Conventional production systems often prove to be too inflexible due to a large variety of variants up to the complete individualization of products. Fluctuating quality parameters, but also the strongly pronounced individuality of products, demand a lot from process control. As a solution, Industry 4.0 promises flexible and adaptive control of automated processes and process sequences in complex and highly individual production environments.
With this goal in focus, the Fraunhofer IPT works together with partners from research and industry on new concepts for flexible networking and control of such production systems. By replacing rigid process chains with freely interlinked processes, versatile production systems are created. A high degree of networking of the individual facilities and devices, continuous data acquisition and seamless integration of measurement technology into process control make the newly created complexity in automated production individually and adaptively controllable. This creates a basis for systems that can adapt and optimize themselves independently, for example, regarding the changing conditions or target values.
The Fraunhofer IPT has developed a flexible process software for the efficient automation of highly individual production environments: A so-called "Integration Framework" makes it possible to extract parameterizable services from all systems and devices and make them available to the process software in a modular way. As required, individual services can be executed or combined to create arbitrarily complex sequences.
The process software developed controls all procedures and monitors facilities, devices and material usage. Resources are managed by a scheduling algorithm that can be adapted to the respective application. The software reacts flexibly to changes in the quality characteristics or states of the overall system and adapts process sequences and processes accordingly.
In addition, the software has various logging functions that ensure data consistency at process and device level. The data is systematically recorded, processed and stored. A user-friendly user interface displays all relevant functions and data to the user and supports evaluation.
- Requirement analysis and conception of flexible production systems
- Design of adaptive controls for processes and process chains
- Programming and implementation of individual, flexible automation solutions
- Software development for evaluation, presentation and documentation of production, measurement and test results
- Feasibility studies and development of technology demonstrators
- Project management and system integration