ITQ: The two very big market drivers are the transformation to E-Mobility and the need to think and develop sustainability. Both trends break with old traditions and bring many opportunities, but sometimes also disruptively end old business models. Companies can only survive the associated challenges if they embrace new technologies and ways of working.

E.E: What estimations do you have for 2021?

ITQ: In the past few years, digitalization and technology have made giant leaps. No one believed in E-Mobility 20 years ago. Five years ago, E-Cars were still laughed at, but the situation has now changed completely. Almost every manufacturer now has a number of E-Models in their range. Nowadays the question is no longer how do I make the leap into electromobility, but what is the next step in innovation? “Placing” a body on a new drive platform is now daily business. The task of letting vehicles drive autonomously is the next hurdle, which demands a great deal of skills in AI and software engineering.

But digital skills are not only required in the automotive industry, on the one hand to be innovative and on the other hand to play on the absolute future topics such as sustainability and environmental protection. The world just turns a little faster every year in this regard. In Germany, after only a few years “Fridays for Future” and a decade and a half with Angela Merkel as German Chancellor we see a really relevant female candidate for Chancellor from the Green Party for the first time. No one could have dreamed of this politically relevant commitment to environmental protection 20 years ago?

At ITQ GmbH we are often (a little too far) ahead of the times. Five years ago, we founded the Dr. Stetter ITQ in Gran Canaria. It was founded with the aim of promoting innovative, sustainable and intelligent projects on the island. Even then, we had the vision of testing a SMART GREEN ISLAND on Gran Canaria. Since then, we have initiated many innovative projects on the Spanish island, such as the Solar Golf Car, robots to combat environmental pollution by plastic or the Bamboo Solar Car. In the coming year we will again implement smart and innovative projects in Gran Canaria and thus promote sustainable digitalization.