Olaf Sauer studied industrial engineering and management at the University of Karlsruhe with a focus on production engineering. He then successfully introduced a PPS system at Isenmann GmbH, a medium-sized mechanical engineering company.
After completing the PPS project, he moved to the Fraunhofer Institute (IPK) in Berlin, where he received his doctorate under Professor Spur in 1996. His main focus at IPK were projects on lean production, core competencies and production control for customers such as Daimler Benz, ADtranz or VW. The highlight of the projects at IPK was a major project at Hyundai Motor Company in Ulsan, Korea, for the design and specification of a production control system for a new automotive plant in Asan.
Afterwards he was manager for process innovation projects at Bombardier Transportation in Aachen and Berlin for 4 years. Among other things, he introduced the digital mock-up with CATIA and took the first steps towards the digital factory with his team. Most recently, he and a small team of colleagues designed the E-Talent for the Austrian Federal Railways (ÖBB).
In 2000, Dr. Sauer was given the opportunity to rebuild METROPLAN PRODUKTION GMBH as an entrepreneur within the METROPLAN Group, Hamburg. METROPLAN PRODUKTION GMBH is a service company specializing in the planning of factories, production facilities and production logistics. By taking over a planning office of the factory planning legend Bela Aggteleky he was able to build up the factory planning business. His customers there were DaimlerChrysler, for whom METROPLAN Produktion developed, among other things, the logistics concept for the engine plant in Kölleda, manufacturing companies of the GEA group, smart and the forklift truck manufacturer STILL.
From the end of 2003 to the end of 2011 he was responsible for the area of control systems at the Fraunhofer IOSB in Karlsruhe.
Since the beginning of 2012 he has been deputy institute director and responsible for business development, marketing & sales in the business unit Automation at the IOSB.
Dr. Sauer is a member of the International Academy for Production Engineering (CIRP), member of the technical committees Modeling and Simulation and Digital Factory the GPL in the VDI and lecturer at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), where he gives the lecture "Design principles for interactive real-time systems" . He is also a lecturer in the part-time master's program "Industrial Production Management". Dr. Sauer is one of the initiators of the Karlsruher Forschungsfabrik.
He runs the weblog www.industrie40.blog and is represented in the following networks:
Corporate member at CIRP
First contact in the Innovation Alliance of the Technology Region Karlsruhe
BITKOM, collaboration with Gaia-X