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Decision Making Technology

CORTEX is a decision making technology, which decides based on the global objective functions by means of reinforcement learning.


The job of CORTEX is fast and precise decision making which enables prescriptive analytics. Contrary to predictive analytics, this means that not only predictions about expected behavior are made, but also what should be done in order to achieve the global goals.

CORTEX is capable of solving non-linear decision problems containing a very large number of conflicting parameters in a very short time.

Constructive Reinforcement Learning

In the industrial environment, continuous methods can usually not be used since, on the one hand, the decision space is unbelievably large and, on the other hand, the objective functions show massive leaps even in small areas of the decision space. Cortex explicitly constructs the next decision (Constructive Reinforcement Learning) from the goals it has learned in order to achieve its global objectives.


CORTEX uses input data and functional relationships which define the system under consideration. In the case of a factory, these include orders, priorities, machine capabilities and speed, etc., or the probability of the occurrence of certain events, such as e.g. machine breakdowns. Based on these data and models, CORTEX uses Constructive Reinforcement Learning to calculate a production plan. This plan contains precise instructions for each device enabling to control the factory.

CORTEX was designed for being the backbone of a Smart Factory.

Application field

CORTEX is used for mathematically optimized production planning in the industrial context. The requirement is to plan many different orders on a complex machine park, where

  • maximized machine utilization
  • minimized resource consumption
  • minimized total production costs and
  • order deadlines

should be met. In addition, the production plan must be constantly adapted to the dynamically changing conditions.

Graphic industry

CORTEX has been successfully used in print planning in the graphic arts industry since 2015 (product sPrint One ).

Requirements of the graphic industry:

  • Creation of sheet layouts, including gang forms
  • Planning of the printing process depending on the layouts
  • Planning of finishing (cutting, folding, punching, stapling, etc.)

Our product sPrint One covers the first two requirements. It has been in use in the graphic arts industry since 2015 with a strong increase in user numbers. Continuous benchmarks show that sPrint One outperforms comparable competing systems in terms of speed, quality, features and functionality.

Our product Kayros Print is at a prototype stage (proof of concept since 2016) and will be integrated with the first pilot customer by the end of 2018.

 sPrint One  Kayros Print
Sheet Layout
Dynamic Print Planning
Dynamic Production Planning

Products based on CORTEX in terms of production planning requirements of the graphic arts industry.

Converting industry

CORTEX has been successfully used in the converting industry since 2017 to create and plan cutting layouts (Ciphos).

Sheets, films, paper or laminates are made in large rolls, which are usually about 2 meters wide and several kilometers long. These rolls (jumbos, tambours) have to be cut into different formats depending on customer orders. Creating a cutting plan for, say, a 5km jumbo in dozens of different customer orders is a complex challenge. The decisive factors here are

  • material consumption or waste
  • make ready times for setting up the slitter
  • transport logistics when processing the jumbos

Ciphos creates optimized cutting plans based on machine park, stock of materials and customer orders. Special requirements are

  • optimization and automation of the cutting process including the associated transport process, make ready process and storage process
  • waste minimization and general cost minimization
  • a low calculation time, which allows a replanning at any time.

General industrial production planning

Whereas KAYROS Print was adapted for the graphic industry, the basic product KAYROS allows the modeling and planning of any production process.

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