Automation of One-Off Manufacturing and Small Series Production Runs

Automated large-series production has been the standard for many years, but one-off manufacturing and small series production runs – the daily bread of the tool manufacturing industry – also provide a fertile ground for automation, with their opportunities of increasing the capacity utilization rates and of releasing human resources for other activities higher up the value chain. Companies are often aware of this, but find the perspective of organizational turbulence and ensuing costs daunting. They also find themselves faced by the challenge of picking the correct automation solution from the confusing variety that is on offer.

The Fraunhofer IPT supports companies in their selection and implementation of automation solutions. At the start of every automation project, we analyze the corporate strategy, the product range and the existing engineering technology to establish the actual conditions for an automation drive. We then explore the potential of such an automation drive before determining the ideal degree of automation for the company and suggesting measures of how to provide the required industrial environment.

Based on these findings, we can conduct joint workshops to design different automation strategies and to pick the most promising approach from this pre-selection by taking into account the existing business strategy. The Fraunhofer IPT also offers companies its services for the entire duration of the subsequent implementation period. For example, we can help our clients to evaluate the offers from systems integrators and to manage the implementation and ramp-up stages of their automation project.

Our Services

  • Analysis of the automation potential
  • Identification of the ideal degree of automation in view of the requirements of your company’s product range and strategy
  • Design of customized automation solutions
  • Support for the assessment of commercially available automation systems and their eventual implementation

How You Can Benefit

  • Increasing capacity utilization rates
  • Increasing productivity
  • Relieving staff from burdensome routine tasks

Analyzing the potential of automation

The potential analysis is designed to establish the necessary conditions for a successful automation drive. We identify structural and technological deficits and work together with the client company to address them.

Automation strategies

In close cooperation with the client company, we develop several strategies for the implementation of automation solutions, subjecting various alternative methods of interlinking different manufacturing resources to a range of comparisons.

Support for the
implementation of
automation strategies

Once a strategy has been determined, the Fraunhofer IPT will assist you throughout the tendering process and the selection of systems suppliers and – on your request – during the subsequent implementation stage.