Production accounts for a key part of the value creation in manufacturing companies. This is why the success of such companies depends on the existence of efficient process chains and lean, flexible as well as technologically viable processes.
The Fraunhofer IPT supports manufacturing companies in their efforts to design and implement production operations that meet the requirements of their product portfolios and their business strategies. Our many years of experience in the tool manufacturing industry have provided us with a deep understanding of the requirements in one-off manufacturing and small-series production runs – and with the skills that are necessary to transfer the knowledge acquired in one industry to another (to aviation, e.g.).
We first perform several steps of optimizing existing production processes, all of which have been customized to meet the specific requirements of your company. In Stage One, we document the status quo, performing a benchmarking exercise and creating a detailed process analysis. The questionnaire-based benchmarking exercise is designed to reveal individual strengths and weaknesses through a subsequent comparison with an individualized reference group that has been established on the basis of our database with more than 1000 data sets of international companies. Processes are captured with the help of the "aixperanto" modelling language – which was developed in Aachen – that allows a standardized and structured representation of processes, their analysis and the improvement of process sequences and interfaces.
Once that status quo has been established, suitable company-specific measures can be identified – for example a restructuring of the operating resources with a long-term view to using cost-optimized resources along the entire manufacturing chain. By focusing their attention on standard tools, implementing transparent tool administration structures and a system of digital tool identification, companies enable themselves to organize their tools economically and to spare themselves the time and effort of locating suitable tools when they are required. Another example for the optimization of manufacturing structures is the design and modelling of vertical and horizontal process chains that comply with the requirement profile from the status quo analysis. In this stage, we focus our attention on a technologically viable process chain design and the integration of non-conventional manufacturing technologies such as electro-erosive machining (EDM and ECM) and laser-based or water-jet-based technologies into the process chain. By supporting companies in their efforts to interlink and digitalize their process chains, we establish the foundations for an optimized manufacturing operation that complies with the principles of Industry 4.0. Based on an analysis of the software systems that your company has deployed along its process chain and the identification of their interfaces with the machine data control units, we can design different digitalization scenarios and development stages.
How you can benefit
Based on our client support model of customized multiple-stage services, the Fraunhofer IPT can help you to optimize your manufacturing operation by:
- Performing benchmarking exercises and process analyses to document the status quo
- Designing and implementing customized improvement programmes