New Multi-Protocol Converter Challenge from Zollner Elektronik

Zollner Elektronik, one of the most significant players in electrical manufacturing services (EMS), is beginning to harness the power of crowd engineering.

Launching their first crowdsourcing challenge on the platform, Zollner is calling for capable engineers that are interested in helping them innovate a new IoT device and software for enhanced industrial multi-protocol converters.

To get better acquainted with Zollner Elektronik, and decide whether this challenge is suited for your skills, we’re looking behind the history of this EMS powerhouse and the lucrative challenge they recently opened for our crowd engineers.

What is Zollner Elektronik?

Originally founded in 1965 by Manfred Zollner, Zollner Elektronik first began creating mechatronic systems in Zandt, Germany before rapidly expanding their business worldwide.

The Zollner team prides itself in providing valuable long-term customer benefits, and creating strong competitive advantages, by following the entire lifecycle of the technology-powered solutions they implement.

Zollner’s guiding principles state they aim to be flexible to effectively discover customer solutions—an idea that’s demonstrated by their emergence into the world of crowd engineering. (and we welcome them!)

Today, the company is led by CEO Johann Weber and has 11,000 employees working across 19 international worksites. Their overwhelming success in innovation has led Zollner Elektronik to rank among the top 15 EMS companies on the global market.

Challenge Overview: IoT Multi-Protocol Converter

Following a history providing awe-inspiring innovation, such as creating the world’s largest four-legged robot (which is also a dragon), Zollner Elektronik is seeking help for their new industrial IoT solution.

You can find their challenge listing posted here.

Solution Objective

In short, Zollner wants to work with crowd engineers and develop an IoT messaging server solution that is capable of communicating between any industrial machines.

Challenge Parameters

This challenge will require the creation of an IoT device based on a low-cost single board mini-computer, and new software that will act as the messaging server for said device. In terms of scope, the application must be able to connect sensors and hardware devices via a self-developed GPIO-library.

In the end, the solution needs to perform as a seamless messaging server that guarantees communication between industrial hardware and the interface, while also including tracking features that monitor input and output queues in real time.

Challenge Length

This challenge is split into five separate phases and is scheduled to run for seventeen weeks in length.

However, the challenge has only just begun with no potential ideas submitted as of now—making it the perfect time for interested engineers to take a look and get onboard.

Challenge Prizes

When it comes to prizes and compensation, Zollner Elektronik has allocated a total of $45,000 to their project’s prize pool, all of which is still up for grabs.

This also makes Zollner’s offered prize pool one of the largest currently available on

Check out the Challenge

If you’re interested in assisting Zollner Elektronik in developing this innovative industrial technology, here’s another link to their challenge.

If you want to become a crowd engineer and gain access to this challenge, and others like it, but have yet to register for Surcle, feel free to join up here.