Service Secretary - AI-based knowledge management in technical service

The operation, maintenance or servicing of facilities and machines is becoming increasingly demanding as a result of increasing product variance and process flexibility. Specific know-how as well as experience-based knowledge are required, but are less and less retrievable. This is especially true for service technicians who are new to the company or employees who take on new tasks. When dealing with machines, they are required to master process deviations, identify problems quickly and find solutions.

The aim of the Service Secretary joint project is to support inexperienced technical staff particularly by providing context-specific documented maintenance and solution knowledge to help them avoid or quickly rectify problems on machines and systems. In this context, the use of a digital assistance system as part of a holistic solution development is aimed at and combined with participative approaches of organizational development.

The AI-supported knowledge management system, which is being developed and introduced in the partner companies in the Service Secretary project as part of the "Future of Work: SMEs - Innovative and Social" funding line of the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), aims at the following steps in the service process:

  • capturing and structuring knowledge during repair and diagnosis
  • generation of diagnosis and repair guidelines
  • making these guides available to specialists and users as needed

In order to take into account the specific framework conditions of the companies and to optimally integrate the needs of the employees, the ITA conducts, among other things, a participatory requirements analysis with the company partners and accompanies the introduction of a prototype from an occupational science perspective. The aim is to involve the users of the system at all times during development and introduction and thus to design the system to meet their needs as closely as possible. Company partners are Andres GmbH, Emil Stutznäcker GmbH & Co. KG and POLY-TOOLS bennewart GmbH.

The project is led by Empolis Information Management GmbH, which is developing a prototype of the Service Secretary and having it tested by the user groups.

The research and development project Service Secretary is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the European Social Fund (ESF) within the „Zukunft der Arbeit“ program (funding number 02L20C520 to 02L20C524) and managed by the Project Management Agency Karlsruhe (PTKA). The authors are responsible for the content of this publication.

Project title

AI-based knowledge management in technical service (Service Secretary)

August 2022 – Januar 2025

Project partners

  • Empolis Information Management GmbH
  • Andres GmbH
  • Nähmaschinenfabrik Emil Stutznäcker GmbH & Co. KG
  • POLY-TOOLS bennewart GmbH
  • Assoziierter Partner: BOMAG GmbH


The Service Secretary project is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, in the funding measure: „Zukunft der Arbeit: Mittelstand – innovativ und sozial“

Contact person

M.A. Dana Wolf